Betting on the future
December 1, 2012 3:11 AM   Subscribe

The African King With A Multi-Billion Dollar Empire RBH functions as a communitybased investment company whose primary investment aim is to generate the income required for the funding of sustainable projects. Income generated from RBH’s commercial interests is invested in infrastructural development, as well as in the members of the Nation itself. Over the past decade, more than R4 billion ($475 million) has been spent on roads, utilities, schools, clinics and other public amenities. This has benefited not only the Bafokeng, but other people living in the North West Province of South Africa, the area which the RBN calls home.
posted by infini (5 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Sovereign wealth funds: a good idea if well managed.
posted by jaduncan at 5:50 AM on December 1, 2012

True, but unlike tiny Singapore who can cover the country with one sovereign wealth fund, this is a case of a regional big corporation willing to share benefits with more than just the technical shareholders.
posted by infini at 6:09 AM on December 1, 2012

Oh, I'm not meaning to snark. They really are a good idea; there's not much I support getting the benefits of capitalism more than the public trust.
posted by jaduncan at 6:21 AM on December 1, 2012

That said, my economist side wondered if the companies purchased/part owned later benefit from monopolies in the area and what the percentage of profit that goes back to the people is. It's got to be hard not to tip the scales when that ensures the profit of the fund even when the overall economic impact is negative, and is certainly a level of quality in sustainable management that I'd never expect out of Goldman Sachs (as a random example).
posted by jaduncan at 6:24 AM on December 1, 2012

The work the RBN does with sports is especially great, in my opinion. They sponsored (or were heavily involved with) the Special Olympics Africa Unity Cup which was held back in October; it saw participants coming from all over the continent. There was even a Youth Summit.

Random fact: the NBA has a partnership with Royal Bafokeng Sports, so some American NBA players are here in South Africa helping to start basketball programs.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 6:36 AM on December 1, 2012

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