Patrice Motsepe is a man who quite literally struck gold.
In 1997, when the gold market was close to its lowest in the last three decades, he started buying gold mines at favorable prices and later founded the first South African black-owned mining company, African Rainbow Minerals.
Crucial to his fortunes were also the black economic empowerment (BEE) policies that the country implemented upon its transition to a democracy from apartheid — the BEE laws required businesses to have a minimum 26% black ownership before a mining license would be granted — yet some criticism lingers on whether the benefits have been distributed fairly.
patrice-motsepe-south africa wealthy billionaire
Nevertheless, Motsepe is now a mining magnate, with a net worth of $2.2 billion, with investments and managerial positions that stretch across several companies.
To give back to his fellow South Africans, he created theMotsepe Foundation, who uses his wealth to educate, support and help people in need, with the ultimate goal of rendering them self-sustaining and independent.
A lawyer by education, he was named South Africa’s Best Entrepreneur in 2002.
Here are seven key facts about his life:
1.) His name, Patrice, is a homage to Patrice Lumumba, the first elected Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo — Lumumba played a crucial role in the country’s path to independence from Belgium, and was executed in 1961 following a coup that deposed his government.