Famous South African Business People

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 1 
David Bale
(Entrepreneur)
David Bale
3
Birthdate: September 2, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: South Africa
Died: December 30, 2003

David Bale was an English entrepreneur and animal rights activist. He worked closely with The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, which aims at protecting endangered mountain gorillas, and served as one of its board members. Apart from his work as an activist for animal rights and environmental causes, David Bale is also known as the father of actor Christian Bale.

 2 
Johann Rupert
(South African Businessman)
Johann Rupert
3
Birthdate: June 1, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Stellenbosch, South Africa

Johann Rupert is a South African-born businessman best known as the son of famous business magnate Anton Rupert. Johann is currently serving as the chairman of a luxury goods company called Richemont. In 2019, he was named the second-wealthiest person in South Africa when he was featured in Forbes magazine's The World's Billionaires list.

 3 
Mark Shuttleworth
(Entrepreneur, Astronaut, Engineer, Inventor, Scientist, Blogger, Businessperson, Computer scientist)
Mark Shuttleworth
3
Birthdate: September 18, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Welkom

Mark Shuttleworth is a South African-British entrepreneur. He is credited with founding Canonical, the company that developed the popular Linux-based Ubuntu operating system. Mark Shuttleworth became the first African from an independent country and the first South African to travel to space; he traveled as a space tourist in 2002.

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 4 
Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden
(Businessperson)
Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden
0
Birthdate: 1908 AD
Birthplace: Hadhramaut, South Arabia
Died: September 3, 1967

Known widely as the father of Osama bin Laden, Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was a Saudi business tycoon. He established the Jeddah-headquartered construction conglomerate Saudi Binladin Group and earned contracts from the Saudi royal family. He was also one of the richest non-royal Saudi and had 22 wives.

 5 
Nicky Oppenheimer
(South African Businessperson and Banker)
Nicky Oppenheimer
3
Birthdate: June 8, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: South Africa

South African diamond magnate Nicky Oppenheimer is the heir to the De Beers fortune and Africa’s third-richest man. He also helms a chartered flight company and owns over 700 sq. km. conservation land in Africa. He also launched the Brenthurst Foundation with his son, to encourage sustainable development in African nations.

 6 
Sol Kerzner
(Businessperson)
Sol Kerzner
2
Birthdate: August 23, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Troyeville

South African business tycoon Sol Kerzner established two of his country’s top hotel groups, Southern Sun Hotels and Sun International. His portfolio included lavish resorts in the Bahamas and Dubai. Born to vegetable sellers, he had initially wished to be a mechanic. He was also an avid boxer, with a volatile temper.

 7 
Arlene Dickinson
(Entrepreneur)
Arlene Dickinson
3
Birthdate: October 8, 1956
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Germiston

Apart from being a successful Canadian businesswoman, Arlene Dickinson has also gained fame for her appearance on the business reality show Dragons' Den. The Venture Communications CEO was born in South Africa but later moved to Canada with her family. The Calgary-based entrepreneur was also named one of Canada's Most Powerful Women.

 8 
Tokyo Sexwale
(South African Businessman, Politician and Anti-Apartheid Activist)
Tokyo Sexwale
3
Birthdate: March 5, 1953
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Soweto, South Africa

Tokyo Sexwale is a South African anti-apartheid activist, politician, businessman, and former political prisoner. He was imprisoned alongside personalities like Nelson Mandela for his anti-apartheid activities. Over the years, he has received several awards and honours, including honorary doctorates from various universities. In 2004, he was named in the Top 100 Great South Africans list.

 9 
Ivan Glasenberg
(Business executive known as former CEO of Glencore)
Ivan Glasenberg
2
Birthdate: January 7, 1957
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa

While Ivan Glasenberg initially excelled in sports and even went on to become a national race-walking champion for South Africa and Israel, he later earned a business degree and began trading coal in Australia, becoming Australia’s fifth-richest man in 2015. He then took over as the CEO of Glencore and moved to Switzerland.

 10 
Ernest Oppenheimer
(Diamond and Gold Mining Entrepreneur Who Controlled the 'De Beers' Group)
Ernest Oppenheimer
2
Birthdate: May 22, 1880
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Friedberg, Germany
Died: November 25, 1957

Born to a cigar merchant in Germany, Ernest Oppenheimer went to South Africa as a representative of a diamond brokerage company and ended up becoming the mayor of Kimberley. He later established himself as a leading financier, who chaired De Beers and co-founded the Anglo American Corporation.

 11 
Anton Rupert
(Entrepreneur)
Anton Rupert
2
Birthdate: October 4, 1916
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Graaff-Reinet
Died: January 18, 2006

While Anton Rupert had initially joined medical school, he later switched to chemistry, due to lack of funds. The founder of the tobacco conglomerate Rembrandt Group, he also had a pivotal role in the non-profit Small Business Development Corporation. A conservationist, too, he was a co-founder of the World Wildlife Fund.

 12 
Ivan Semwanga
(Socialite)
Ivan Semwanga
1
Birthdate: September 15, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tabora, Tanzania
Died: May 25, 2017

Born in Uganda, Ivan Semwanga turned into a wealthy socialite after moving to South Africa, where he helped the affluent as a ritualist. He established several branches of the Brooklyn College in South Africa and was also a prominent philanthropist. He was also known as the God-father of the rich gang.

 13 
Bridgette Radebe
(Businessperson known for being one of Africa's first black female mine owner/operators)
Bridgette Radebe
0
Birthdate: February 26, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: South Africa
 14 
Craig Tiley
(South African Tennis Executive and Retired College Tennis Coach)
Craig Tiley
1
Birthdate: 1962 AD
Birthplace: Durban, South Africa

The CEO of Tennis Australia, Craig Tiley has previously been a professional tennis player and high-level university coach. He broke a 100-year-old record for the most back-to-back wins while coaching at the University of Illinois. He has also been a captain of the South African Davis Cup team.

 15 
Hazel Crane
(Socialite)
Hazel Crane
1
Birthdate: 1951 AD
Birthplace: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Died: November 10, 2003

A well-known South African socialite and businesswoman, Hazel Crane once smuggled diamonds and worked at a strip club. She had also been a nurse. She was gunned down while traveling in her car to testify against Israeli mafia boss Lior Saat. Her interesting life later became public through her post-humous memoir.

 16 
Mzi Khumalo
(Entrepreneur)
Mzi Khumalo
1
Birthdate: November 4, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Durban, South Africa

One of South Africa’s best-known businessmen, mining magnate Mzi Khumalo grew up selling oil cans and fuel after his father’s death. He later established the Zimbabwean gold-manufacturing company Metallon Corporation, which grew to become the country’s largest gold-producing company. He is also a WWF trustee member.

 17 
Candice Pool
(Jewelry Designer, Entrepreneur)
Candice Pool
0
Birthdate: October 19, 1977
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cape Town, South Africa

Jewelry designer Candice Pool is also American YouTuber Casey Neistat’s wife. While they had initially eloped and married, their first marriage ended in an annulment after a month. They got married again 7 years later. Candice is known for her historically symbolic jewelry brand Finn Jewelry and the lifestyle brand Love Billy.