Forbes Magazine says Soweto-born Patrice Motsepe, 49, is South Africa’s first and only Black billionaire. A beneficiary of the country’s BEE laws (Black Economic Empowerment) which mandates that companies be at least 25% Black-owned in order to obtain a government mining license, Motsepe, a lawyer by profession, (in 1994 he became the first Black partner at Bowman Gilfrillan in Johannesburg), bought low-producing gold mine shafts in 1997. He then built a mining conglomerate named African Rainbow Materials (ARM) with interests in platinum, nickel, chrome, manganese, gold and coal. He is the 3rd richest person in South Africa with an estimated net worth this year of $3.3 billion.
His company ARM, based in Johannesburg, controls 19.8 percent of Harmony Gold Mining Company and his family trust owns 43.1 percent of ARM, valued at approximately $1 billion. Harmony Gold Mining Company specializes in buying mature gold mines with lagging production and turning them into low-cost high-productivity mines. With approximately 50, 718 employees, it became South Africa’s largest gold miner after acquiring ARMgold in 2003 and is the 6th largest in the world.
Today Motsepe is the Executive Chairman of ARM, the Chairman of Harmony and the Deputy Chairman of Sanlam. His various business responsibilities include being President of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), which is the voice of organized business in South Africa, and he’s also president of Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club.
Patrice Motsepe is married to Dr. Precious Makgosi and they have three sons.