Seen as one of the most financially successful Black South Africans, Patrice Motsepe was born Patrice Tlhopane Motsepe on 28 January 1962 in Soweto, South Africa.
Emerging as the first black to join South African billionaires, Patrice Motsepe grew in a small business family. His father ran a small liquor store which was popular with black miners. It was here that Motsepe first came in contact with business as he helped his father in selling to customers.
It was in this job that he as well exposed him to miners and a little into their work as they came to his father’s store to buy drinks.
Patrice Motsepe had his education from a Roman Catholic boarding school in Eastern Cape Province. He as well got a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Swaziland as well as a law degree from the University of the Witwatersrand.
He is married to Precious Makgosi, with whom he has three children. Precious who is the head of the Patrice Motsepe house, is a Doctor by profession, who doubles as the chairman of Southern Africa’s leading Fashion Weeks Company, African Fashion International.
From 1988 he practiced with the Bowman Gilfillan law firm, and rose to a partner in 1994, making him the first black partner in the firm. He however later left the firm to try his hands on business in the new post apartheid South Africa.
The man who is one of the richest men in South Africa, started with a mining venture that cleaned gold dust from inside mine shafts, benefiting from the country’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE). His mine services company, Future Mining, began in 1994.
When prices of gold dropped in 1997, he acquired marginal gold mines from AngloGold, which was a larger mining company. In that year he established the African Rainbow Minerals (ARM). The company was listed in 2002 on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), making it the first black owned company to be so listed.
In 2002, he went into a deal with Anglo platinum which saw him joining platinum production. They were able to come up with a mine; Modikwa, which was the largest platinum-producing mine in South Africa.
In 2003 he merged with Harmony, after which the company acquired Anglovaal Mining (Avmin) to produce even more platinum. From then on to 2006, the company would expand beyond mining gold and other metal to include coal mining.
ARM had over 9,500 people employed under it, and returned a revenue of about $2 billion in 2010.
In 2003, he spread his tent into sports when he acquired 51 % shares of Mamelodi Sundowns association football club. In 2004, he took full control of the club. He also has stakes in a publicly traded financial service company in the country, Sanlam.
While there have been little talks about Patrice Motsepe cars and other luxury as he leads a very modest life, emphasis have been on his giving. The man has been involved in various philanthropist activities both within South Africa and beyond.
Motsepe has pledged to give half of his wealth to the poor. This made his family the first in Africa to join the giving pledge which was initiated by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to give half of the funds generated by their family assets to the poor. The foundation has given out over $50 million for projects and initiatives over three to five year period.
The foundation has as well contributed to health development, most especially in developing cure for HIV/AIDS. It also made contributions to cancer research, as well as protection of the environment.
During the Ebola crisis in some African countries, the foundation doled out in the fight against the deadly disease. It contributed $1 million each to the affected countries and to the African Union directly.
Through the Motsepe foundation bursary, he has funded over three hundred and fifty students in South Africa in 2014. The bursary which is provided to students in South Africa, is provided for students of academic excellence, as well as students from families in need. It as well provides funding for educational institutions.
Motsepe gave out 17 % state Modikwa Platinum to two non-profit organizations when he bought the mine in 2000.
Patrice Motsepe was awarded South Africa’s Business Leader of the Year in 2002. In the same year, he was awarded South Africa’s Best Entrepreneur. He was voted 39th greatest South Africans in SABC3’s Great South Africans, which had Nelson Mandela topping.
According to Forbes 2016, Motsepe is the 6th richest South African, with 1.4 billion dollar. He is the 22nd richest man in the African continent.