The past three decades have seen a remarkable rise of Afrikaners in business. In light of the government’s comprehensive black economic empowerment programme this has been one of the unexpected features of the South African economy.
A handful of Afrikaners have risen to the very top of the business world in South Africa in the past three decades, some of them now dollar billionaires with vast global business interests.
With Koos Bekker at its helm, media group Naspers grew to dominate the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and was transformed into a global consumer internet group. Johann Rupert boldly extended Richemont’s share in the upper-end market of luxury goods, while Christo Wiese and Whitey Basson at Pepkor and Shoprite became Africa’s largest clothing and food retailers.
Based predominantly on personal interviews, Fortunes reveals why individuals such as Jannie Mouton, Michiel le Roux, Douw Steyn, Johan van Zyl, GT Ferreira, Hendrik du Toit, and several commercial farmers, turn whatever they touch to gold. Work ethic, astute alliances and an appetite for risk have catapulted them to great heights.
The rise of the Afrikaner super-rich has coincided with the government’s black economic empowerment programme, making it one of the unexpected features of the South African economy today.
Fortunes is an unrivalled work that explains who these tycoons are, how they built their empires and how the sensational collapse of Steinhoff International, led by Markus Jooste, almost destroyed some of their fortunes. The book boldly interrogates their spirit of enterprise, faults and follies, but also their vast philanthropic contributions to the country.