Home » Rob Hersov: South African billionaire transforming Cape Winelands Airport

Rob Hersov: South African billionaire transforming Cape Winelands Airport

by Omokolade Ajayi
Rob Hersov

Rob Hersov, the South African billionaire, is no stranger to the world of wealth and business. Now, he’s making waves with an ambitious project to transform Cape Winelands Airport into a thriving aviation hub.

As one of South Africa’s richest men, he is a top figure in business and sociopolitical circles. Born into a family with a storied legacy in mining and industry, Hersov’s journey began as an heir to the founding family of AngloVaal, a mining and industrial giant in Southern Africa. His grandfather, Bob Hersov, founded AngloVaal, and his father, Basil Hersov, ran the company for nearly three decades.

However, Hersov’s path wasn’t one of resting on family laurels. Armed with a Harvard MBA, he embarked on a journey that led him through the corridors of financial powerhouses like Goldman Sachs and into the inner circle of media magnate Rupert Murdoch. In 1998, he founded Marquis Jets Europe, a private jet company that eventually became part of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway’s NetJets in 2004.

But Hersov’s ambitions didn’t stop there. After the sale of Marquis Jets Europe, he led large multinational ventures and established several companies, each worth millions of dollars. Among his notable achievements is the founding of Invest Africa in 2013, a specialized network that supports private and institutional investors, funds, and high-net-worth individuals in engaging with opportunities across the African continent.

Invest Africa, now boasting a global footprint of more than 400 members, is a testament to Hersov’s commitment to connecting businesses in Africa. Merging with The Business Council for Africa in 2018, this powerhouse network brings together corporations, investors, fund managers, family offices, policymakers, and entrepreneurs, all with the common goal of fostering profitable and responsible growth across the continent.

In 2021, Rob Hersov acquired the former Fisantekraal airstrip and unveiled his vision to transform it into a vibrant airport and secondary hub for Cape Town. The airstrip was reborn as Cape Winelands Airport, situated approximately 13 kilometers northeast of Durbanville, sprawled across 150 hectares.

With its historical roots as an ex-South African Air Force airfield, this airport is set to become more than just a transportation hub. Hersov’s vision includes making it a full-service airport, catering to both scheduled passenger flights and general aviation activities, including non-scheduled flights by private plane owners. The unique allure of the Cape Winelands and its proximity to iconic destinations like Franschhoek will play a pivotal role in its success.

Hersov’s business portfolio is as diverse as his experiences. Besides aviation and gold mining, he ventured into luxury super yachts with YachtPlus, global investments through Sapinda Group, and global business development with Adoreum Partners. His passion for sports also led to the creation of Sportal, an online sports network serving top football clubs.

His journey from the finance world to the vineyards of the Cape Winelands showcases a man with vision, determination, and a bold voice. He’s a symbol of South African entrepreneurship and a testament to the enduring spirit of those who dare to dream big.

As Cape Winelands Airport takes shape under his leadership, it’s not just about building runways and terminals; it’s about opening up new possibilities for this beautiful region and South Africa. In Hersov’s words: “We see it as a future growth node for the region.”

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