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In 1997, President Nelson Mandela, made an impassioned plea for black professionals to enter the mainstream economy of South Africa, after decades of huge economic disparities due to apartheid.
The economic exclusion of black groupings in South Africa pre-1994 meant: no capital was granted to black individuals by the banks and other financial institutions; they weren’t granted permits to trade; and capital markets was the exclusive domain of white business people.
In order to address this economic imbalance in the country between black and white people, the newly established, democratic government adopted an affirmative economic policy called Black Economic Empowerment, popularly referred to as Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE).
Heeding the call from President Nelson Mandela, Dr Iqbal Survé, a medical doctor, close to President Nelson Mandela decided to leave medicine, to establish The Sekunjalo Group. The Group was founded on an ethos of social justice and broad-based economic participation and inclusion for the majority of South Africans.
Sekunjalo sought to offer “a gentler capitalism” that stressed putting “people before profits”, and investment in skills development especially of black people, as a means of improving the lives of previously disadvantaged South Africans.
Founded by Dr Iqbal Survé, the Sekunjalo Group is an emerging multinational, which has grown in less than two decades, from a seed capital of 20 000 USD, to a current investment portfolio value of 3,5 – 4 billion USD.
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