His company Virgin Active is investing R150m in a new health club in Sandton, which will set a new standard for health clubs across South Africa.
Branson, who is currently visiting the country, is also preparing a little fitness test of his own by taking part in the 2013 Cape Argus Pick N Pay Cycle Tour – the world’s longest individually timed cycle race – in Virgin Active South Africa colours.
Sir Richard will be joined on the fun charity ride due to take place on Saturday, March 9, by sporting heroes including Karl Platt and Ryk Neethling as well as fellow entrepreneurs all in aid of Virgin Unite and the JAG Foundation.
The Virgin Unite project through the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship support and encourages bold, tenacious entrepreneurs to grow and expand their businesses to create the many jobs required in SA.
The JAG Foundation is uses sport as a catalyst to teach children to engage in physical activity and learn its values, reaping the benefit of becoming holistic and healthy individuals with positive alternative life choices.
The new Sandton health club is currently under construction and is scheduled to open in August making it the 108th club in SA.
Speaking at the launch last week Sir Richard Branson said that he is investing in the health club business in honour of South Africa's former president, Nelson Mandela.
"Nelson Mandela called years ago asking me to save SA health clubs and you know when Madiba calls you jump onto the next plane," he said.
The club is designed for a discerning market and occupies a prime location in Alice Lane. It will include a wellness suite with doctors, dieticians and physiotherapists, a state-of-the-art cafe and a spa.
Sir Richard visited the site to see how work is progressing accompanied by Virgin Active South Africa Managing Director Ross Faragher-Thomas and South African star swimmer Chad le Clos.
Faragher-Thomas said: “The focus is on the life of executives, which means the club is designed to offer a space away from work but with networking facilities, conference areas and breakaway rooms.
“It has a rooftop training area for members providing a safe outdoor space to train. Membership will be capped at 4,000.”