South Africa is a country that boasts of a huge investment potential let alone an economic climate that suits the savvy businessman. As such, the country is characterised with of citizens who display the possibility of making and growing wealth. In 2014, eight South Africans were named among the world’s billionaires by Forbes magazine (two in the top 500). Together, these magnates have a combined net worth of $25.4 billion.
Johann Rupert – Richemont
He tops the list of SA’s wealthiest person; he is chairman and CEO of Richemont. Swiss holding company controls a number of brands that produce luxury goods, such as Cartier, Alfred Dunhill, and Montblanc, among others. Apart from that, Rupert also is the chairman of Remgro, a South African technology company with interests in companies such as SEACOM. He has a net worth of $7.9 billion, and is not only the richest man in South Africa, but also the 173rd wealthiest person in the world.
Nicky Oppenheimer – De Beers
He is a mining magnate who comes in the second place, and has an estimated net worth of $6.6 billion, thus making him the 205th richest man on earth. Oppenheimer obtained his wealth in the diamond trade, particularly as chairman of the world’s largest producer of diamonds. In fact, the Oppenheimer family has held control of the company since 1927, when Nicky’s grandfather Ernest took up the position of chairman. The family has 40% stake in De Beers that has since been sold to Anglo American, which Ernest Oppenheimer also founded ten years prior to De Beers.
Christo Wiese – Shoprite
He is South Africa’s 3rd richest man, with wealth amounting to a total of $3.8 billion. Wiese is best known for being not only the chairman and executive director of Shoprite, but also the chain’s largest single shareholder, accounting for most of his wealth.
Patrice Motsepe – African Rainbow Minerals
He is number four, and Motsepe is the first and only black South African to become a billionaire in dollar terms. He is head of African Rainbow Minerals, with stakes in many of the country’s highly lucrative mines and surrounding industries, from which the majority of his wealth comes from.
Number of Individuals per Country in the Top 50 Richest Africans
Koos Bekker – Naspers
Koos Bekker comes in on the Forbes list at number 1284 with a net wealth of $1.3 billion. Until recently, Bekker was CEO of media giant Naspers. He grew the company and his own personal wealth through a series of smart investments and changes, but has since left the position.
Steven Saad – Aspen Pharmacare
Saad is a self-made billionaire who built his wealth from the ground; he is currently head of Aspen Pharmcare, the largest generic pharmaceutical drugs manufacturer on the African continent, but he became a millionaire practically overnight when he sold his shares in a smaller pharmaceutical firm back in the 1990s.
Gray is well known to most South Africans as one of the country’s wealthiest citizens. Gray built his wealth by being an extremely savvy investor, and his reputation is epitomised by the company that bears his name, and is one of South Africa’s largest investment firms. A graduate of Harvard Business School, Gray is also a keen philanthropist.
Desmond Sacco – Assore Group
Desmond Sacco is another wealthy South African who recently made it to the Forbes list after a surge in stock prices in his company, the Assore Group. Initially, Sacco made his money (like a few others on this list) in the mining industry, starting out in his father’s mining company with a geology degree.
Elon Musk – Tesla Motors
Elon Musk is one name that may or may not belong on this list, as he currently resides in the USA, but having grown up in Pretoria, he is often considered as one of South Africa’s wealthiest individuals. Musk is a multitalented businessman, engineer and entrepreneur who has co-founded such prominent and innovative companies as PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors.
Wendy Ackerman – Pick ‘n Pay Holdings
Wendy Ackerman is one notable woman to add to any list of rich South Africans. As the non-executive director of Pick ‘n Pay Holdings, Ackerman’s wealth stems largely from the supermarket chain built by her father, Raymond Ackerman.