St Michael Award – Mr D Sacco/ Awards / Old Boys
Desmond Sacco: Businessman, Sportsman and Philanthropist. Three specific words that may describe Des Sacco’s life, but do little to convey the depth of his achievements in these fields of human endeavour.
Des was educated at Pridwin, Michaelhouse and the University of the Witwatersrand. At the latter he obtained a degree in Geology which was followed by a Masters in the same subject through UNISA. After university Des entered the business, started by his father, which is now known as Assore. Des’s father, also a geologist, laid the foundations of the business through his astute identification and exploration of the rich manganese and iron ore deposits of the Northern Cape. Assore is one of the great success stories of South African business and has continued to flourish under Des’s leadership since he succeeded his father in 1994. One of Des’s strokes of genius was his far sighted acquisition of the Dwarsrivier chrome deposit which is now a major contributor to the Group. Assore currently generates annual sales of around R15 billion and a net profit of R5.3 billion, which places it among the top 40 companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. An investment commentator notes that: “Assore is extremely well run and has avoided the pitfalls of poor acquisitions and ill-judged diversification which has bedevilled so many other mining companies.”