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Biography Of Bridgette Radebe, First South Africa’s Black Female Mining Entrepreneur

Biography Of Bridgette Radebe

Biography Of Bridgette Radebe: Bridgette Radebe is a successful businesswoman from South Africa who is widely regarded as the world’s first black female mining entrepreneur. She is the founder and executive chairperson of Mmakau Mining Limited, which she founded in the 1980s and continues to run today.

Bridgette has over three decades of experience working in the mining industry in general. She also serves as the President of the South African Mining Development Association, which is the country’s largest mining chamber.

Early Years of Bridgette Radebe’s Life

Biography Of Bridgette Radebe:  Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe was born on February 26, 1960, in Johannesburg, South Africa, to parents of Tswana descent. She attended the University of Botswana from 1973 – 1977. Born into an entrepreneurial family during the apartheid era, when black people were denied the right to hold mining licenses and mine rights, she grew up with a strong sense of independence.

As a result, her parents were forced to fight oppressive rules against business owners, which fueled her desire to become involved in economic activism. Similarly, she violated regulations and moved into the mining sector, so becoming the first black female South African deep-level-hard rock mining entrepreneur.

Radebe began his mining career as a common miner in the 1980s. Her company was then in charge of individual shaft mining operations in South Africa, as well as the production of materials for the larger mine operations in the country. She was also learning the necessary skills and gaining the necessary knowledge to start her own business at the same time.


Bridgette Radebe’s Private and Professional Life

Biography Of Bridgette Radebe: She is married to Jeffrey Radebe, a South African politician and Minister of Energy, who was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa on February 26, 2018. They have two children together. She is also a sister of Patrice Motsepo and Tshepo Motsepe, who are also actors. Patrice is a successful businessman from South Africa, and Tshepo is the First Lady of the country.

Her three children, Vukani, Malaika, and Mandisa Radebe, are the result of her marriage to Jeffrey Radebe.

Mmakau Mining

Biography Of Bridgette Radebe:  First and foremost, Bridgette’s decision to enter the mining business was a watershed moment in her career. After that, she progressed from being a contract miner to becoming the owner of a mine and founding her own company, Mmakau Mining (pty) Limited.

A pioneering mining company, Mmakau has interests in platinum, gold, uranium, coal, ferrochrome, and exploration assets, among other things. In 1986, it began operations and has since evolved to become one of the most major mining enterprises in Africa.

Aiming to contribute expertise in line with a business philosophy of sustainable wealth creation through targeted procurement, entrepreneur development, skills enhancement and socio-economic development, the organization was established.

The company is also known for its ethical business approach, which involves striking a balance between profits, shareholder value, investors and the long-term viability of South Africa’s mining communities.

Positions in Other Fields

Besides serving as executive chairman of Mmakau, Bridgette is also a member of the organization’s board of directors. Some of them are as follows:

  • Member and Office Bearer of the Black Business Council, BBC
  • Founder and board of trustee member of the New Africa Mining Fund
  • Founder and President of the South African Mining Development Association
  • Former Vice Chairman of the Minerals and Mining Development Board that advises the Minister of Minerals and Energy
  • Member, Sappi Board
  • Member, BRICS Business Council, 2019

Bridgette Radebe Awards 

  • International Businessperson of the Year Award, Global Foundation for Democracy, 2008
  • Pioneer in Mining Award, South African Ministry of Minerals and Energy
  • Mababongwe: Renaissance Woman Award, University Durban-Westville.
  • The Onkgopotse Tiro Excellence Awards, Limpopo University, 2010
  • One of the Africa’s Richest Women, Forbes, 2011
  • Ten Female Millionaires to Watch in Africa, Forbes, 2012
  • Africa’s Most Richest Women Top 20, Forbes Africa, 2012
  • Africa’s Most Powerful Businesswomen, African Business Review, 2015
  • Nominee African Business Woman of the Year, Global African Business Awards, 2018




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