Atul Gupta is SA’s richest black businessman

Atul Gupta. Picture: Gallo Images

Atul Gupta. Picture: Gallo Images

A prominent member of the Gupta family has come in at number 7 on the Sunday Times richest list, becoming SA’s richest black businessman.

R10 billion.

That is the amount Atul Gupta is worth. According to the Sunday Times, his assests have placed him in the top 10 richest people in South Africa, even trumping mining mogul Patrice Motsepe who missed the top 10 and ranked 11th.

Atul and his brothers Tony and Rajesh are the heads of the powerful and influential Gupta family who have netted hundreds of millions in government tenders through state companies such as Eskom and Transnet.

It is clear that under Zuma’s watch, black ownership of the economy is shrinking and the entire BEE project has regressed

They have diversified their business interests into mining through the acquisition of JIC Mining Services, Shiva Uranium and Tegeta Exploration and Resources, Optimum Coal Mine and Koornfontein Coal Mine.

Their company Oakbay, serves as a holding company which also owns Sahara Computers and The New Age newspaper which has also garnered millions in government advertising.

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The weekly reports that Oakbay listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 2014 and a year ago, Atul’s stake was valued at R16,4 billion. However the company’s shares have since declined by over 30%.

“What is equally disturbing is that the Sunday Times assessment is probably just the tip of the iceberg. It is clear that under Zuma’s watch, black ownership of the economy is shrinking and the entire BEE project has regressed,” said Anglo chairman Sipho Pityana of Atul’s massive wealth.

According to a letter submitted to Madonsela’s office, included in the state capture report, total revenues from their business activities for the 2016 financial year amounted to R2.6 billion, with government contracts contributing a total of R235 million of the revenues.

READ MORE: Nearly 80% of the richest 200 in SA are white men

However, deputy finance minister Jonas Mcebisi stated in the report that while allegedly offering him R600 million to accept the post of finance minister, the Guptas boasted of how they had made R6 billion through the government and were looking to net another R2 billion.

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