That’s according to the country’s latest wealth report‚ released in part on Wednesday by wealth intelligence company New World Wealth.
The report rated the top 10 business moguls in the history of South Africa‚ with the hotel tycoon topping the list and estate agency founder Pam Golding featuring as the only woman on the list.
Others include Liberty Life and Sandton City founder Donald Gordon‚ property mogul Richard Maponya‚ Discovery’s Adrian Gore‚ De Beers and Anglo American chair Harry Oppenheimer‚ prominent businessman and physician Nthato Motlana‚ mining boss Patrice Motsepe‚ Rembrandt group’s Anton Rupert and insurance tycoon Douw Steyn.
Wealth analyst Andrew Amoils said criteria for the ratings included impact on South Africa and the world‚ innovation‚ job creation and the ability to overcome obstacles.
Kerzner‚ 82‚ who almost single-handedly put South Africa on the tourist map with his Sun City development and other local and international resorts‚ recently returned to the country to help his daughter Andrea develop a luxury housing estate in Cape Town.
According to the report‚ “Kerzner’s impact on South Africa has been massive.
“Most of the top luxury hotels and resorts in the country were built by him.”
Some notables included Sun City‚ the Lost City‚ Sandton Sun and the Beverley Hills Hotel.
“What is interesting about these hotels is not so much their success‚ but rather the impact they have had on the surrounding areas.
“For instance‚ when the Beverley Hills Hotel was built in 1964‚ Umhlanga was a tiny resort town that most people had never heard of. However‚ the hotel’s success drew large numbers of wealthy people to the area and Umhlanga eventually became the main holiday spot for rich Joburgers in the 1970s‚ 1980s and 1990s.
“The Beacon Island in Plettenberg Bay is a similar story‚” said the report.
Of Pam Golding‚ Amoils said her company Pam Golding Properties‚ formed in 1976‚ had morphed into the largest estate agency in South Africa.
“Her company has since gone on to transform the luxury residential landscape in South Africa‚ especially Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard.”
Patrice Motsepe made the list because of the success of his African Rainbow Minerals in 1997‚ which he turned into one of the largest mining and mineral groups in the world.