South Africa is one of the most developed countries in Africa and with development comes opportunities and riches and this is the reason South Africans make up most of the list of richest people in Africa. Looking within the confines of South Africa, who are the richest people in South Africa? Answers Africa takes an in-depth look at the richest men and women in South Africa. These are individuals with huge amount of wealth worth billions of United States dollars who have built successful business empires and also qualify as big time investors. Some of them became established by through their family wealth and some build successful businesses from scratch while some others took loans and converted it into billions. Below is the list of richest people in South Africa.
Richest People in South Africa
10. Gerrit Thomas (GT) Ferreira
Image Credit: Forbes
GT Ferreira is a South African self made millionaire with a total net worth of $480 million. This has placed him among the wealthiest people in South Africa. Gerrit Thomas’ source of wealth spans across insurance, banking and finance. He co-founded Rand Consolidated Investments in 1977 with Laurie Dippenaar and Paul Harris which eventually became Rand Merchant Bank, and after a series of mergers and acquisitions became the FirstRand group; one of the biggest banks in South Africa. He currently serves as a non-executive chairman of RMB Holdings. He has a great taste for good wine which may have ignited his interest the Tokara vineyard and winemaker which he ownes. According to Ferreira, wine is all about ROE, or “return on ego” rather than on equity. It is worthy of note that Tokara has been a success with the wine critics, winning gold medals every year since it started to produce wine under its own label.
9. Raymond Ackerman
Image Credit: Forbes
Raymond Ackerman (born 10 March 1931) is a familiar name in South Africa. He is the man behind the South African retail giant: Pick ‘n’ Pay. Ackerman won the Outstanding Young South African of the year award in 1965, along with Gary Player and by the time he was 35 years old in 1966, he became the managing director of 85 Checkers stores; however, he was fired in the same year. In his fighting spirit, he bought four stores in Cape Town and started trading under the name Pick ‘n Pay and under his leadership, Pick ‘n Pay has grown into one of Africa’s largest supermarket chains. Today, the Pick n Pay Group has a total of 775 stores, made up of Hypermarkets, Supermarkets and Family Stores (which are franchise stores) and employs over 42 000 people, and generates an annual turnover of R55.3 billion leaving Ackerman one of South Africa’s richest men with a total net worth of $550 million.
8. Laurie Dippenaar
Laurie Dippenaar is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a South African millionaire who co-founded FirstRand Limited in 1977 with GT Ferreira – one of the four South African high street banks. He currently serves the FirstRand Group in a non-executive capacity – a group that operates in South Africa, five neighboring countries and India, and more than $80 billion in assets.. He is also Chairman of Discovery, Momentum and OUTsurance. Laurie is a philantropist who has endowed the Laurie Dippenaar scholarship offering $44,000 a year in scholarships towards any South African with leadership potential for a postgraduate degree. He is currently worth $625 million.
7. Cyril Ramaphosa
A lover of fast cars, vintage wine, trout fishing and game farming, Cyril Ramaphosa is the second richest black businessman in South Africa. He had always loved politics and was hoping to become Nelson Mandela’s vice president which never worked out. He became the symbol of black capitalism in South Africa. Widely respected as a skilful and formidable negotiator and strategist, he acquired a stake in almost every key sector – from telecoms and the media to beverages and fast-food (he owns the South African franchise of the US fast food chain, McDonalds) and mining. He is best known for building up the biggest and most powerful trade union in South Africa and with this great acumen, he translated his business to a successful empire. He is currently worth $675 million.
6. Stephen Saad
Stephen Saad is one of South Africa’s richest men. His net worth currently stands at $1 billion. Regarded as a shrewd business man with vast experience in pharmaceuticals, Stephen Saad founded Aspen Pharmacare, South Africa’s leading and publicly-traded drug manufacturer on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Aspen stakes have risen throughout 2012, making Saad a billionaire when his company established relationships with global pharmacy innovators that often see generic companies as rivals hence GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical corporations is the largest shareholder in Aspen.
5. Desmond Sacco
Desmond Sacco who qualified as a Geologist is Chairman of Assore Ltd, a mining company with HQ in Johannesburg. His shares in the mining corporation has almost doubled since January last year till now. He is also the Chairman of Ore & Metal Co Ltd and African Mining & Trust Co Ltd. In his early years, Desmond Sacco played cricket and hockey at the South African University. His father formed the Assore mining company and after his father retired in 1992, he became the Chairman and Managing Director of the company. His net worth currently stands at $1.5 billion.
4. Patrice Motsepe
Patrice Motsepe is one of the wealthiest people in South Africa and Africa at large. He is South Africa’s first and only black billionaire and is regarded as a mining magnet and his company African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) has interests in platinum, nickel, chrome, iron, manganese, coal, copper and gold. He also owns shares in Harmony Gold, through his company ARM. Patrice Motsepe was born in Soweto and later trained as a lawyer. He is a self made African billionaire who started by buying low-producing gold mine shafts in 1994 and turned them profitable using a lean management style. He also holds a equity in Sanlam, another publicly traded financial services company outside the city of Cape Town. Some of his non “coporate” investments include the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club in which he is the president an owner. His net worth is $2.9bn
3. Christoffel Wiese
Christoeffel Wiese is South Africa’s third richest man and the 6th richest person in Africa in the latest ranking of Africa’s richest people. He is a self-made billionaire with most of his wealth coming from the retail sector. Christoffel is the chairman and the largest single shareholder of Africa’s biggest retailer store and low-priced supermarket chain “Shoprite”. He also has large stakes in Pepkor, a large discount wears, including clothes, shoes and textiles chain where he is executive chairman. He is also an investor in seven publicly traded companies. His net worth stands at $3.5 bn.
2. Nicky Oppenheimer & family
This diamond magnet is one of the richest men in South Africa with a staggering $6.5 billion under his control. A graduate of Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Nicky Oppenheimer in 1968 worked in London at the Anglo American Corporation, a mining company founded in 1917 by his father and in 1975, he went back to Johannesburg where he joined De Beers Company and later sold his 40% stake in De Beers. Nicky Oppenheimer’s other interests apart from making money include flying helicopters, cricket and conservation. He owns the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve which is regarded as the largest private game reserve in South Africa.
1. Johann Rupert & family
Johann Rupert’s is the richest man in South Africa and the second richest man in Africa. He is the chief of luxury goods outfit – Compagnie Financiere Richemont. Apart from the companies mentioned, Johann also has stakes in investment holding companies: Remgro and Reinet. He is an avid golfer who is living life at its luxury. He is currently worth of $6.6 billion. He is Chancellor of the University of Stellenbosch, in South Africa’s wine country.