A less than fun fact for you: South Africa has one of the highest levels of economic inequality in the world. Despite having one of the strongest economies in Africa, it’s plagued by unequal access to opportunities and skewed income distribution – so much so, in fact, over 68 percent of the income is held by the top 20 percent. Unfortunately, the situation is only getting worse, with the gap between the rich and the poor growing year by year. As to who controls the vast bulk of the countries wealth, find out now as we rank the 10 richest people in South Africa.
10. Laurie Dippenaar – Net Worth: $650 Million
Kicking off our list of the 10 richest people in South Africa is Laurie Dippenaar, a self-made millionaire who made his fortune when he teamed up with GT Ferreira to launch FirstRand Limited, one of the very first high street banks in South Africa. Dippenaar served as the chief executive officer of the bank until the end of 2005, at which point he stepped down into the position of non-executive chairman. Renowned as much for his philanthropic activities as his business pursuits, he’s contributed generously to multiple charitable causes over the years and has even established a scholarship fund that supports South African citizens up to a maximum of $37,000 per year in their choice of international postgraduate degree course. His net worth as of 2021 is $650 million.
9. Jannie Mouton – Net Worth: $1.06 Billion
Up next is Jannie Mouton, a chartered accountant who made his name (and his fortune) as the chairperson and founder of the PSG group, one of South Africa’s most prominent investment firms. Now aged 74 (or possibly 75 – Mouton might have made his millions by being a whizz with numbers, but his date of birth seems to have escaped him… or at least, the press), he’s worth an estimated $1.06 billion.
8. Christoffel Wiese – Net Worth: $1.1 Billion
With a net worth of $1.1 billion, Christoffel Wiese ranks as the eighth richest person in South Africa. As per briefly.co.za, the lion’s share of Wiese’s wealth is derived from his position as the executive director and largest single shareholder in the South African retail giant Shoprite. He’s also a major shareholder in the discount chain Pepko and chairman of Invicta Holdings Limited.
7. Stephen Saad – Net Worth: $1.2 Billion
Next on our list of South Africa’s richest people is Stephen Saad. According to Wikipedia, Saad began his career at the prescription drug distribution company, Quickmed. At the age of 29, he became a millionaire when he sold his stake in the drug business Covan Zurich for $3 million. In 1997, he used some of those millions to launch Aspen Pharmacare, which now ranks as South Africa’s largest pharmaceuticals maker, marketing generic medicines to over 150 countries globally. Saad, who serves as the company’s chief executive officer, ranks as South Africa’s 7th richest person with a net worth of $1.2 billion.
6. Michael L Roux – Net Worth: $1.3 Billion
In 2001, Michael L Roux founded Capitec Bank, which has since grown into South Africa’s second-largest bank in terms of customer numbers. Roux served as the bank’s CEO until 2006 and as its chairman between 2007 and 2016. Now aged 72 years old, he continues his association with the bank via his position as a non-executive director. As of 2021, he’s believed to be worth in the region of $1.3 billion.
5. Allan WB Gray – Net Worth: $1.8 Billion
The fifth richest man in South Africa is Allan WB Gray. A businessman and philanthropist, Gray began his career at the asset management firm Fidelity Management and Research in Boston, where he quickly acquired a reputation for his shrewd investments in the 1962 economic crash. In 1973, he returned to his native South Africa to found Allan Gray Limited. In 1989, he established its London-based sister company, Orbis Investment Management. According to Moneyweb, Gray’s rate of success in terms of return on investment is comparable to Warren Buffett’s… which may well explain his extraordinary net worth of $1.8 billion.
4. Patrice Motsepe – Net Worth: $2.4 Billion
With a net worth of $2.4 billion, Patrice Motsepe ranks as the fourth richest man in South Africa. Motsepe made his fortune as the founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, a mining company with interests in platinum, ferrous metals, gold, and base metals. Since March 2021, he’s also served as the President of the Confederation of African Football. Additionally, he serves on the board of numerous companies, including Sanlam and Harmony Gold, the 12th largest gold mining company in the world. As renowned for his philanthropy as his business activities, he’s committed to giving away half of his fortune to charitable causes as part of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates’ The Giving Pledge.
3. Koos Bekker – Net Worth: $2.5 Billion
Koos Bekker serves as the chairman of Naspers, the largest media group outside the U.S., China, and India. After joining the firm as its CEO in 1997, he increased its market capitalization from $1.2 billion to $45 billion. Usually, he took no salary, bonuses, or other perks during his tenure, preferring to be compensated solely via stock options grants. Clearly, the decision paid off, as he now ranks as the third richest person in South Africa with a net worth of $2.5 billion.
2. Johann Rupert – Net Worth: $5.9 Billion
Johann Peter Rupert is the eldest son of Anton Rupert, a business tycoon who made his name as the founder of the tobacco and industrial conglomerate Rembrandt Group. Despite being born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Rupert has forged his own highly successful career away from the family business, serving as the chairman of the Swiss-based luxury goods company Richemont and the investment group Remgr, as well as the CEO of Compagnie Financiere Richemont. Like his father before him, Rupert, who is famously reclusive and rarely gives interviews, is a committed conservationist, serving as Chairman of the Peace Parks Foundation. His net worth is estimated to be $5.9 billion.
1. Nicky Oppenheimer – Net Worth: $7.3 Billion
South Africa’s richest man is Nicky Oppenheimer. The grandson of mining entrepreneur, financier, and Anglo-American founder Ernest Oppenheimer, Oppenheimer joined Anglo American in 1968, serving as its director and deputy chairman until his resignation in 2011. He’s also served as the chairman of Diamond Trading Company and deputy chairman of De Beers Consolidated Mines. Now aged 76 years old, his net worth is a mammoth $7.3 billion.