Patrice Motsepe is South Africa’s first black billionaire and has been on Forbes Annual Billionaire list for the last two years. He is the Executive Chairman of African Rainbow Minerals Ltd. ( ARM), a mining and minerals company, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is also 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. He is also president of Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club.
Mr. Motsepe began his business career at a very young age working for his father and selling liquor to mine workers at shop his father owned. “I must have been about eight when my dad said one day, We make so much money when you’re behind the counter you should take over the business when you grow up. But it was hard work, from 6am to 8pm. I soon realized I needed to choose a career that would keep me away from that shop! That’s how I came to decide when was only eight that I’d become a lawyer.” He went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from Swaziland University and a LLB from Wits University.
In 1994 he became the first black lawyer to make partner at the law firm of Bowman Gilfillan, where he specialized in mining and business law before deciding he could more. He eventually left the firm and started a contract mining operation called Future Mining which provided various services to Vaal Reefs gold mine, now part of AngloGold. Unable to secure a loan, he ran his business from a briefcase for the first eight months.
Mr.Motsepe formed African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) in 1997 and acquired a number of marginal shafts at Vaal Reefs in January 1998 on favorable financial terms, followed by the purchase of other marginal shafts owned by AngloGold in the Free State.
Today he’s the biggest single shareholder of the world’s fifth-largest gold mining company. His firm, African Rainbow Minerals, controls 19.8 per cent of Harmony. His family trust owns 43.1 per cent of ARM.