Founded in 1992 as a pioneering black-owned company, Thebe Investment Corporation (Thebe) opened for business in July 1992 with an initial capital investment of only R100 000. Sole shareholder at the time was Batho Batho Trust, a community based trust which included Nelson Mandela (Chairman), Walter Sisulu and Reverend Beyers Naude as original Trustees and Dr Enos Mabuza as the first Chairman of Thebe.
To fully appreciate the essence of Thebe, we have to begin at its origins and foundation to identify some of its key birthmarks that, taken together with other foundation stones that were laid at its inception, tell us who Thebe is, its reason for being, how it came about and some of the principles accompanied by moral obligations that underlie the foundation and operations of Thebe, which continue to shape its identity and character. The origin of the word Thebe, is a Sotho word meaning ‘shield’- this positions Thebe as a force of protection and defense that filters through our work and reason for being.
To fully understand Thebe’s reason for being, one must realise that Thebe is a socially embedded company. Through its origin, its purpose and its values which suffuse its practices, Thebe is driven by its commitment to socially embed wealth creation and to fuel and service the growth and development of Africa. Thebe does this as an independent company operating autonomously from any other institution, governed and guided in accordance with the objectives for which it was established by Batho Batho Trust. In line with the African idiom, “No matter how far a stream flows, it never forgets its source”, Thebe has remained anchored on its purpose. Whilst the shareholding of Thebe has changed over the years, the founding spirit with which the Thebe brand was imbued at birth has continued to define the character of the company.