TCS Legends | Duarte da Silva on five South African tech legends

Duarte da Silva

Well-known investor and businessman Duarte da Silva is the guest in the inaugural episode of TechCentral’s TCS Legends, a new video podcast series focused on legendary figures who helped shape South Africa’s technology industry.

A two-part scene setter for the rest of the limited series, Da Silva – who knows many of the individuals who built businesses in the country’s tech space after 1994 – shares his insights into the (often colourful) characters who helped define the country’s ICT sector into what it is today.

TCS Legends, which is powered by Mitel, has a great line-up of guests secured over the coming months.

But in episode 1 – the first of a double header with Da Silva – we delve into the people, the deals and sometimes the scandal that helped define an industry.

Da Silva, an avid investor who serves on a number of company boards, is a former director of Merrill Lynch – where his hefty analyst reports on JSE-listed tech companies in the 1990s had company CEOs lapping up his insights, and more than a little fearful about what he might write about them. He also founded Macquarie First South, among other enterprising ventures, and possesses encyclopaedic knowledge of business in South Africa.

A legend in his own right, Da Silva shares often-amusing tales of deals (some of which went horribly wrong), corporate shenanigans and plenty more besides with TCS Legends.


In the show, he chats about many people and companies, but the primary focus is on five individuals:

  • Jeremy Ord at Dimension Data (now NTT Data)
  • Roux Marnitz at Persetel (now BCX)
  • Bill Venter at Altron
  • Jens Montanana at Datatec
  • Alan Knott-Craig at Vodacom

The show is hosted by TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod, who said of the interview with Da Silva: “If you are, or have ever been, involved in South Africa’s IT industry, this is one show you simply do not want to miss!”

Part 2 of the interview with Da Silva will be published on Monday, 4 March 2024.

Watch this episode of TCS Legends

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Listen to this episode of TCS Legends

The audio version of this episode will be available later on Monday.

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