Thamsanqa Netha’s current favourite JSE stocks

Thamsanqa Netha recently revealed his top three JSE stock picks – Curro, Afrimat and Naspers.

Netha was one of three guests at the most recent JSE SA Stock Picks event.

Netha is the CEO of Shiloh Capital, a privately owned investment company focused on alternative investments.

He has a Master’s degree in Development Finance from Stellenbosch University and almost two decades of experience in the financial services sector.

He has worked at well-known financial institutions like Nedbank and the Development Bank of Southern Africa. Netha has been at Shiloh Capital since 2015.


Curro is an education company focused on primary and secondary education, with a market cap of R6.33 billion.

Much like how load-shedding has led to more privately installed renewables, the government’s inability to provide quality education has increased the private sector’s role in South Africa’s education sector.

“They are targeting a sector which is primarily characterised by government failure. The state hasn’t managed to provide quality education across the board,” Netha said.

Curro is one of the companies leading the charge in the country’s private education sector. It does so by acquiring, developing and managing schools across the country.

It is in a healthy financial position and aims to invest R700 million in 2024 in school acquisition.

In addition, the barrier to entry for South Africa’s education sector is high for new companies, meaning leading market players like Curro are unlikely to be replaced anytime soon.

“It’s a very hard industry to enter, and once you succeed in it, it’s very hard for other people to follow,” he said.

Netha warns that the company has yet to transition from acquisition to “operational excellence”. Hence, its financial performance in years to come will require high-quality education to match its competitive school fees.

“The key question will be if they can transition from an acquisitive company to one with excellent results.”

Curro’s share price has fallen 54.75% in the past five years and 7.3% this year to date. The company is currently trading at a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.93.


Afrimat is a mid-sized mining and materials company that supplies construction materials, industrial minerals, bulk commodities and future materials and minerals, including rare earth metals and green construction materials.

Its sound management team ensured its survival in the post-2010 World Cup decline in construction activity in South Africa.

The company used its strong balance sheet to diversify away from construction and into bulk commodities, particularly iron and coal. This improved its revenue mix and forced it to reclassify as a mining company on the JSE.

In June, Afrimat spent R800 million to acquire cement manufacturer Lafarge South Africa from its Swiss owners. 

Afrimat will have to turn around Lafarge as its profits declined sharply in 2022. However, this process seems to be on track, as Lafarge’s 2023 results revealed a 16% increase in profits.

According to Small Talk Daily Research’s Anthony Clark, Lafarge will also increase the footprint of Afrimat’s construction businesses, create natural efficiencies, and give Afrimat a profitable fly ash business.

Afrimat’s share price has been on an upward trajectory in recent years – rising 12.42% in the past year and 95.47% in the past five years. It has a market cap of R9.4 billion and a P/E ratio of 13, which Netha said is a low valuation.


Naspers is a South African internet, technology and multimedia behemoth with a market cap of R553 billion.

Netha highlighted two major obstacles that Naspers has encountered in recent years. The first was a clampdown by Chinese regulators on Tencent, the tech conglomerate that has been responsible for much of Naspers’ value since the firm invested in Tencent in the early 2000s.

The second was corporate action by the Naspers board to form Prosus, an offshore company created to house Naspers’ international assets. This created complications around the structuring of the business.

“However, that gap is beginning to close. The company’s action is proving to have some value, and we’re beginning to see a path to value for the stock,” said Netha.

Notably, Naspers’ P/E ratio is very high at 36.73. In addition, Netha predicted a rise in Naspers’ share price in years to come, as Tencent has assets it can unbundle to add value to Naspers.