The past year was another successful one for the world’s billionaires, with most of them increasing their net worth. While the city of London has the most number of billionaires residing in the city, followed by New York City in the U.S, the cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa are home to the majority of billionaires in the country. According to reports, Johannesburg is home to 17 600 millionaires and two billionaires.
South Africa is known for having one of the highest levels of socio-economic inequality in the world. Recent research by Oxfam has shown that the wealth of three South African billionaires is equal to that of the bottom half of the country’s population (based on shareholdings.)
The study found that Steven Saad, the CEO of pharmaceutical company Aspen, Glencore CEO Julian Glasenberg and Christo Wiese, chairman of Steinhoff Holdings collectively own wealth that amounts to the same as the bottom 50 percent of the population.
Billionaires in South Africa often form part of the rich lists on the African continent, with the Oppenheimers, the Motsepes and the Ruperts appearing on these lists consecutively.
Nicky Oppenheimer and his family top the list of billionaires in South Africa, with a net worth of $7 billion. Oppenheimer amassed his wealth through a company founded by his grandfather- De Beers. In 2012 the diamond magnate sold his 40% stake for $5.1 billion. Although he still retains an estimated 1.8% stake in Anglo American, he’s now turned his focus to his company E. Oppenheimer & Son.
Luxury goods magnate Johann Rupert is next on the list of billionaires in South Africa, with a net worth of $5.5 billion.
Clipping at Rupert’s heels is retail tycoon Christoffel Wiese. Wiese has various stakes, including Converge Net, a South African Technology business and a 15% stake in Shoprite Holdings. He gained $1.6 Billion since 2013 as a result of growth at Pepkor and higher stock prices.
The list also includes media mogul Koos Bekker, mining magnate Patrice Motsepe and Steven Saad, who co-founded Aspen Pharmacare, which has become the largest producer of generic medicines on the African continent.