Top Richest South Africans and Their Staggering Net Worth Revealed
South Africa, with an area of 1,221,037 square kilometers and a population of around 60 million, is considered a middle power in global affairs. It has significant influence in the region and proudly associates itself with the Commonwealth of Nations and the G20.
Despite being a developing country, South Africa ranks 7th on the continent’s Human Development Index, which highlights its importance as a key player.
It is worth noting that South Africa is home to a quarter of Africa’s wealthiest individuals, who have become billionaires through a combination of inheritance and self-made success, as reported by Forbes. Interestingly, these tycoons, despite being past their prime, continue to leave a lasting impact, with some of them being over 70 years old.
Richest South Africans And Their Net Worth
Here is the list of the five richesst South Africans and their net worth:
1. Johann Rupert – Networth: $9.8 billion
Johann Rupert is a prominent figure in the luxury goods and investment industries. He holds a position of
influence as the custodian of Cie Financiere Richemont, the world’s largest luxury watchmaker. Richemont, located in Bellevue, Switzerland, is home to prestigious brands such as Jaeger-LeCoultre and Cartier, which contribute significantly to Rupert’s wealth.
The family owns 0.5% of the publicly traded Class A shares and has complete ownership of all non-traded Class B shares. Each Class B share holds one-tenth of the economic value of its Class A counterpart.
Johann Rupert, acting as the chairman of the family’s investment vehicle, guides these strategic financial decisions. Although the exact ownership stakes of
individuals are not disclosed, this analysis attributes them to Rupert.
The Rupert family has a strong influence in Remgro, a powerful South African investment company that holds stakes in more than 30 companies. They own 1% of Remgro’s publicly traded ordinary shares, and they control all Class B shares through Rembrandt Trust, which is under Rupert’s leadership.
The family also has a significant ownership stake in Reinet Investments, which amounts to nearly 25%. This
ownership is through the Anton Rupert Trust, an entity based in South Africa.
Reinet was established in 2008 and
serves as a holding company for Richemont’s stake in British American Tobacco. At one point in June, Rupert briefly became the richest person in Africa, surpassing Aliko Dangote, due to the devaluation of the naira.
2. Nicky Oppenheimer –Networth: $8.3 billion
In 2012, Oppenheimer made a significant financial move by selling his family’s 40% stake in De Beers, the global diamond giant, to Anglo American, a mining titan. This deal was worth a staggering $5.2 billion in cash and marked a pivotal moment in the diamond industry.
Oppenheimer continues to be actively involved in the financial world and directs private equity investments across Africa, Asia, the US, and Europe. He manages these investments through Stockdale Street in London and Tana Africa Capital in Johannesburg. One notable part of Oppenheimer’s financial portfolio is the approximately $390 million in dividends he receives from Anglo American.
The value of his cash investments takes into account not only the significant proceeds from the De Beers transaction but also taxes and charitable contributions. It’s important to note that the performance of these investments is influenced by market dynamics in commodities and African markets.
In November 2011, the billionaire announced his plan to invest most of the money he received from De Beers into
private equity investments that would benefit Africa. This plan became a reality when he acquired more shares in Tana Africa Capital, a private equity venture in partnership with Temasek Holdings, an investment fund based in Singapore.
Before December 2017, the billionaire had a stake of less than 1% in Anglo American. However, there was a change
in strategy in December 2017, and this element was removed from the financial analysis as the billionaire completed the process of selling down his shares.
3. Koos Bekker – Networth: $2.4 billion
Koos Bekker has had a significant impact on the media industry in South Africa. He transformed Naspers from a newspaper publisher into a major player in e-commerce and cable TV. Bekker’s strategic vision led Naspers to invest $34 million in 2001 for a one-third stake in Tencent Holdings, a Chinese internet giant. This investment is widely regarded as one of the most important ventures in history.
In 2019, Naspers underwent a restructuring. They divided their assets into two publicly-traded entities: MultiChoice Group, a prominent entertainment company, and Prosus, which held the valuable Tencent stake.
Notably, Prosus made significant moves, selling a 2% Tencent stake in 2018 and divesting nearly $15 billion in April 2021. As a result, their Tencent stake increased to 29%.
Although Bekker retired as Naspers CEO in March 2014, he made a notable come back as Chairman in April 2015.
4. Patrice Motsepe –Networth: $2.3 billion
Patrice Motsepe, the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, achieved billionaire status in 2008,
making him the first black African to be included on the Forbes list.
In 2016, he established African Rainbow Capital, a private equity firm that focuses on investing in Africa.
Additionally, Motsepe holds a stake in Sanlam, a financial services firm listed on the stock exchange, and is the president and owner of the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club.
In March 2021, he was elected as the president of the Confederation of African Football, which serves as the governing body for the sport on the continent. Motsepe’s career began in 1994 when he became the first black partner at the law firm Bowman Gilfillan in Johannesburg.
He later ventured into the mining industry by starting a business that provided services to mining companies. In 1997, he purchased underperforming gold mine shafts and successfully turned them into profitable ventures.
5. Michiel Le Roux – Networth: $1.1 billion
Michiel Le Roux, a prominent figure in South Africa’s financial industry, founded Capitec Bank in 2001. He currently holds a significant 9% stake in the bank, which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Capitec Bank strategically serves the growing middle class in South Africa.
In addition to his ownership, Le Roux served as Chairman of Capitec from 2007 to 2016, demonstrating his strong leadership skills. He continues to contribute his valuable insights and expertise as a board member.
Before his involvement with Capitec, Le Roux successfully led Boland Bank, a regional bank located in the Cape Town area.