Being a mining magnate is a huge accomplishment by any measure. For Patrice Motsepe the rise to the top was extraordinary. As a mining magnate he is also South Africa’s first and only black billionaire and he still has more productive years ahead being still in his early 50s.
He did not come from some royal South African family. Patrice was born in the huge black township of Soweto. With a good head he became a lawyer. Then Patrice became the first black partner at the Bowman Gilfillan law firm in Johannesburg. He interest wasn’t just into law practice though.
There are the South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) laws, which mandate that companies be at least 26 percent black-owned in order to get a government mining license. Patrice was astute enough to take full advantage of this law. He first began with a contracting business doing mine scut work.
In 1994 he bought low-producing gold mine shafts and made them profitable using a lean management style. He now owns publicly traded mining conglomerate, African Rainbow Minerals. This firm has interest in nickel, gold, copper, manganese, coal, chrome, and platinum.
Patrice also has shares in Sanlam, a publicly traded financial services company located outside of Cape Town. He is the owner and president of the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club as well.
With ambition and drive anyone can make great accomplishments as Patrice has proven with his own success story.