Dr Iqbal Survé

Awardees 2019

Dr Survé is a Physician, Entrepreneur and an ardent Philanthropist, born and educated in Cape Town, South Africa. He was affectionately known as the “Struggle Doctor” because of his provision of medical care towards victims of apartheid brutality including some of those imprisoned on the infamous Robben Island. Dr Survé considers it a privilege to have had a personal relationship with many Island prisoners including Nelson Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada, Andrew Mlangeni and Govan Mbeki on their release from Robben Island.

President Nelson Mandela in 1997 made an impassioned plea for black professionals to enter the mainstream economy of South Africa to bring about meaningful transformation of the social and economic landscape in order to redress the economic legacy of apartheid. This resulted in Dr. Survé leaving his first love medicine and together with other anti-apartheid activists founding The Sekunjalo Group, which is today wholly owned by the Survé family. The first Chairman of the group was the director general of President Mandela’s office, Professor Jack Gerwel

As an Entrepreneur, emerging from very humble beginnings, Dr Survé through the Sekunjalo Group is committed towards the development of South Africa specifically and Africa in general., He serves as Executive Chairman of The Sekunjalo Group, with its headquarters in Cape Town. The Sekunjalo Group (www.sekunjalo.com). The Group has more than 200 investments across the African continent, a presence in 40 African countries and an intrinsic market value of billions of dollars.  Sekunjalo is the shareholding/equity partner to a number of multinationals on the African continent including Siemens, Nokia, Saab, BT, and Coriant among others and Dr Survé serves as Chairman or Deputy-Chairman of many of these companies’ boards. The Sekunjalo Group is today privately held by the Survé family and many of the investee companies have broad based empowerment shareholdings.

Sekunjalo is a member of the prestigious World Economic Forum (WEF) and Dr Survé is a regular contributor and participant in the Davos and Summer Davos meetings. Sekunjalo is recognized by WEF as one of the worlds’ fastest growing companies aka The New Champions/Forum Advisory member and was one of the only 5 companies from Africa included as a New Champion at the inaugural New Champions meeting in 2007.


1. MBChB (UCT), BSc.  (Med) (Hons) Sports Medicine (UCT), Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM), MBA (UCT), SEP (Harvard), Trustee of the College of Medicine South Africa.

Sekunjalo’s investment portfolio includes Oil and Gas, Food, Fishing, Aquaculture, Power, Resources, Transport and Mobility, Telecoms, Civil Security and Defence, Media, Technology, Bio-technology, Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals and Asset Management. Sekunjalo pioneers many social impact investment initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Group and its investment partners together employ tens of thousands of people on the African continent. The Group is purpose driven to positively impact on the lives of its stakeholders on the African continent.

Survé Philanthropies (SP), the philanthropic foundation of Dr Survé and the Survé family, has 7 separate Foundations supporting children’s, women’s and human rights, education, music, arts and culture, entrepreneurship, social impact investing, climate change and healthcare. The Sekunjalo Group distributes 90% of its surplus annual dividends to the Survé Philanthropic Foundations (SP), with the aim of impacting positively on the future of the people of Africa. Sekunjalo recently launched a R500 million social impact fund to assist women and rural entrepreneurs.

The story of Africa’s rising is an important narrative that The Survé family and Sekunjalo have committed to by investing in media on the African continent. In South Africa, Sekunjalo has recently invested significantly in the tech- media sector on the African continent. Sekunjalo is the shareholder of Africa’s first multisided platform unicorn Sagarmatha Technologies which includes ecommerce and digital businesses. Dr Survé is the chairman of one of Africa’s largest print and online media groups, Independent Media, (www.independentmedia.co.za) which has 20 major newspaper titles with between 5 & 10 million readers daily.  In 2015, Sekunjalo founded Africa’s first global news, text, picture, video content syndication service, the African News Agency (ANA) (www.africannewsagency.com) which currently distributes African content across the world and reaches in excess of a billion viewers/readers daily with its platforms. Two year after launching, ANA successfully placed shares at a valuation of a billion dollars and is poised to compete in the global news syndication market. Sekunjalo as part of its tech-media investments portfolio has acquired a majority shareholding in one of Africa’s largest and fastest growing e commerce companies, Loot (Loot.co.za).

Dr Survé serves on a number of multi-lateral institutions and global organisations. He is a founding member of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and has twice been honoured by President, Bill Clinton for his contribution to the CGI. He served as a founding member of the BRICS Business Council, appointed by the President of South Africa as one of five members. From 2017 he was Chair of the South African Chapter of the BRICS Business Council and in 2018 assumed the Presidency of the Business Council for the five BRICS countries. He is a regular WEF Davos and Summer Davos participant and served as the first chairman of the Global Growth Companies (GGC) Advisory Board and Vice-Chairman of the Global Agenda Council (GAC) for Emerging Multinationals. He is a participant member of the G20 meeting and serves on B20 Task Teams as well as the UNGA private sector forum. On the invitation of SA Presidents, Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma, he has participated on many presidential advisory working groups and state visits.

Dr Survé is the recipient of many awards for business excellence, economic empowerment, leadership and philanthropy. He was one of the first blacks to be awarded the Afrikaanse Sakeleir Van die jar by the Afrikaanse Handels Instituut. He was recently listed as one of Africa’s most influential leaders by Africa Magazine; honoured by Mayor Higgins of the City of New Orleans; and appointment as Honorary Consul for Cape Town of Finland. The Sekunjalo Group is the recipient of many awards including; top business performance and empowerment awards, for their contribution towards economic upliftment and sustainability.

Dr Survé is a regular keynote speaker at international conferences and gatherings. He is an alumnus of the HRH Prince of Wales Business & Environment programme hosted by the HRH Prince Charles with CPI, a Fellow of the African Leadership Initiative (ALI), a patron of the South Africa-Italy Summit, until recently he was Co-chairman of the South Africa- Saudi Arabia Business Council (SASABC). He is patron of the Munich based GISSAID, a patron along with Queen Sylvia and former President Nelson Mandela of the Swedish based World Children Prize for the Rights of the Child (WCPRC), a founder member of the Siemens Global Sustainability Advisory Board, a member of the YPO Gold Cape Town chapter,  patron of the South African chapter of the Soong Ching Ling Foundation, and twice honoured with the Directors award, for his contribution to tertiary education by the University of Cape Town (UCT) , Graduate School of Business where he served for several years as Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Business School.

Dr Survé and Sekunjalo are committed to mitigating the impact of climate change and in 2011 at COP 17 in Durban, South Africa, successfully co-hosted with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), the Nobel Laureates Symposium on Climate Change with the participation of 7 African Presidents, 20 global Environmental Ministers and key UN representatives resulting in a authoritative statement on the scientific basis of climate change.

Dr Survé is an alumnus of the University of Cape Town (UCT), the Graduate School of Business (GSB), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and Harvard University with degrees in medicine, science, and business. He is also the first black recipient of the gold medal for scientific research by the South African Sports Medicine Association for his ground-breaking research on ankle injuries amongst soccer players.

Dr Survé serves on the World Economic Forum Advisers Board and is a board member on the Stewardship Council for Information and Entertainment, which is one of the most prestigious System Initiative boards for the World Economic Forum.

In April 2019, Dr Survé who stepped off as President of the BRICS Business Council for the 5 BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa) was appointed to the board of the Belt & Road News Network Council and a thinktank member of the Belt & Road Initiative by the government of China. Dr Survé continues to serve as co-chairman of the BRICS Media Forum.