Patrice Motsepe Net Worth and The Story of How He Became The Richest Black South African

Patrice Motsepe grew up in the apartheid era but that never stopped him from pursuing his dream of becoming very successful in life. As such, he fared better than several other South African blacks of his generation. With a net worth of $3.1 billion, he is the richest black man in South Africa. Patrice Motsepe became the first black billionaire in Africa in 2008 when his net worth was estimated at $2.4 billion. His wealth later slumped but he was able to regain his billionaire status in 2012.

Motsepe started out as a lawyer before abandoning his law career to venture into the mining business, a decision that has proved pivotal to his success story today. Interestingly, the billionaire businessman has not only established himself in the mining sector but has spread his tentacles across other industries, including sport and financial services. Besides founding and serving as the chairman of African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), he has also invested his wealth in many other companies where he serves on the board and on a few occasions, acquires a majority stake and becomes a part-owner.

Now, let’s have a peek at how the mining magnate achieved his astounding estimated fortune.

How Much is Patrice Motsepe Worth?

For several years, the South African businessman has been ranked among the richest people in Africa. In 2019, he took the No. 8th spot on the Forbes Africa’s Billionaires List with a net worth of $2.3 billion. Patrice Motsepe also made the list in the following year with an estimated total wealth of $2.6 billion, occupying the 10th position this time even though his net worth increased by $300 million. As of April 2021, Motsepe is said to be worth $3.1 billion thanks to his thriving mining endeavors and other businesses.

It is noteworthy that his mining company, African Rainbow Minerals Limited, now has interests in a wide range of mines. They include iron, platinum, copper, platinum group metals (PGMs), coal, and gold. Having achieved such a jaw-dropping estimated fortune, Patrice Motsepe is the wealthiest black man in South Africa.

Factors That Contributed To The Businessman Becoming The Richest Black Man in South Africa

Having been known for his mining activities down the years that primarily account for his total wealth, Patrice Motsepe has also boosted his earnings and net worth through other investments. One of the companies where he serves as a stakeholder is Sanlam. It is the largest insurance company in Africa and has been listed on many stock exchanges, including the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Namibian Stock Exchange, and A2X. Below are the viable means through which he has augmented his net worth in the past years.

A Successful Mining Career

The Pretoria-born entrepreneur established a mining company, Future Mining, in 1994 when Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa and promoted black empowerment and entrepreneurship by introducing the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) laws. It stated that for a business entity to be considered for a mining license, it must have at least 26 percent black ownership. This helped position Patrice Motsepe’s company for greater mining exploits in the South African mining industry, which in turn enabled him to build his net worth.

He first ran the company by providing contract mining services. During that time, his company got associated with the Vaal Reefs Gold Mine and was cleaning gold dust from inside mine shafts. Later in 1997, when the prices for gold were low, he expanded the company by purchasing marginal gold mines from AngloGold. This deal got him with six gold mine shafts for a sum of $8.2 million. Motsepe made the purchase under favorable finance terms that allowed him to repay the debts from the future earnings of the company which changed its name to ARMGold in 1997.

In the year 2002, ARMGold got listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. In the next year, it emerged as the fifth largest gold producing company in the world when it merged with Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd, the world’s 12th largest gold mining company. Thus, the new company, African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) had a market cap of $2.8 billion at the time and was producing 4.1 million ounces of gold per year. It subsequently entered another merger with Anglovaal Mining (Avmin) and became the biggest group controlled by black entrepreneurs in the country. The company also became the first black-owned mining company in South Africa.

After joining the International Council on Mining and Metals in 2009, ARM partnered with Brazilian multinational corporation Vale in the next year to establish a copper mine in Zambia. The company also planned to invest about $1.12 billion in mining activities in Zimbabwe in 2009. It owns a 50 percent stake in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Mining Joint Venture (MMJV), as well as a 20 percent stake in Harmony Gold.

In July 2007, African Rainbow Minerals partnered with Xstrata to establish the Goedgevonden coal mine that has a production capacity of 3.1 million tonnes of coal annually. In 2017, ARM generated R9.6 billion in revenue with a net income of R1.432 billion and an operating income of R3.475 billion. No wonder, Patrice Motsepe’s net worth has been on the rise in recent years. The company was rated the best-employing company in South Africa in August 2011. It has 24,016 employees which also consist of the company’s contractors.

Establishment of Private Equity Firms

In addition to stepping up his net worth with his mining company activities, Patrick Motsepe has expanded his income sources by establishing an investment holding company, Ubuntu-Botho Investments Pty Ltd. The company, which came about in the year 2004, is fully black-owned and controlled. Its board members include Patrice Tlhopane Motsepe and Rejoice Vakashile Simelane. While UBI provides investment management services, it also aims to build a black-controlled capital.

After one year of its establishment, UBI had a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) deal with Sanlam, an insurance and financial services company. As a result, the company became a UBI BEE partner. After the terms of the deal elapsed in 2014 when Ubuntu-Botho Investments cleared its debt, it purchased a 14 percent stake in Sanlam valued at R20 billion. This shareholding in Sanlam got UBI entitled to an 18.1 percent voting stake in the company. Thus, UBI serves as the largest shareholder of Sanlam, emerging as the company’s empowerment partner.

In 2015, a wholly subsidiary of the Ubuntu-Botho Investments called African Rainbow Capital was founded. The private equity firm focuses on opportunities in the South African and African financial services, acquiring a shareholding in business ventures that deliver good returns on equity. It also focuses on diversified investments (non-financial) industries. It currently has holdings in over forty companies. They include telecommunication company Rain; industrial group Afrimat; luxury property estate Val de Vie; agricultural company BKB; and TymeBank.

More so, African Rainbow Capital has a minority stake in the pension fund administrator, Alexander Forbes Group Holdings, headquartered in Johannesburg with branches in African countries such as Nigeria, Zambia, and Botswana. As of 2019, Patrick Motsepe owns a 55 percent stake in UBI.

Ownership of a Premier Soccer League Franchise

Taking dominance in South Africa’s football world, Patrice Motsepe serves as the president and owner of the South African professional football franchise, Mamelodi Sundowns F.C. The club is based in Mamelodi, Pretoria located in the Gauteng province and plays soccer in the first tier of the football league system in South Africa called the Premier Soccer League. Nicknamed “The Brazilians”, Sundowns have had an outstanding run in the league, thus, they are presently the most successful football club in South Africa.

Since Premier Soccer League was launched in 1996, Patrice Motsepe’s football club has carried the league cup a record ten times. In the year 2016, the team won the CAF Champions League and equally took home the 2016 CAF Club of the Year Award. Other of Mamelodi Sundowns’ groundbreaking records include winning the Nedbank Cup four times and the National Football League Championships thrice. They are the first football team in South Africa to compete in the FIFA Club World Cup. The team finished 6th in the competition.

Sundowns’ incredible achievements also include them becoming the first South African club to finish a group stage in the CAF Champions League unbeaten. The club achieved such a feat in the 2019/2020 season with a record of 4-2-0.

Patrice Motsepe
Patrice Motsepe with Sundowns team (Image Source)

In November 2020, the dexterous entrepreneur publicized his intention to contend for the seat of Confederation of African Football’s president. He moved on to outshine other candidates, winning the election in March 2021. He is currently the 8th president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

In addition to owning Mamelodi Sundowns, Motsepe became a major shareholder of Blue Bulls Co. in November 2019, as he purchased a 37 percent stake in the sports company. Other major shareholders of the company include Remgro Limited, an investment holding company that owns a 37 percent stake, and Blue Bulls Rugby Union which has a 26 percent stake.

The Billionaire Serves on The Board of Many Companies

For several years, the South African mining tycoon has been associated with many organizations where he serves as a board member. Presently, he is the interim chairman of the Black Business Council. He also serves as one of the founding members and former president of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) – the most influential business advocacy and lobby group in South Africa. He became the chairman of Teal Exploration and Mining Incorporated in the year 2005. More so, the savvy entrepreneur is among the board of trustees of the World Economic Forum and a member of the Harvard Advisory Council, as well as the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM).

Motsepe is the founder of African Rainbow Energy and Power (AREP) and ARM Consortium Limited. In addition to serving as the deputy chairman of Sanlam Ltd, he also serves as the non-executive chairman of Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd.

All The Companies He Has Been Associated With and His Roles in Them

  • African Rainbow Minerals Limited – Founder and Executive Chairman
  • Harmony Gold Mining Company Ltd – Shareholder and Non-executive Chairman
  • Sanlam Ltd – Shareholder, Non-executive Director, and Deputy Chairman
  • Mamelodi Sundowns – Owner and President
  • Blue Bulls Co. – Shareholder
  • Absa Group Limited – Non-executive Director
  • African Rainbow Energy and Power (AREP) – Founder
  • ARM Consortium Limited – Founder and Co-owner
  • African Rainbow Capital – Founder
  • International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) – Board Member
  • Ubuntu-Botho Investments – Founder and Chairman
  • Black Business Council – Interim Chairman
  • Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) – Founding Member and Former President
  • Confederation of African Football (CAF) – President

Patrice Motsepe First Worked as a Lawyer Before Turning to a Businessman

After obtaining a Law degree from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, Motsepe who has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law from the University of Swaziland kicked off his law career. He joined the law firm of Bowman Gilfillan in 1988. While there, he got a part-time gig at the McGuire, Woods, Battle & Booth law firm, working as a visiting attorney from 1991 to 1992. In the year 1993, he became a partner at Bowman Gilfillan, emerging as the law firm’s first black partner.

With Bowman Gilfillan’s law firm going through a restructuring phase in the new post-apartheid environment, Patrice left the firm. He then decided to apply his business acumen to the mining trade, having specialized in mining and business law while at the University of Witwatersrand. Patrice Motsepe started with the mining services contracting business before expanding his ventures, building an empire in the process which accounts for the exponential growth in his net worth in the past years.

List of Schools Attended By Motsepe

  • Roman Catholic Boarding School in Eastern Cape Province (High school education).
  • The University of Swaziland (graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law)
  • The University of Witwatersrand (earned a Law degree, majoring in Mining and Business Law).

A Look at His Background Details

The eminent entrepreneur is of Tswana descent and the son of Chief Augustine Butana Chaane Motsepe. His father initially worked as a school teacher before opening a spaza shop where he sold small everyday household items, turning to a businessman. His shop was famous with black mineworkers and this gave Patrice Motsepe first-hand exposure to mining from his father’s customers. While helping out his dad in the shop, he learned the basic principles of business which he has applied in his own businesses.

Motsepe has two sisters; Tshepo Motsepe and Bridgette Radebe who like their brother, are quite famous in South Africa. Tshepo is the wife of South African businessman and politician Cyril Ramaphosa. She is a graduate of the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Harvard School of Public Health. She works as a physician and businesswoman. Tshepo is the former deputy director of The Reproductive Health Research Institute and serves as the chairperson of the African Self Help Trust (ASHA Trust).

Bridgette Radebe, on the other hand, is the wife of Jeff Radebe, a South African Minister and president of the country’s Mining Development Association. An intelligent businesswoman, Bridgette is one of the first black female mine owners/operators in Africa.

Motsepe Has Garnered Multiple Accolades

One of the world’s richest black people, Patrice Motsepe is a recipient of multiple awards and honors. This is not surprising as he has achieved a successful business career. Below is a list of his recognitions;

  • South Africa’s Best Entrepreneur Award, 2002.
  • The Black Management Forum (BMF) Presidential Award for Business Excellence, 2010.
  • Outstanding Leadership Award from the BRICS Business Council, 2014.
  • Sunday Times Lifetime Achiever Award, 2017.
  • In 2004, the businessman took the 39th spot on the List of Great South Africans by the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
  • He was ranked by Forbes in 2019 as the 962nd richest person on the planet on their list of The World’s Billionaires.
  • Patrice Motsepe was selected as one of the Forbes 100 Greatest Business Minds of The Past One Hundred Years in 2017.
Chioma Uchenwoke
Chioma Uchenwoke
Apart from content writing in the area of entertainment, personal finance and celebrity net worth, Chioma’s main interests are movies, football, music and books. She has been writing professionally for about 2 years in these fields


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