Richest South Africans

With the 2015 budget speech now a thing of the past, this seems like a good time to reflect on those South Africans who draw up annual budgets in much the same way small nations do. This is a list of the richest South Africans, the 5 people who count as the one percent of the one percent.

#1 Johann Rupert ($7.3 billion)


Johann Rupert, the richest South African.

Johann Peter Rupert (born 1 June 1950) is the eldest son of South African business tycoon Anton Rupert and his wife Huberte. He is the chairman of the Swiss-based luxury-goods company Richemont as well as of the South Africa-based company Remgro.

It was announced on 13 November 2009 that as of 1 April 2010, he would assume the position of Chief Executive Officer of Compagnie Financiere Richemont. Together with his family he was estimated to be worth $7.7 billion as of September 2013 and Forbes ranked him as one of the five richest Africans.

#2 Nicky Oppenheimer ($6.8 billion)


Nicky Oppenheimer enjoying a laugh

Nicholas “Nicky” F. Oppenheimer (born 8 June 1945) is a South African businessman and philanthropist. He was formerly the Chairman of De Beers diamond mining company and of its subsidiary, the Diamond Trading Company, and former Deputy Chairman of the Anglo American Corporation.

After cashing out of the diamond business, Nicky Oppenheimer has moved into investing. The Oppenheimer family ended its 85-year reign atop diamond giant De Beers in 2012 when Nicky sold his 40% stake to mining conglomerate Anglo American for $5.1 billion in cash.

Anglo American, which Nicky’s grandfather founded, now controls 85% of De Beers; the government of Botswana owns the remaining 15%.

#3 Christo Wiese ($5.4 billion)


Retail giant Christo Wiese

Christoffel F. Hendrik Wiese (born 10 September 1941) is a South African businessman. His source of wealth is consumer retail.

Christoffel Wiese continues to chase deals and add to his wealth. Among Wiese’s best-known investments are a 15% stake in publicly traded Shoprite Holdings, which controls supermarkets, furniture stores and fast food outlets in 15 countries across Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.

He also has a controlling interest in Pepkor, a private clothing and footwear giant with nearly 32,000 employees.

#4 Patrice Motsepe ($2.3 billion)

Patrice Tlhopane Motsepe (born 28 January 1962 in Soweto) is a South African mining magnate. He is the founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, which has interests in gold, ferrous metals, base metals, and platinum.


Patrice Motsepe

He also sits on several company boards including being the non-executive chairman of Harmony Gold, the 12th largest gold mining company in the world, and is the deputy chairman of Sanlam.

In 2012, Motsepe was named South Africa’s richest man, topping the Sunday Times’ annual Rich List with an estimated fortune of R20.07 billion ($2.4 billion). In 2003, he became the owner of football club Mamelodi Sundowns.

In 2013, he joined The Giving Pledge, committing to give half his wealth to charitable causes. This was followed in 2014 a $1 million donation to the Ebola Fund in the Republic of Guinea to aid the West African country in its fight against the spread of the Ebola virus.

#5 Koos Bekker

Jacobus Petrus “Koos” Bekker is the billionaire Chairman designate of leading merging markets media group Naspers.


Former Naspers CEO Koos Bekker

The company operates in 130 countries and is listed on the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges. It has the largest market capitalization of any media company outside the US and China.

Koos Bekker stepped down as CEO of media conglomerate Naspers in February 2014 after running the Cape Town-based company since 1997. As of April 2015 he will chair the Naspers board.

He transformed the publisher into a new media powerhouse, with investments in China, India, Russia and elsewhere, including stakes in China’s Internet behemoth Tencent Holdings, Russian Internet giant and Brazilian magazine publisher Abril.