Home Blog 8 Things You Didn’t Know About South Africa’s First Black Billionaire, Patrice Motsepe

8 Things You Didn’t Know About South Africa’s First Black Billionaire, Patrice Motsepe


He’s also considered by many as one of the most successful black businessmen to come out of apartheid-era South Africa. His path was trying, and took some unexpected turns, but today his company does a tremendous amount of good for the South African economy.

Patrice Motsepe is the founder and CEO of African Rainbow Mining, a company that mines for copper, gold, nickel, iron and several other minerals. He feels a huge sense responsibility to South Africans. Here are 8 things you didn’t know about South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe.

Africanleadership.co.uk/Patrice Motsepe

Africanleadership.co.uk/Patrice Motsepe


He was South Africa’s first black billionaire

Patrice Motsepe became the first black South African billionaire in 2009. His net worth has dropped significantly since then due to a drop in the stock market price of African Rainbow Minerals, but he is still a billionaire with a net worth of $1.4 billion, according to Forbes.com. A man of many firsts, Motsepe also opened the first black-owned mining company in South Africa.

Sportzwrap.com/Mamelodi Sundowns football team

Sportzwrap.com/Mamelodi Sundowns football team

He’s a football entrepreneur

In 2003 Motsepe purchased 51 percent of shares in the Mamelodi Sundowns. A year later, Motsepe bought all of the shares of the club, becoming the sole owner. Motsepe is involved in the policies and strategies of the team, and has been criticized for paying players “more than the market can take,” says News24.com.

Mg.co.za/Patrice Motsepe's charity foundation

Mg.co.za/Patrice Motsepe’s charity foundation


He donated half of his money

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are behind the massive charity initiative, Giving Pledge, which encourages billionaires to give half their net worth to charity. The movement has already recruited over 100 billionaires, according to Venturesafrica.com. Motsepe is one of them. Motsepe’s contribution will go towards funding health and education. He has a huge responsibility to South Africans who are less fortunate, Motsepe said in an interview.

Mineweb.com/Patrice Motsepe

Mineweb.com/Patrice Motsepe

He grew up in the apartheid era

Motsepe grew up in Soweto. His father was vocally anti apartheid —something that got him temporarily banished from Soweto. Opposed to the segregated school system in Soweto, he sent Motsepe and his six siblings to a Roman Catholic boarding school in the Eastern Cape, says Britannica.com.




His education

Motsepe earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Swaziland and a law degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. But Motsepe began to learn about mining long before attending university. As a teen, Motsepe worked in his father’s beer hall where he got to know the miners who would spend their extra money there, according to Britannica.com.

University of the Witwatersrand, Celebrating Wits' 90th anniversary, 2012. witsdfo.wordpress.com

Celebrating Wits’ 90th anniversary, 2012. witsdfo.wordpress.com

His struggle to attend schools

The boarding school that Motsepe’s father sent him and his siblings to was designated for mixed black students. Even though Motsepe’s great-grandparents are Scottish, his father still had to pull a lot of strings to get the school to admit his children. Later, Motsepe would have to apply for an exemption to attend the then-whites-only University of Witwatersrand, according to Forbes.com.

Mgafrica.com/Patrice Motsepe

Mgafrica.com/Patrice Motsepe

He is royalty

Motsepe’s family had a lot of power in Soweto. They have royal lineage to a clan from the Tswana tribe, and Motsepe is a prince, according to Businessleaders.

Opulentliving.co.za/Patrice Motsepe and his wife

Opulentliving.co.za/Patrice Motsepe and his wife

He leads a modest life

While Motsepe’s three sons attend private schools, the billionaire only has one home. Motsepe learned from his father at a young age to direct his profits back into his business. His only personal indulgence was the purchase of the Sundowns football team, according to

Source: AFK Insider

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