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Meet the 7 richest South African billionaires in 2023

South Africa, ranked as one of Africa’s “Big 5” wealth markets alongside Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, and Kenya, collectively holds more than one half of the continent’s total wealth.

With a total private wealth exceeding $650 billion, South Africa maintains its position as Africa’s largest wealth market and most industrialized economy.

Many individuals within the country have seized the opportunities within and outside its economy to create wealth for themselves while simultaneously contributing value to society.

Johann Rupert is a prime example.

As a prominent luxury mogul and billionaire businessman, he holds the notable distinction of being South Africa’s wealthiest individual, and the second-richest man in all of Africa.

This is largely attributed to his diverse business interests, spanning from luxury ventures in Switzerland under Richemont, to private investments in South Africa through Remgro Limited.

With numerous other ultra-wealthy individuals vying for a spot on the coveted richest list, it has become increasingly crucial to keep an eye on the top seven wealthiest South African billionaires and track the growth of their fortunes since the beginning of the year.

This is especially vital as global equities undergo a rebound after a lackluster performance in 2022.

#1 Johann Rupert

Net worth: $12 billion

Source: Diversified

Johann Rupert is South Africa’s wealthiest man, with a net worth of $12 billion stemming from his investments in luxury goods companies Compagnie Financiere Richemont, Reinet Investments, and Remgro, a South Africa-based investment vehicle.

His net worth has risen by $1.04 billion from $10.9 billion at the start of the year to $12 billion due to the performance of his 9.14 percent stake in Richemont, a Swiss luxury goods company with a diverse portfolio of premium brands including Chloe, Dunhill, Alaa, Cartier, and Delvaux.

#2 Nicky Oppenheimer

Net worth: $8.5 billion

Source: Diversified

Nicky Oppenheimer is the second-richest South African billionaire and the third-richest billionaire in Africa, with a net worth estimated to be around $8.5 billion.

His fortune is held in private equity investments in Africa, Asia, the United States, and Europe through the London-based Stockdale Street and Johannesburg-based Tana Africa Capital.

In 2012, the billionaire sold his family’s 40-percent interest in De Beers to Anglo-American for $5.2 billion in cash, bringing his family’s 80-year ownership to an end.

Since the start of 2023, Oppenheimer’s net worth has increased by $475 million.

#3 Patrick Soon-Shiong

Net worth: $8.5 billion

Source: Healthcare

Patrick Soon-Shiong, the Chinese-South African transplant surgeon, bioscientist, and biopharma billionaire, is the 24th richest person in the world, with a reported net worth of $8.81 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

He became a billionaire through his development of the cancer treatment Abraxane and the subsequent sale of his pharmaceutical companies, APP Pharmaceuticals, and Abraxis BioScience, for a combined $7.5 billion.

He now holds a 76-percent stake in late-stage immunotherapy firm ImmunityBio, which has contributed an additional $811 million to his net worth.

#4 Patrice Motsepe

Net worth: $2.8 billion

Source: Mining, Investments

Patrice Motsepe, a South African billionaire mining tycoon and the founder of African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country.

Established in 1997 as South Africa’s first Black-owned mining corporation, ARM has extensive holdings in iron, coal, copper, gold, platinum, and other precious metal mines.

Motsepe’s current ownership of ARM stands at 39.7 percent, and the company is now worth more than $1.3 billion.

Despite his net worth declining by $400 million since the start of 2023, from $3.2 billion to $2.8 billion, Motsepe continues to be a powerful force in the African mining industry.

#5 Koos Bekker

Net worth: $2.4 billion

Source: Media, Investments

Koos Bekker, a renowned entrepreneur whose smart investments and business acumen have propelled the success of companies like Naspers, a multinational holding company based in Cape Town, and Amsterdam-based Prosus N.V., an investment group, has established himself as one of Africa’s wealthiest individuals.

His impressive net worth of $2.4 billion is derived mainly from his stakes in Naspers (0.96 percent) and Prosus NV (0.89 percent), with his shareholding in Naspers alone being worth R13.53 billion ($740 million).

#6 Christoffel Wiese

Net worth: $1.1 billion

Source: Retail

Christoffel Wiese, a South African billionaire, built his fortune through his Pepkor retail empire, which expanded into other African countries.

After Steinhoff International acquired Pepkor in 2015, Wiese lost his billionaire status when the company disclosed accounting irregularities in 2017.

In 2022, Wiese regained his wealth through a settlement with Steinhoff, which included a five-percent stake in Pepkor. His main asset is Shoprite, along with holdings in Tradehold, Brait, and Invicta Holdings.

#7 Michiel Le Roux

Net worth: $1 billion

Source: Banking

Michiel Le Roux, who founded Capitec Bank, one of South Africa’s leading retail banks, roughly 21 years ago, derives the majority of his $1 billion net worth from his 11.41-percent shareholding in Capitec Bank, a Stellenbosch-based banking company.

His net worth has declined from $1.9 billion to $1 billion, mainly due to a $160-million surge in the market value of his equity position in Capitec Bank.

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