The South Africa Wealth Report by New World Wealth has rated the 10 greatest businessmen and women in South African history.
Photo: File
The South Africa Wealth Report by New World Wealth has rated the 10 greatest businessmen and women in South African history. Photo: File

Meet the 10 greatest business men and women in SA history

By Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published May 4, 2020

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DURBAN - The South Africa Wealth Report by New World Wealth has rated the 10 greatest businessmen and women in South African history.

The South Africa Wealth Report is the result of New World Wealth’s extensive research covering the wealth market in South Africa.

According to the report, the criteria for ratings include impact on South Africa and the world; innovation; pioneers in their field and jobs and wealth created.

Here is a look at the full list, in no particular order.

Richard Maponya

Despite the many obstacles of the Apartheid government, Richard Maponya became a beacon of hope to the people of Soweto, starting several successful business in the area (predominantly in the retail and property space). He recently helped to develop Maponya Mall, which is one of the top shopping centers in the country.

Richard Maponya. 
 Photo: File


Sol Kerzner

Sol Kerzner was the visionary behind the development of many of SA’s top luxury hotels & resorts, including: Sun City, the Lost City and the Beverley Hills Hotel.

Sol Kerzner. Photo: File


Nthato Motlana

Dr. Nthato Motlana is ‘the renaissance man’ of South Africa, with successful careers in politics, medicine and business. He was the founder of NAIL and a mentor to many of the top business leaders in South Africa today.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk has founded a number of innovative companies in the US over the past 20 years including PayPal, SolarCity, Tesla and SpaceX and he shows no signs of slowing down. He is perhaps the greatest innovator in SA history.

Elon Musk Photo: File


Koos Bekker

Koos Bekker co-founded M-Net and Supersport in the 1980s and turned Naspers into the largest media company on the African continent. Naspers’ investment in Tencent (now one of the 10 largest companies in the world by market cap) is arguably the best overseas investment made in SA corporate history.

Koos Bekker. Photo: File


Harry Oppenheimer

Harry Oppenheimer led South Africa’s two biggest companies (De Beers and Anglo America) through their most successful years and created more jobs than any other South African businessman in history.

Harry Oppenheimer. Photo: File


Patrice Motsepe

After a successful career as a lawyer at Bowman Gilfillan, Motsepe founded ARM (African Rainbow Minerals) in 1997 and turned it into one of the largest mining and mineral groups in the world. He has since diversified into a number of other key sectors.

Patrice Motsepe. Photo: File


Pam Golding

Pam Golding formed Pam Golding Properties in 1976 and turned it into the largest estate agency in the country. Her company has since gone onto transform the luxury residential landscape in South Africa, especially in Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard.

Pam Golding. Photo: File


Anton Rupert

Dr. Anton Rupert founded the Rembrandt Group in the 1940s. After initially focusing on the tobacco industry, his company soon moved into industrials and luxury goods. Rembrandt has since been split into Remgro (an investment company with financial, mining and industrial interests) and Richemont (a Swiss-based luxury goods group). His son Johann has since turned Richemont into one of the largest luxury goods companies in the world.

Donald Gordon

Donald Gordon founded Liberty Life in the 1950s and was instrumental in the development of Sandton City shopping center in the 1970s. The shopping center had a major impact on the rise of Sandton as the ‘richest square mile in Africa’ and created a model that was used for the development of future top-end shopping centers globally.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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