Independent Online

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Inspirational Monday: 5 SA businessmen to help fuel your motivation this week

THESE are five of the most successful businessmen in the country. |

THESE are five of the most successful businessmen in the country. |

Published Apr 11, 2022


Durban - South Africa is filled with successful and wealthy businessmen who have overcome odds to become leaders in their fields.

With a temperamental and ever-changing economy, these five men have steered their businesses through tough times and came up on top.

Story continues below Advertisement

Patrice Motsepe

PATRICE Motsepe. | Simphiwe Mbokazi

Estimated net worth: $3.1 billion (R45bn)

“The best economies in the world have grown on the back of an environment that is tolerant and accepting.”

Motsepe is the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, a mining company.

He has a law degree from the University of Wits.

In 1994 he made history when he became the first black partner at Bowman Gilfillan.

Story continues below Advertisement

Motsepe has been the non-executive director of Absa and Sanlam since 2004.

In 2016, Motsepe launched a private equity firm, African Rainbow Capital, which focuses on investing in the continent.

He also owns Premier League soccer club Mamelodi Sundowns.

Story continues below Advertisement

On March 12, 2021, the 60-year-old became president of the CAF.

Nicky Oppenheimer

NICKY Oppenheimer. | Stefan Wermuth Reuters

Estimated net worth: $8.7 billion (R121bn)

Story continues below Advertisement

“I don’t think Africa gets as much credit as it should have on the world stage. People tend to think of us as coming from The Dark Continent, where nothing good goes on. That’s not true. A huge amount of, as I say, entrepreneurship goes on.”

Nicky Oppenheimer is the former chairman of De Beers diamond mining company, of which he is an heir.

He holds an MA in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University.

Oppenheimer was appointed the director of Anglo American in 1968, where he proceeded to become deputy chairman in 1983.

In 2014, he founded Fireblade Aviation, a company in Johannesburg which operates chartered flights.

Stephen Saad

Sephan Saad. | Suren Naidoo

Estimated net worth: $1.4 billion (R20bn)

“In life, you don't get anywhere or do anything you hope to without some sort of sacrifice.’’

Saad is the founder of the continent’s largest pharmaceuticals manufacturer, Aspen Pharmacare.

The entrepreneur first dipped his toes into business by working with Quickmed, a prescription drug company that operated in black townships during apartheid.

Saad also chairs the rugby union club, Sharks. He holds a Bachelor of Arts/science degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University for the positive role of Aspen in the city of Gqeberha/Port Elizabeth.

Jacobus Petrus “Koos” Bekker

KOOS Bekker. | Leon Lestrade

Estimated net worth: $2.7 billion (R39bn)

“The CEO is the captain of the ship; he makes executive decisions fast, and with enough authority sails the ship.”

Bekker is the chairman of the media group Naspers. He started out in the world of advertising but eventually ventured into business.

In 1984 he received an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York.

He is one of the founders of television service, Mnet.

Bekker retired as the chief executive of Naspers in March 2014.

Phuthuma Nhleko

PHUTHUMA Nhleko. | Leon Nicholas

Estimated net worth: $140 million (R2bn)

“We do say to governments that sometimes when they want to balance the treasury books, the easiest thing is just to slap taxes and levies, and all of that, but we are saying it’s extremely short-term thinking.’’

Nhleko is the founder of Worldwide African Investment Holdings, an investment holding company with interests in the petroleum, telecommunications, and IT industries.

He holds a BSc in civil engineering from Ohio State University and an MBA in finance from Atlanta University.

Nhleko is the director of Johnnic Holdings, Old Mutual SA, and Nedbank.

He was on the board of directors of the GSM Association (GSMA) for two years.