The world is poor. The world is rich. Amid the privation around the world, some people have managed to not only beat the rat race and poverty but to amass wealth that will last generations.
You find this category of men in just about every country in the world. In this post, though, South Africa is our focus. The Rainbow Nation surely glitters when it comes to showing off the number of billionaires in its orbit.
From banking to telecoms to media, these people have amassed so much wealth that their names don’t ring bells – zap that cliché, mate – their names break bells!
Palatial homes. Choicest cars. Private jets. Yachts. They have got it all – a life many aspire to but sadly would never attain. Hopefully one of them sees this post and forks over R1 million rand. Yours sincerely needs the money, too, trying to get “there.” Lol.
Below are the 10 wealthiest men in South Africa – or, as we would love to call them, top 10 athletes of the good life.
1. Nicky Oppenheimer and Family
With a net worth of $ 8.1 billon (according to Forbes), the Oppenheimer family sits at the top of the wealth orbit in South Africa. The Oppenheimer family is typical old money. Nicky (Nicholas Frank) Oppenheimer’s grandfather, Ernest Oppenheimer, founded Anglo America, a mining company, in 1917 to explore the Witwatersrand gold field.
In 1929, he took over De Beers, building it into one of the world’s biggest diamond businesses. The younger Oppeinhemer and Nicky’s father Harry took over the family business soon after. Nicky Oppenheimer joined the family business as a personal assistant to his father after completing a degree in politic and philosophy from the University of Oxford.
2. Johann Rupert
Another example of old money. Johann Peter Rupert is the second wealthiest South African, with a fortune of $7.1 billion as at March 2021. He made his fortune from Compagnie Financiere Richemont, A Swiss luxury goods firm where he hold the position of chairman. He narrowly missed acquiring a 50% state in Gucci when it was valued at $175 million.
3. Patrice Motsepe
No. 3 on the South African billionaires’ list is the mining magnate Patrice Motsepe, with a net worth of $3.1 billion, according to Statista (3.2 billion, according to Forbes). Besides holding the second spot in the richest list in South Africa, Patrice Motsepe, the current president of the Confederation of African Football, is the 9th richest African in the world.
He is the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals and the first black African on the Forbes billionaires list (2008).
4. Koos Bekker
With a fortune of $ 3 billion, the No. 4 spot in the list of richest South Africans goes to Jacobus Petrus “Koos” Bekker of Naspers, a media giant present in about 130 countries and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. Bekker is one of the few wealthy individuals who made their fortunes from media.
5. Allan Gray
Allan Gray is a businessman and founder of an eponymous investment company and the non-profit Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. He died in Bermuda in 2019. At the time of his death, his wealth stood at $1.8 billion.
6. Michiel Le Roux
Michiel Le Roux is a banking billionaire and founder of the Capitec Bank. Prior to founding the bank in 2001, in which he currently has about 11% stake, he had run Boland Bank, a regional bank in Cape Town. Born in May 1949, his fortune stands at $1.3 billion.
7. Stephen Saad
Born in Durban, South Africa, in 1964, Stephen Bradley Saad made his fortune from the pharmaceutical industry. In 1997, he founded Aspen Pharmacare, reportedly the largest producer of generic medicines in Africa. His net worth stands at at $1.2 billion.
8. Christoffel Wiese
Christoffel Wiese built his fortune from Pepkor, a company Steinhoff International acquired in 2015. He also owns 18% stake in Shoprite Holdings, the supermarket chain with presence in 15 African countries. Fortune: $1.1 billion
9. Jannie Mouton
Born in 1946, Johannes “Jannie” Mouton, who runs the PSG group, an investment holding firm, is one of the oldest on the billionaires list in South Africa, with a fortune of exactly $1 billion, according to 2017 Forbes report.
10. Laurie Dippenaar
With a fortune of $610 million, Lauritz (Laurie) Dippenaar, snaps the 10th spot on the list. He co-founded Rand Consolidated Investing in collaboration with GT Ferreira and Paul Harris in 1977. He is also a director at FirstRand, a company that’s active in South Africa’s insurance and banking sectors.
There’s no assurance a billionaire will hold his ranking for life – not in South Africa, not in any part of the world. This ranking might change over time, of course. A billionaire can slip from the ranking and others can ascend.
Well, have you got billion dollar dreams, too? What do you think of the men on our list? Are there people you think should make the list but who were somehow omitted? You’re welcome to share your thoughts in the comments below.