Find out the top 20 richest men in South Africa this year. Some of them are in the Forbes ranking, and others are not, but they are all wealthy and successful.
Here are South Africa’s 20 Richest Men. South Africa has one of the best economies in Africa and is a leader in many sectors.
Naturally, the country is also home to a number of enterprising individuals who have used their skills and knowledge to amass immense wealth.
Who are the top 20 richest men in South Africa?
South Africa’s top entrepreneurs have continued to reap the benefits of having built successful businesses that are currently worth billions of naira. Here’s the complete list of the richest men in South Africa.
1. Nicky Oppenheimer – R105 billion
Nicky Oppenheimer, arguably the world’s most successful diamond purveyor, inherited his fortune from his grandfather who founded Anglo American.
In 2012, he sold his 40% stake in DeBeers to Anglo American for USD5.1 billion in cash. Anglo American now controls 85% of De Beers.
He served on Anglo American’s board for 37 years until 2011 and retains an estimated 1% stake in the company according to Forbes. His net worth is R95.2 billion.
2. Johann Rupert – R103 billion
Rupert is the chairman of Swiss luxury goods firm Compagnie Financiere Richemont. This firm is best known for brands including Cartier and Montblanc.
Rupert now owns a 7% stake in diversified investment firm Remgro, which he also chairs.
He owns 25% of Reinet, an investment holding company based in Luxembourg that has a stake in British American Tobacco. His net worth is R95.2 billion.
3. Christoffel Wiese – R76.16 billion
Wiese built a retail empire by capitalising on bargain prices and has expanded its geographic footprint. In August 2016, Wiese’s furniture and home goods retailer Steinhoff entered the U.S. market, and bought Mattress Firm Holding Corp., for USD 2.4 billion, according to Forbes.
His other investments include 15% of Shoprite Holdings, which has supermarkets, furniture stores and fast food outlets in 15 countries across Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, as well as stakes in private equity firm Brait, industrial products company Invicta Holdings and mining-sector investor Pallinghurst, says Forbes. He’s worth R76.16 billion.
4. Ivan Glasenberg – R65.28 billion
He holds the largest private stake in Glencore (8.4%), the world’s biggest commodity trader. He started out by earning his MBA from the University of Southern California in 1983.
He got his professional start with the legendary oil trader Marc Rich, working as a marketer. By the time, management bought it out and re-branded it as Glencore in 1994, Glasenberg had risen to the post of worldwide director.
His net worth sky-rocketed when Glencore went public in 2011. His net worth is R65.28 billion.
5. Koos Bekker – R28.56 billion
He is revered as an astute executive who transformed newspaper publisher Naspers into a digital media powerhouse, says Forbes.
During his tenure as CEO, which began in 1997, Bekker oversaw a rise in market capitalisation of Naspers from USD600 million to USD 45 billion, while drawing no salary, bonus or benefits.
He was compensated for his work with stock option grants that vested over time. In 2015, he sold more than 70% of his Naspers shares. His net worth is R28.56 billion.
6. Allan Gray – R24.48 billion
Gray founded his Cape Town-based investment management firm Allan Gray Limited in 1973. It’s the largest privately-owned asset manager in South Africa, overseeing USD35 billion in assets.
He also founded asset manager, Orbis Investment Management, which manages USD30 billion in assets. His net worth is R24.48 billion.
7. Patrice Motsepe – R24.48 billion
Founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, Patrice Motsepe, also launched a new private equity firm focused on investing in Africa, Africa Rainbow Capital.
Motsepe also has a stake in Sanlam and is the president and owner of the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club. In 1994, he bought low-producing gold mine shafts and turned them profitable. His net worth is R24.48 billion
8. Stephen Saad – R16.32 billion
In 1997, Stephen Saad founded South Africa’s largest pharmaceuticals maker, Aspen Pharmacare, which he runs as CEO. Aspen markets generic medicines in 10 countries.
According to Forbes, Saad became a millionaire at 29 when he sold his shares in the drug business, Coven Zurich, for USD3 million. In 2012, he became the chairman of The Sharks rugby team. His net worth is R16.32 billion.
9. Jannie Mouton – R13.6 billion
Mouton is the founder and chairman of PSG Group, a listed investment holding firm. PSG has interests in financial services, banking, private equity, agriculture and education, according to Forbes.
Both of his sons sit on PSG Group’s board, and his son Piet Mouton is now CEO. His net worth is R13.6 billion.
10. Lauritz Dippenaar – R8.5 billion
Dippenaar is a qualified chartered accountant who built a financial services empire over the last few decades. His journey to wealth started when he co-founded Rand Consolidated Investing with GT Ferreira and Paul Harris in 1977.
After several years, along with mergers and acquisitions, FirstRand was formed in the 1990s.
Dippenaar is a non-executive chairman of FirstRand, which is active in banking and insurance and is active in South Africa, five other neighbouring countries and India. His net worth is R8.5 billion.
11. Michiel Le Roux – R7.2 billion
Le Roux founded Capitec Bank and still serves as the bank’s chairman. Today, his bank has expanded to 668 branches, 6.2 million clients and over 10 000 employees. His net worth is R7.2 billion.
12. Raymond Ackerman – R6.9 billion
In 1966, at 35, Raymond Ackerman was fired from his position as a Managing Director at Checkers. He used his severance pay to acquire four retail outlets that were trading as Pick n Pay.
Under his management, Pick n Pay grew into 794 stores around Southern Africa, Mauritius and Australia. His net worth is R6.9 billion.
13. Adrian Gore – R6.7 billion
Gore is founder and CEO of Discovery Holdings, which provides health insurance for more than 200 000 companies and close to two million people.
Discovery was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and also has operations in the UK and the USA. Gore is the company’s largest individual shareholder with an estimated 8% stake, according to Forbes. His net worth is R6.7 billion.
14. Gerrit Thomas Ferreira – R5.8 billion
He co-founded one of the largest financial services groups in South Africa. In 1977, alongside his partners Paul Harries and Laurie Dippenaar, Ferreira started Rand Consolidated Investing, says Forbes.
After a series of successful mergers and acquisitions, FirstRand was formed in 1990. The business now has operations across South Africa and India. His net worth is R5.8 billion.
15. Gus Attridge – R5.7 billion
He co-founded pharmaceutical maker Aspen Pharmacare with Stephen Saad in 1997. According to Forbes, as Deputy CEO, Attridge owns a 4% stake in the publicly traded firm.
Aspen Pharmacare is the world’s fifth-largest generic drug maker, with an expanded global footprint, and a slew of acquisitions in 2013. His net worth is R5.7 billion.
16. Markus Jooste – R5.6 billion
As CEO of Steinhoff International, Markus Jooste has transformed the South African manufacturer into ‘Africa’s Ikea’ and the second-largest household goods retailer in Europe, says Forbes.
In 2014, Steinhoff International agreed to purchase Pepkor Holdings for USD5.7 billion, adding clothing to the furniture retailer’s inventory. His net worth is R5.6 billion
17. Giovanni Ravazzotti – R4.7 billion
An immigrant to Johannesburg from Italy, he saw a gap in the market in 1969 for affordable tiles and ceramic products in an increasingly urban South Africa. He began importing and retailing them through a company he founded, Italtile.
Ten years later, with the first hints that there would be trade sanctions against South Africa, he pivoted his business and began manufacturing ceramic tiles domestically.
In 1992, his retail company Italtile and manufacturer Ceramic Industries were listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. His net worth is R4.7 billion.
18. Desmond Sacco – R4.7 billion
Sacco, chairman and managing director of Assore Group, experienced a halving of his net worth in 2013 because of the drop of price in iron ore, according to Forbes.
Sacco’s father, Guido, founded the firm in 1928 and passed the reins to his son when he retired in 1992.
The company has a 50% stake in Assmang Limited, a private company that operates seven mines producing chrome, manganese and iron. His net worth is R4.7 billion
19. Mark Shuttleworth – R4.7 billion
At the age of 22, Mark Shuttleworth founded Thawte, a digital certificate and Internet security company. He sold this company to American software giant VeriSign for USD575 million in 1999, when he was 26.
He founded HBD Capital, an emerging markets investment fund. HBD has made a series of successful exits including Fundamo, a mobile financial services company which was acquired by Visa for USD110 million in 2011; and csense, which was acquired by GE Intelligent Platforms. His net worth is R4.7 billion.
20. Paul Harris
Harris joined Rand Consolidated Investments soon after it was founded. When RCI merged with Rand Merchant Bank, he became CEO in 1992, and again in 1998 after it merged with First National Bank to become FirstRand.
Harris was the chief executive of the FirstRand group from 2005 to 2009.
So there you have it. SA’s big 20!