South Africa is known for being one of the most unequal societies in the world. The gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow on a daily basis. The question of who the richest man in South Africa is, is one that changes at a regular rate.
According to a 2015 BusinessTech article, “Luxury goods mogul Johann Rupert has historically ranked as the country’s richest man, however, in Sepetember, Rupert lost his spot at the top to retail tycoon, Christo Wiese”.
The richest man in South Africa as of March 2016, however, is Nicky Oppenheimer, who has a net worth of $6.6 billion (R94.3 billion).
Born Nicholas “Nicky” F. Oppenheimer on 8 June 1945, the South African businessman and philanthropist is the former chairman of De Beers diamond mining company. As the grandson of Ernest Oppenheimer, who was the founder of Anglo American, Nicky Oppenheimer inherited billions of dollars to become the 139th richest person in the world according to Forbes.
After joining Anglo American Corporation in 1968, he was appointed a director in 1974.
He obtained a Master of Arts from Oxford and now owns Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, the largest private reserve in South Africa. In 2012, he sold his 40% stake in De Beers to mining conglomerate Anglo American for $1.5 billion in cash.
Oppenheimer is followed by Christo Wiese, with a net worth of $6.5 billion, Johan Rupert who has a net worth of $6.3 billion. Koos Bekker, founding director of MTN, is widely regarded as a media tycoon. He stepped down as Naspers CEO in 2014, having driven the media giant towards investments in China, India, Russia, etc. Bekker was behind the rise in market capitalization from about $600 million to 45 billion dollars.
Stephen Saad, founder of Aspen Pharmacare is the fifth richest man in South Africa, with a net worth of $1.2 billion.