The 10 greatest business men and women in South African history

New World Wealth has rated Patrice Motsepe and Sol Kerzner among SA's top 10 business people.

New World Wealth has rated the 10 greatest business men and women in South African history as a follow up to its recently released ‘South Africa Wealth Report’. 

Read more: Covid-19 impact on wealth and employment crucial according to SA Wealth Report 2020 

The criteria for the ratings include the impact of the person on South Africa and the world, their innovation, whether they are pioneers in their field and the jobs and wealth they have created. 

The list, in no particular order, is: 

Richard Maponya

Richard Maponya started several successful businesses in Soweto (predominantly in the retail and property space) despite the obstacles of the Apartheid government at the time. He recently helped to develop Maponya Mall, which is one of the top shopping centres in the country. 

Sol Kerzner

Sol Kerzner was the visionary behind the development of many of South Africa’s top luxury hotels and resorts, including Sun City, the Lost City and the Beverley Hills Hotel

Nthato Motlana

Dr. Nthato Motlana has had successful careers in politics, medicine and business. He was the founder of NAIL and a mentor to many of the top business leaders in South Africa today. 

Elon Musk

Elon Musk founded a number of innovative companies in the United States over the past 20 years, including PayPal, SolarCity, Tesla and SpaceX

Koos Bekker

Koos Bekker is the co-founder of M-Net and Supersport and turned Naspers into the largest media company in Africa. 

Harry Oppenheimer

Harry Oppenheimer led De Beers and Anglo America through their most successful years and created more jobs than any other South African businessman in history. 

Patrice Motsepe

Patrice Motsepe (pictured) founded African Rainbow Minerals in 1997 and turned it into one of the largest mining and mineral groups in the world. 

Pam Golding

Pam Golding founded Pam Golding Properties in 1976 and turned it into the largest estate agency in South Africa. The company has since gone onto transform the luxury residential landscape in South Africa, especially in Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard.

Anton Rupert

Anton Rupert founded the Rembrandt Group in the 1940s. The company has since been split into Remgro, an investment company with financial, mining and industrial interests, and Richemont, a Swiss-based luxury goods group. 

Donald Gordon

Donald Gordon founded Liberty Life in the 1950s and was instrumental in the development of Sandton City shopping centre in the 1970s. The shopping centre has a major impact on the rise of Sandton as the ‘richest square mile in Africa’ and created a model that was used for the development of future top-end shopping centres globally.