Imperial began its life in 1947 as a motor dealership in downtown Johannesburg and has grown to a company of more than 47,000 people spread out across South Africa, the rest of the continent Europe, the UK, USA and Australia. It has a large rental division. It also has the largest privately-held logistics company in the country.
09. Vodacom Group
Vodacom Group is headquartered in Midrand, South Africa, and employs 7,300 people across five African operations which together provide class voice, data, messaging, segments, broadband and converged services to more than 40 million customers. It has achieved pole position more often than any other South African mobile network.
Sanlam has evolved from being a mere insurer to a large financial services group which is registered on both the Namibian and South African stock exchanges. It operates across the continent including Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana and Malawi and also in the UK, India and Australia.
07. Shoprite Holdings
There are Shoprite stores in 17 African countries and the business is listed on the South African, Zambian and Namibian stock exchanges. In total the group has control over or input in more than 1,700 shops – located in countries that include South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania and Mauritius..
Eskom is the biggest generator of power in Africa and one of the biggest in the world. It generates 95 percent of power used in South Africa and also meets 45 percent of the rest of Africa’s power needs. It has a lucrative position in that it is protected as an asset controlled by the South African government.
05. The Bidvest Group
An international services, trading and distribution company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Bidwest operates in four continents and employs 105,000 people worldwide. While its roots remain firmly South African, it deals in many areas from travel to food services. it has businesses in the fields of stationary, medical waste management and industrial lighting.
04. MTN Group
Though it is the smaller of South Africa’s two mobile giants, MTN has a much larger global reach than its competitors. It is present in sixteen African countries and several in the Middle East. Established in 1994, by mid-2011 the group boasted having over 147 million subscribers. In recent years it has made good on expanding in West Africa and the Middle East, helping it collect some nice returns.
SASOL has interests in coal, oil, gas and more. It recently made a$21 billion investment in a gas-to-fuel plant in the US and has a presence in 38 countries. It can be found on every continent and is very active in the African energy market. SASOL is said to contribute four percent of South Africa’s GDP.
Angolan oil giant Sonangol is practically a monopoly in the country, which is Africa’s third-biggest oil producer. Under its umbrella sits over 30 subsidiaries – most of which do business with Sonangol to help it reach its needs. These include railways, transport systems, telecommunications companies and refinery facilities located across the globe.
Algeria’s oil and gas giant Sonatrach is the first listed company in Africa and the 12th company in the world. In 2010, it achieved a turnover of nearly US $56.1. The company is involved in the exploration, production, pipeline, transportation, processing and marketing of hydrocarbons and their derivatives. It also does work in other industries, such as desalination of seawater and power generation and invests in or owns 18 major companies, including an airline. It is the 14th World Petroleum Company, the fifth largest exporter of natural gas, the sixth world company for Natural Gas and the fourth largest exporter of LNG. The company operates in several regions of the world apart from the continent, including Europe, Latin America and the USA.