You would think that in this day and age, when many people flaunt their wealth publicly or on social media, that it would be simple to get information about rich families in South Africa.
The reality is that many rich families in South Africa are content with remaining out of the spotlight. A notorious recluse, Johann Rupert not only claims the title of being the richest man in South Africa, but he also has an estimated net worth of $7.7 billion.
As chairman of Swiss-based luxury goods company Richemont as well as of the South Africa-based company Remgro, Rupert was born to Anton Rupert, a South African tycoon.
The ways that rich families in South Africa have made their money and continue to make it vary widely. This can be in the form of mining, oil exploration and services, telecommunications, media, film industries, information technologies and real estate acquisition. Many families are also collecting art.
According to research by New World Wealth, released in 2015, 42% of all dollar millionaires in Africa live in South Africa. The city of Johannesburg has the most millionaires, with 23 400.
While some of these individuals are born into rich families, others are self-made millionaires. The wealth is often passed on to descendants, something which often presents a number of challenges.
Bimpe Nkontchou, managing principal of UK-based wealth management company W8 Advisory told CNN: “The offspring of wealth creators grow up in a very comfortable and cosseted environment and perhaps might lose that drive, the hunger that created the wealth in the first place. It’s challenging for families to create an entrepreneurial spirit within them.”
The Financial Mail spoke to Marc Lubner, an heir to the PG Glass fortune, who said that a “family office” has played a role in preserving the Lubner family wealth to the third generation.
Africa’s first black billionaire, Patrice Motsepe and his family are at the upper echelons of rich families in South Africa. One of his sisters, Bridgette Radebe is South Africa’s first black female mining entrepreneur, while his other sister, Dr Tshepo Motsepe-Ramaphosa is a renowned medical doctor.
Motsepe is a member of “The Giving Pledge”, the group of billionaires who have vowed to give back to society.