Meet Patrice Motsepe – The Mining Genius

Patrice Motsepe (6)

Patrice Motsepe is one of the richest men in Africa and in the world. He’s also the first black billionaire in South Africa. Patrice Motsepe owns African Rainbow minerals. This company deals in gold, platinum, ferrous metals, and base metals. He also participates as a board member on a number of companies in South Africa. Examples of these companies include Harmony Gold and Sanlam. Patrice Motsepe was once named as the richest man in South Africa in 2012. Among other achievements, he also owns Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club. Together with his wife, Dr. Precious Moloi, they are the first Africans to join Bill Gate’s Giving Pledge. This is where the richest people in the world pledge to give half of their wealth to charity.

Early life and Education of Patrice Motsepe

Patrice Motsepe gained some experience in business and mining from his father, Augustine Motsepe. Augustine Motsepe was a teacher and a small businessman. He ran a shop for daily household items, (Spaza shop) near one mine. Many black miners loved his shop.

To add on this basic exposure, Patrice Motsepe studied mining and business law. He has studied at the University of Swaziland, and the University of the Witwatersrand.


He was the first black man to join the Bowman Gilfillan law firm. This is thanks to Nelson Mandela’s tenure that eradicated racism. Mandela’s tenure also enhanced black empowerment, enabling Patrice to venture into the mining business. Motsepe started Future mining. This company offered mining services on contract for Vaal Reefs Gold Mine. These services included cleaning the gold dust in the mines. His company used a unique employee remuneration system. It offered relatively low base salary. Then, the employees would receive a bonus through profit-sharing.

A Mining Empire is born

1997 was not a good year for gold traders. Some companies had to sell their gold mines. Patrice seized this opportunity and purchased 6 gold mines from AngloGold. He was to pay for these gold mine shafts through the earnings he would earn from them. He later renamed the company to Africa Rainbow Minerals.

Patrice Motsepe continued purchasing other operating mines through his company. These companies are the reason he rose to become the richest man in South Africa. Africa Rainbow Minerals was listed in the JSE Security exchange in 2002. In that same year, it merged with Harmony Gold to form ARMgold. Patrice Motsepe is now the chairman of a number of companies including;

  • Ubuntu-botho Investments
  • Harmony Gold Mining Ltd.
  • Sanlam
  • Motsepe is also the president of South Africa’s chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Patrice spends most of his wealth investing in his companies as well as investing in other companies. He has invested in;

  • Insurance and finance services companies
  • Agricultural Companies
  • Telecommunications
  • Banking
  • Manufacturing
  • Real estate.


Patrice Motsepe also has an interest in sports. He owns Mamelodi Sundowns FC., a team in South Africa’s premier league. He also has a stake in South Africa’s rugby team, Blue Bulls.


Motsepe was crowned as the best entrepreneur in 2002. He has also appeared 39th in SABC3’s Great South Africans. Patrice is currently the 3rd richest man in the world. He is also the 962nd richest man in the world.

Bottom Line

Unlike Aliko Dangote, who came from a rich family. Patrice Motsepe was raised by a schoolteacher, who later became a businessman. He was exposed to basic business principles and mining at an early age. Motsepe studied mining and business law in the university. He is married to a fashion entrepreneur and physician, Dr. Precious Moloi. He started his own mining company in the early 1990s. This was a time when the South Africa’s Government was promoting black empowerment. His company, Africa Rainbow Mining is the main source of his wealth. Currently, he has invested in businesses across many sectors. These include banking, telecommunication, agriculture, and real estate. Patrice Motsepe also owns Mamelodi Sundowns FC and has a stake in the Blue Bulls rugby team.


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