10 Richest People in South Africa


South Africa is a country rich in investment potential and with an economic climate that suits the savvy businessman.


The country’s richest citizens illustrate the potential for making and growing wealth that exist, with eight South Africans having been named among the world’s billionaires by Forbes magazine in 2014 (two in the top 500). Together, these magnates have a combined net worth of $25.4 billion.




1. Johann Rupert


At the top of the list, the wealthiest person in South Africa is Johann Rupert, 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. In addition, Rupert also serves as the chairman of Remgro, a South African technology company with further interests in companies such as SEACOM. With a net worth of $7.6 billion, Rupert is not only the richest man in South Africa, but the 173rd wealthiest person in the world.


2. Nicky Oppenheimer


From luxury goods to precious stones, mining magnate Nicky Oppenheimer comes in at second place, with an estimated worth of $6.7 billion, making him the 205th richest man on earth. Oppenheimer acquired 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’s 40% stake in De Beers has since been sold to Anglo American, which Ernest Oppenheimer also founded ten years prior to De Beers.


3. Christo Wiese


Christo Wiese is South Africa’s 3rd richest man, with wealth amounting to a total of $3.2 billion. He 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.


4. Patrice Motsepe


Back to mining at number four, Patrice Motsepe is the first and only black South African to become a billionaire in dollar terms. As head of African Rainbow Minerals, Motsepe has stakes in many of the countries highly lucrative mines and surrounding industries, from which the majority of his wealth stems.


5. Koos Bekker


Koos Bekker is another wealthy South African worthy of mention, also coming 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, growing the company and his own personal wealth through a series of very smart investments and changes, but has since left the position.



6. Steven Saad


Stevan Saad is a self-made billionaire who built his wealth from the ground up. 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.


7. Allan Gray


Allan Gray is a name 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.


8. Desmond Sacco


Desmond Sacco is another wealthy South African who only 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.


9. Elon Musk


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.


10. Wendy Ackerman


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.

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