South Africa has a diverse range of industries, including mining, finance, and telecommunications. Over the years, many individuals have amassed incredible wealth through their business ventures and investments, making them some of the richest people in the country. Our team of experts researched and compiled a list of the wealthiest individuals in South Africa based on their net worth, position on Forbes’ list, assets, and businesses.
In our blog, we have Johann Rupert, Richemont’s chairman, the richest man in South Africa, a Swiss luxury goods company with a net worth of over 9.8 billion. He is also the second richest man in Africa after Aliko Dangote from Nigeria. Following closely is Nicky Oppenheimer, former chairman of De Beers, with a net worth of over $8.4 billion and the third richest person in Africa.
Beyond their vast wealth, these billionaires have significantly contributed to their industries and communities. From pioneering new technologies to supporting philanthropic causes, they continue to shape the economic and social landscape of South Africa. In this blog, we will closely examine their biographies, current net worth, and businesses.
1. Johann Rupert
Net worth: $9.8 Billion
Age: 72 years
Source of wealth/ Industry: Trading luxury products and investments
Johann Rupert is a South African billionaire businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, born on June 1, 1950, in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He is the chairman of Richemont, a Swiss luxury goods company that owns brands such as Cartier, Dunhill, Montblanc, and Van Cleef & Arpels. Rupert is also the chairman of Reinet Investments, a Luxembourg-based investment holding company.
Rupert’s father, Anton Rupert, was also a successful businessman and entrepreneur who founded several companies in South Africa. Johann Rupert began his career in the family business, working at the tobacco company Rembrandt Group, founded by his father.
In 1988, Rupert led a management buyout of Rembrandt Group’s international tobacco interests, which became known as Richemont. He has since expanded the company’s portfolio to include luxury brands in the fashion, jewellery, and accessories sectors.
In addition to his business interests, Rupert is a philanthropist and has donated millions of dollars to various causes. He has established several charitable foundations, including the Laureus Sport for Good and Nelson Mandela Foundation. He has also been involved in promoting conservation and environmental sustainability in Africa.
He has received honorary degrees from the University of St. Andrews, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, and Stellenbosch University. He was named Chancellor of Stellenbosch University and awarded the Management Excellence Award from the University of Witwatersrand in 2009. The French President made him an officer of the French National Order of the Legion of Merit that same year.
Johann Rupert has received several awards and recognitions for his contributions to business and philanthropy. Some of these include:
- South African Business Leader of the Year Award (1998): Rupert was awarded this prestigious award for his success as a businessman and entrepreneur.
- Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2004): Rupert was recognized for his outstanding achievements in the luxury goods industry.
- Officer of the Legion of Honour (2009): This is one of the highest honors in France, and Rupert received it for his contributions to the arts and culture.
- Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters (2011): Rupert was awarded this French honour for supporting the arts and his contributions to cultural initiatives.
- Philanthropist of the Year Award (2013): Rupert received this award for his extensive philanthropic work through the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and other charitable initiatives.
- Business for Arts Philanthropy Award (2015): Rupert was recognized for his support of the arts and his contributions to cultural organizations in South Africa.
- Harvard Business School’s Global Leadership Award (2017): Rupert received this award for his leadership in the luxury goods industry and philanthropic contributions to society
2. Nicky Oppenheimer
Net worth: $8.4 Billion
Age: 78 years
Source of wealth/ Industry: Diamond trade
Nicky Oppenheimer, a well-known entrepreneur and philanthropist, was born on June 8, 1945, in Johannesburg, South Africa. With a net worth of $8.4 billion, he is currently the third richest person in Africa. Oppenheimer has gained recognition and respect worldwide for his contributions to business and philanthropy.
For 14 years, from 1998 to 2012, Oppenheimer served as the chairman of De Beers, the world’s largest diamond mining company. During this period, he also held a directorship at Anglo American, the parent company of De Beers. In 2012, he sold his family’s 40% ownership in De Beers to Anglo-American for $5.1 billion, demonstrating his astute business skills.
Apart from his business interests, Oppenheimer is a compassionate philanthropist who has generously donated millions of dollars to various causes. He established the Brenthurst Foundation to promote economic growth and development in Africa. Additionally, he founded the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust to support education and social development in South Africa.
Oppenheimer is a dedicated conservationist and an advocate for environmental sustainability in Africa. He has donated funds to establish several national parks and protected areas in South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, further showcasing his commitment to environmental conservation.
Nicky Oppenheimer’s contributions to society have been recognized with several awards and honors, including the Order of Good Hope, one of South Africa’s highest honors. Overall, Oppenheimer’s legacy is one of success in both business and philanthropy, inspiring many.
Nicky Oppenheimer has received several awards and recognitions for his business and philanthropic contributions. Some of these include:
Order of Good Hope (1999): This is one of South Africa’s highest honors, and Oppenheimer was recognized for his contributions to business and philanthropy.
Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy (2005): Oppenheimer was recognized for his extensive philanthropic work, including his support for African education and conservation efforts.
Botswana’s Presidential Order of Honour (2008): Oppenheimer was awarded this honour in recognition of his contributions to Botswana’s economy and society.
Lifetime Achievement Award (2012): Oppenheimer was recognized for contributing to the mining industry and philanthropic work at the Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town, South Africa.
Business Leadership South Africa’s Business Leader of the Year (2017): Oppenheimer received this award for his leadership in the mining industry and his contributions to society.
Global Leadership Award (2018): Oppenheimer was recognized by the United Nations Foundation and the Global Leadership Council for his philanthropic work and leadership in promoting sustainable development in Africa.
Freedom of the City of London (2019): Oppenheimer was awarded this honour by the City of London Corporation in recognition of his business and philanthropic contributions to society.
3. Patrice Motsepe
Net worth: $3.2 Billion
Source of wealth/ Industry: Mining
Patrice Motsepe is a South African businessman and philanthropist. He was born on January 28, 1962, in Soweto, South Africa. He is the founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), a mining company based in South Africa. Motsepe is also the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), a position he was elected to in March 2021.
Motsepe is known for his philanthropic work, mainly through the Motsepe Foundation, which he founded with his wife, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe. The foundation focuses on education, health, and economic development in South Africa. He is one of the wealthiest people in Africa, with an estimated net worth of about $3.2 billion.
Patrice Motsepe is a South African businessman and philanthropist who has received numerous awards and recognitions for his contributions to business, philanthropy, and social development. Some of his notable awards and recognitions include:
- Forbes Africa Person of the Year (2013): In recognition of his business acumen and philanthropic contributions to the African continent.
- Sunday Times Lifetime Achievement Award (2014): In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the South African business community.
- South African Presidential Order of Honor (2016): Awarded by former President Jacob Zuma for his contributions to the economic and social development of South Africa.
- United Nations Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate – Special Recognition Award (2019): In recognition of his leadership and commitment to sustainable water management practices.
- Time 100 Most Influential People in the World (2020): Named one of Time magazine’s most influential people worldwide for his philanthropic work and leadership in business.
4. Koos Bekker
Net worth: $2.8 Billion
Source of riches/ Industry: Media and investments
According to Forbes, Koos Bekker is a South African businessman and philanthropist with a net worth of $2.8 billion. He is best known for his tenure as the CEO of Naspers, a South African multinational media and internet company, from 1997 until 2014.
Under Bekker’s leadership, Naspers transformed from a traditional print media company into a global internet and media powerhouse, investing in companies such as Tencent, Mail.ru, and Flipkart. Bekker is also a noted philanthropist and has donated significant sums to education and conservation initiatives in South Africa.
The South African newspaper publisher Naspers is credited with becoming a cable TV & e-commerce titan thanks to Koos Bekker. He urged Naspers to make arguably the most significant venture investment in history in 2001, paying a reported $34 million for a third of the Chinese Internet company Tencent Holdings.
In April 2021, Prosus sold roughly $15 billion of Tencent, increasing its ownership to 29% after Naspers had sold 2% of the company.
Bekker has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to business and philanthropy, including:
- The International Emmy Directorate Award (2018) recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to the television and media world.
- Forbes Africa Person of the Year (2014) – This award recognizes individuals who have significantly impacted the African continent.
- CNBC Africa Business Leader of the Year (2013) – This award recognizes business leaders who have demonstrated excellence in their field.
- Financial Times ArcelorMittal Boldness in Business Award (2011) recognizes individuals who have demonstrated boldness and innovation in business.
- South African Business Leader of the Year (2007) – This award recognizes business leaders who have significantly impacted the South African business community.
5. Stephen Saad
Net worth: $1.4 Billion
Source of riches/ Industry: Pharmaceuticals
Stephen Saad, a South African businessman and entrepreneur, was born on June 23, 1964. He is the founder and CEO of Aspen Pharmacare, a multinational pharmaceutical firm headquartered in South Africa. Saad started his career as a pharmacist in the public and private sectors after graduating from the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa.
With only three people when he founded Aspen Pharmacare in 1997, Saad has expanded it into a significant player in the pharmaceutical sector, operating in more than 50 countries. The company’s rapid expansion under Saad’s leadership has been fueled by several acquisitions and strategic alliances, making it one of the world’s largest producers of generic medicines.
Saad received several honours for his outstanding business and entrepreneurship achievements, including the Ernst & Young Global Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2017. He is also involved in charitable activities, supporting healthcare and education programs in South Africa.
Aside from his work in the pharmaceutical industry, Saad also owns a private game reserve and Sharks, a rugby union club. Aspen Pharmacare trades on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and currently markets generic medicines in more than 150 countries. In 2014, Saad was named Entrepreneur of the Year at the All-Africa Business Leaders Awards gala.
Stephen Saad is a South African businessman and entrepreneur who has received several awards and recognitions throughout his career. Here are some notable ones:
- Entrepreneur of the Year award at the All Africa Business Leaders Awards in 2013.
- The African Business Leader of the Year Award at the Africa CEO Forum in 2016.
- The Aspen Global Leader Network Award in 2017.
- The Free Market Foundation’s Luminary Award in 2018.
6. Michiel Le Roux
Net worth: $1.2 Billion
Source of wealth/ Industry: Banking
Michiel Le Roux, a businessman and entrepreneur from South Africa, was born on May 20, 1949. He has a net worth of $1.2 billion and is well known for founding Capitec Bank, one of the biggest banks in South Africa, with over 15 million clients.
After noticing a need in the market for easily accessible and reasonably priced financial services for low-income earners, Le Roux created Capitec Bank in 2001. The bank now provides a variety of economic goods and services, such as savings accounts, loans, and insurance, and has developed into one of South Africa’s top retail banks.
Le Roux has been successful in a number of other commercial initiatives in addition to his work with Capitec Bank, including investments in real estate, wineries, and art collections. Le Roux lives in the UK but is still involved in running Capitec Bank.
Michiel Le Roux is a South African businessman and entrepreneur who has received several awards and recognitions throughout his career. Here are some notable ones:
- Entrepreneur of the Year award at the All Africa Business Leaders Awards in 2016.
- Business Leader of the Year award at the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies Awards in 2017.
- Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Awards in 2019.
- Honorary Doctorate in Commerce from Stellenbosch University in South Africa in 2020.
7. Christoffel Wiese
Net worth: $1.1 Billion
Source of riches/ Industry: Fashion and clothing, winery, and stock trading
Christoffel Wiese, a South African billionaire businessman and entrepreneur, was born in Upington, South Africa, on September 10, 1941. He began his career as a lawyer and later moved into business, founding and leading Pepkor, a South African retail company that focuses on discount clothing and household goods.
Under Wiese’s leadership, Pepkor grew rapidly, and in 2014 it merged with Steinhoff International, which owned other retail brands such as Conforama, Mattress Firm, and Poundland. Wiese became the largest shareholder and chairman of Steinhoff International, which had a market capitalization of over $20 billion at its peak. However, in late 2017, the company was hit by a financial scandal, resulting in a massive drop in its share price and causing Wiese to lose billions of dollars of personal wealth.
Wiese’s primary source of wealth is consumer retail, and his consistent investment in the retail business has been instrumental in increasing his wealth. He owns an 18% stake in Shoprite, currently valued at $910 million. Wiese is also the chairman of PEP, where he owns 44% of the company’s shares. In addition, he has invested heavily in seven companies listed on the stock exchange, and his other assets include stakes in Invicta Holdings, Brait, a private equity firm, and Pallinghurst, which invests in mining.
Wiese’s net worth is estimated at $1.1 billion. Apart from his business interests, he owns Lanzerac Manor & Winery and Lourensford Estate. Despite the setbacks caused by the Steinhoff scandal, Wiese’s success in business and entrepreneurship continues to inspire many.
Christoffel Wiese has received several awards and honours throughout his career. Here are some notable ones:
- Order of the Baobab: In 2008, the South African government awarded Wiese the Order of the Baobab in Silver for his contribution to developing the country’s economy and for his philanthropic work.
- Sunday Times Lifetime Achievement Award: In 2013, Wiese was honoured with the Sunday Times Lifetime Achievement Award for contributing to the South African business community.
- African Business Leader of the Year: In 2016, Wiese was named African Business Leader of the Year by the Africa CEO Forum for his contribution to developing the African retail sector.
- Business Leader of the Year: In 2016, Wiese was also awarded the Business Leader of the Year Award at the South African Business Awards for his contribution to the country’s economy and business community.
- Forbes Africa Person of the Year: In 2016, Wiese was named Forbes Africa Person of the Year for his contribution to the African retail sector and his success in building Pepkor and Steinhoff International into global retail giants.
8. Desmond Sacco
Net worth: $1.1 Billion
Source of riches/ Industry: Mining
Desmond Sacco was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1938. He got his Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of South Africa. His father, Guido Sacco, founded the Assore Group in 1928.
Desmond Sacco chairs the South African mining firm Assore Group, which mines for iron ore, manganese and other ores. Sacco’s father, the Guido, founded the company in 1950, and Desmond joined the group in 1968. Desmond Sacco owns about 32% of the Johannesburg-listed Assore Group. Assore has a 50% stake in mining group Assmang, which it shares with billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Minerals group.
Desmond Sacco’s adventure started in the early 1960s. He started collecting solid minerals while still a student at the university, and in 1964 he was allowed to work at the Beeshoek mine, which is located close to Postmasburg in the Northern Cape region. Desmond also visited the Kalahari Manganese Field’s Black Rock mine at Beeshoek.
Sacco joined the Assore Group in 1968, which his father had created four decades earlier and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. In 1974, he was appointed to the board of directors. Since 1992, he has held the positions of chairman and managing director. He is the chairman of Assmang Limited. Sacco is a fellow of the Geological Society of South Africa and the Institute of Directors.
Desmond Sacco is a South African businessman and philanthropist who has received several awards and recognitions throughout his career. Here are some notable ones:
- International Businessperson of the Year at the Business Day Awards in 1998.
- International Leadership Award from the Young Presidents’ Organization in 2006.
- Order of the Baobab in Silver for his contribution to the mining industry and community development in South Africa in 2008.
- Ernst & Young Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant contributions to the mining industry in 2011.
- Mining Industry Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Joburg Indaba.
9. Ivan Saltzman
Net worth: $1 Billion
Sources of wealth/ Industry: Pharmaceuticals
Ivan Saltzman was born in South Africa in 1950. He was raised in South Africa’s Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape. He earned his pharmacy degree at the Johannesburg School of Pharmacy in 1974.
South African business tycoon Ivan Saltzman co-founded the corporate retail and pharmaceutical organization Dis-Chem. The pharmacy group is active in Namibia, South Africa, and Botswana. It focuses on wellness, sports nutrition, healthy eating, and beauty.
Saltzman’s success road was never easy in South Africa, where two of every three new businesses fail within the first two years of operation. Dis-Chem broke even in its first year of business with R84 000 in revenue. Yet more was needed because the stand-alone operation remained constrained by hefty operational expenses.
The Dis-success Chem’s in Randburg, north of Johannesburg, at the Randridge Mall in 1982, which forced nearby rivals to relocate or close their doors, was a significant development.
10. Jannie Mouton
Net worth: $1 billion
Source of wealth/ Industry: Finance
Jannie Mouton is a well-known businessman from South Africa and the creator of PSG Group, one of the country’s top investment holding companies. Mouton was born on January 12th, 1946, in Montagu, South Africa’s Western Cape region town. Jannie Mouton is also one of the billionaires in South Africa.He began his career as a stockbroker before founding PSG Group in 1995, which has since grown to be one of South Africa’s biggest investment holding businesses.
Mouton has received several accolades and honours for his entrepreneurial spirit and commercial savvy. The Sunday Times Top 100 Companies Awards honoured him as South Africa’s Business Leader of the Year in 2012. Moreover, Ernst & Young recognized him as Entrepreneur of the Year.
Mouton has been active in South African philanthropy and commercial endeavours. He founded the Jannie Mouton Foundation, which aids programs for healthcare and education in underserved areas. Forbes estimates his net worth to be about $1 billion.
Jannie Mouton has received various awards and recognitions for his business acumen and entrepreneurship, including:
- South Africa’s Business Leader of the Year by the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies Awards in 2012.
- Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013.
- Businessman of the Year award by the Cape Chamber of Commerce in 2013.
- Financial Mail’s Lifetime Achiever Award in 2017.
- Financial Mail’s Business Leader of the Year in 2019.
Top 50 Richest People in South Africa
|Rank||Name||Net Worth (in Rands)|
|1||Johann Rupert||R187.09 billion|
|2||Nicky Oppenheimer||R157.16 billion|
|3||Patrice Motsepe||R61.09 billion|
|4||Koos Bekker||R53.65 billion|
|5||Stephen Saad||R26.72 billion|
|6||Michiel Le Roux||R22.77 billion|
|7||Christoffel Wiese||R20.83 billion|
|8||Desmond Sacco||R20.83 billion|
|9||Ivan Glasenberg||R18.77 billion|
|10||Jannie Mouton||R18.77 billion|
|11||Allan Gray||R17.48 billion|
|12||Lauritz Dippenaar||R8.5 billion|
|13||Cyril Ramaphosa||R8 billion|
|14||Vusi Thembekwayo||R8 billion|
|15||Raymond Ackerman||R6.9 billion|
|16||Adrian Gore||R6.7 billion|
|17||Gerrit Thomas Ferreira||R5.8 billion|
|18||Gus Attridge||R5.7 billion|
|19||Giovanni Ravazzotti||R4.73 billion|
|20||Mark Shuttleworth||R4.73 billion|
|21||Wendy Appelbaum||R4.73 billion|
|22||Paul Harris||R3.4 billion|
|23||Tokyo Sexwale||R2.9 billion|
|24||Wendy Ackerman||R2.5 billion|
|25||Sipho Nkosi||R1.9 billion|
|26||Irene Charnley||R1.5 billion|
|27||Bridgette Radebe||R1.3 billion|
|28||Zwelibanzi Vincent Mntambo||R1.1 billion|
|29||Yvonne Chaka Chaka||R1 billion|
|30||Black Coffee||R933 million|
|31||Nkululeko Leonard Sowazi||R26 million|
|32||Mike Teke||R682 million|
|33||Saki Macozoma||R565 million|
|34||Dalikhaya Zihlangu||R533 million|
|35||Richard Maponya||R400 million|
|36||Jacob Zuma||R290 million|
|37||Mamkhize Net worth||R350 million|
|38||Steve Hofmeyr||R245 million|
|41||Rebecca Malope||R60 million|
|42||Die Antwood||R49 million|
|43||Casper Nyovest||R46 million|
|46||DJ Euphonik||R29 million|
|47||Da L.E.S||R18 million|
|49||Tumi Molekane||R16 million|
|50||Juanita Du Plessis||R16 million|
The Richest Family in South Africa?
The richest family in South Africa is the Rupert family, headed by Johann Rupert. The Rupert family has significant interests in the luxury goods industry through their company, Richemont, which owns well-known brands like Cartier, Montblanc, and Dunhill. They are also involved in various other businesses and investments.
Johann Rupert’s father, Anton Rupert, was also a successful businessman and founder of several companies in South Africa, including Remgro Limited.
South Africa has a diverse array of successful entrepreneurs and business magnates who have achieved remarkable wealth and success across various industries. The top 10 richest individuals in South Africa, from Johann Rupert to Jannie Mouton, have accumulated significant fortunes and made substantial contributions to their communities and industries.
Their stories exemplify the spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation, and philanthropy that continues to shape South Africa’s economic and social landscape. As they continue to influence and inspire, these individuals play a pivotal role in the nation’s growth and development.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the richest person in South Africa?
Johann Rupert is the richest individual in South Africa, the chairman of Richemont, a Swiss luxury goods company that owns brands like Cartier, Dunhill, and Montblanc, among others.
What is the richest family in South Africa?
The Rupert family is one of the wealthiest families in South Africa. The family’s wealth is primarily attributed to their ownership and control of Richemont, a Swiss luxury goods company, as well as their involvement in various other businesses and investments.
Who is the richest man in Africa?
The richest person in Africa is Aliko Dangote, a Nigerian businessman and the owner of Dangote Group, one of the largest conglomerates in Africa. His wealth primarily comes from his investments in industries such as cement, sugar, salt, and flour.