BUSINESS UPDATE: Cyril Ramaphosa, SA's new leader

Published Feb 15, 2018


CAPE TOWN - Take a look at the business interest of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and some of his business interests may surprise you.  

Ramaphosa is one of South Africa’s richest men and Forbes estimates his wealth at $675 million (R8bn).


1. Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, a South African politician, businessman, activist, and trade union leader, has served as the Deputy President under President Jacob Zuma since 2014.

2. He was born in Soweto, Johannesburg, on November 17, 1952.

3. The business magnate studied law at the University of the North (Turfloop) in 1972.

4. Ramaphosa has received honorary doctorates from the University of Natal, the University of Port Elizabeth, the University of Cape Town, the University of the North, the National University of Lesotho, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Pennsylvania.

5. Ramaphosa is currently married to Tshepo Motsepe, the sister of billionaire and mining magnate Patrice Motsepe. 

6. He was elected general secretary of NUM (National Union of Mineworkers) in South Africa in 1982 was a major shareholder and a director at Lonmin. He became prominent in extra-parliamentary politics at thirties through his work in NUM and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). He was later elected secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1991.

7. He chaired the Black Economic Empowerment Commission, which helped establish South Africa’s broad-based empowerment policies. He established the Shanduka Group in 2002, which he built into a leading black-owned and -managed diversified investment holding company. As a result of his appointment as Deputy President in 2014, Ramaphosa divested his stake in Shanduka. He sold his 30% shares in 2015.

8. Ramaphosa is the chairperson of the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation (formerly Shanduka Foundation) which does critical work in education, skills development, and enterprise development. Through its programmes, the Foundation has adopted over 600 schools and assisted almost 800 000 learners, provided comprehensive bursaries to over 100 university students, and provided incubation support to over 900 black-owned small businesses that have created 10,000 jobs.

9. He was the joint non-executive chairman of Mondi plc and non-executive chairman of MTN Group Limited and SASRIA Limited. Ramaphosa was also the Non-executive director of SAB Miller plc, Lonmin plc, Macsteel Global BV, Alexander Forbes Equity Holdings Limited and The Standard Bank Group Limited. But left the companies when he chose to become Deputy President.

10. Ramaphosa has been reported to have been involved in the story of Sam Molope,  a self-made millionaire who was the first Black man to own a bakery in 1978. He was involved in a bitter civil claim with Ramaphosa, who became the head of Molope Groups and subsequently sold the Group, according to Black opinion.

11. In 2011, Cyril bought the McDonald’s food chain in South Africa and announced in 2016 that he sold it to MSA Holdings, a company based in the Emirates.

12. He was elected as President of the African National Congress at the ANC National Conference in Nasrec, in December 2017. 

13. Following the resignation of Zuma on the 14th of February, Ramaphosa is his capacity as the Deputy President became the acting president of South Africa. He will be sworn in as President at 2pm today. 


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