The launch of African Rainbow Life (ARL) had all the clichés you might expect from such a business: videos of cattle in rural areas and boisterous Miriam Makeba songs.

But this is no sprightly independent built up by entrepreneurs with their own savings. It is controlled by Sanlam, and its second-largest shareholder is billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital. At least there is also a strong component of owner-management, with 23% of the shares held by management, staff and communities...

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