Experts think that the year is seeing a record number of enquiries by South Africans who want to emigrate. With most South African opting to move to the United Kingdom, Australia, the USA and New Zealand, it is no wonder that South Africans abroad are also making their mark. Remember Bart from 7de Laan? Have you ever used PayPal? Well, here are seven South Africans who have moved to the USA and are keeping South Africa’s name high.

Neil Sandilands

The actor Neil Sandilands, who starred in 7de Laan and established himself in 2007 in Los Angeles, has since landed himself many great roles. He regularly plays roles in the programmes The 100 and Robert Redford’s Hap & Leonard. He also played in the spy drama The Americans and gained great popularity for his role in The Flash.

Roelof Botha

Roelof Botha was born in Pretoria and is one of the top venture capitalists in the USA and a partner at Sequoia Capital. He also serves on the boards of companies like Jawbone, Evernote, Tumblr and Weebly, and served as Vice-President of PayPal.

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So serious… 🤔

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Paul Maritz

Paul Maritz is the co-founder of Pi Corporation and served as CEO of VMware and President of EMC Corporation. He is a computer engineer, has been named one of the most influential managers and winner of a Morgan Stanley leadership award.

Liam Pedersen

Liam was born in Cape Town and became known as a NSA researcher, where he helped to build robots searching for life on Mars. Today, he is control of Nissan’s autonomous motor division in California.

Willem van Biljon

Although back in South Africa as CEO of Takealot, Willem van Biljon first founded Mosaic Software, who sold the Postilion payment system to S1 Corp. He later worked for Amazon, also designing systems.

Lyndon Rive

Lyndon is the co-founder of SolarCity, one of the most well-known clean energy brands in the USA. He left South Africa when he was 17 years old.

Pieter de Villiers 

Pieter de Villiers is a well-known investor in San Francisco; he is co-founder of Clickatell and one of the leaders in terms of payment systems.

Other South Africans, like Nathan Kirsh, an estate agent in Swaziland, Elon Musk, who is worth US$8,8 billion, and the mining magnate Ivan Glasenberg, who is at the head of Glencore Xtrata in Australia, count among the six wealthiest South Africans in the world. You have reason to be proud of your heritage, because, as someone born in South Africa, you are in good company.

This post is also available in: Afrikaans


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