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South Africa is one of the most developed countries in Africa. Such development brings opportunities and riches which is why South Africans make up most of the lists of the richest people in Africa.

But when looking within the confines of the country, there are people who might not have enough to feature on the continental list but are doing quite well for themselves and using their wealth to make a difference. These individuals with a huge amount of wealth have either gotten to where they are today as a result of their successful business empires or through their inheritance which they have been able to put to great use.

20. Wendy Ackerman – R1.9 Billion ($112 Million)

  • Date of Birth: N/A
  • Place of Birth: N/A
  • Education: N/A
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Diversified
  • Net Worth: R1.9 Billion ($112 Million)
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Wendy Ackerman is not just of the elite caliber but one of the most influential women in South Africa. For years, she has been involved in the retail business and this has seen her steer the affairs of the retail giant, Pick N Pay Holdings Limited, where she is a non-executive director. The retail company owns outlets and huge enterprises beyond the shores of South Africa, amassing much profit from its investments in Australia, Nigeria, Mozambique, Zambia, and Namibia among other countries.

Key Takeaways

1. Wendy is the wife of Raymond Ackerman with whom she built the FMCG company that has expanded to different countries of the world.

2. She currently devotes her life to charitable causes and believes that the word “Philanthropy” is a fancy word to help your neighbor.

19. Wendy Appelbaum – R4.7 Billion ($277.3 Million)

  • Date of Birth: N/A
  • Place of Birth: N/A
  • Education: N/A
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Real Estate, Insurance
  • Net Worth: R4.7 Billion ($277.3 Million)
20 richest people in South Africa
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Wendy Appelbaum is the daughter of billionaire Donald Gordon who took over the running of her father’s real estate and insurance establishment, Liberty Investors. Before she began overseeing the affairs of Liberty Investors, she had occupied prominent positions in top tier organizations such as Connection Group Holdings Ltd where she served as the Deputy Chair. In addition to her role with Liberty Investors, Appelbaum serves as the Chairperson of DeMorgenzon Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Key Takeaways

1. DeMorgenzon Wine Estate is owned by both Wendy and her husband, Hylton Appelbaum.

2. She has received several awards and recognitions, including One of the Leading Women Entrepreneurs in the World in 2006 and Top 10 Female Millionaires to Watch Out For in Africa in 2012 from Forbes.

18. Markus Jooste – $400 Million

  • Date of Birth: 22 January 1961
  • Place of Birth: Pretoria, South Africa
  • Education: Stellenbosch University, Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool, and University of Cape Town
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Furniture Retailing
  • Net Worth: $400 Million
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As the former CEO of multinational retail holding company, Steinhoff International, Markus Johannes Jooste was able to elevate the company to a greater height. The chartered accountant was said to have played a prominent role in convincing Claas Daun to merge his business with that of Bruno Steinhoff in Europe which then established the international retail holding company that deals mainly in furniture and household goods. In no time, the company expanded to begin operations in Europe, Asia, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

Key Takeaways

1. Jooste grew up watching his father delve into many things to be able to cater to the family. He worked as a postal worker and was a keen horse race punter.

2. German entrepreneur Claas Daun was a role model to Jooste long before the two began working together.

17. Gus Attridge – $410 Million

  • Date of Birth: 23rd June 1964
  • Place of Birth: Durban, South Africa
  • Education: Durban High School, University of Natal
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Pharmaceuticals
  • Net Worth: $410 Million
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Gus Attridge’s name comes into mind when Pharmaceutical giant, Aspen Pharmacare, is mentioned in countries like South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, and Tanzania amongst other places where the drug-makers have operations. The businessman co-founded the company with current South Africa’s 9th richest man, Stephen Saad, and the pair have been able to grow the company into one of the top five biggest drug-producing companies in the world.

With Gus Attridge owning a 4% stake in the company, his net worth is sure to be on the rise, as the demand for drugs to wipe away our ailments will never go extinct.

16. Adrian Gore – $480 Million

  • Date of Birth: 16 May 1964
  • Place of Birth: South Africa
  • Education: University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Finance
  • Net Worth: $480 Million
20 richest people in South Africa
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Adrian Gore is the founder and group chief executive of financial services group, Discovery Ltd. The company engages in short-term and long-term insurances, savings, investments, and asset management. Having founded the company in 1992, Gore has been able to steer the company to greater heights with branches in deifferent parts of the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, China, and Australia.

Key Takeaway

1. Adrian Gore is enthusiastic about fitness and health which is one of the reasons why he often jogs for 6 miles from his home to work.

15. Raymond Ackerman – $500 Million

  • Date of Birth: 10 March 1931
  • Place of Birth: South Africa
  • Education: Bishops Diocesan College, University of Cape Town
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Retail
  • Net Worth: $500 Million
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This outstanding businessman has over the years lobbied for various commendable causes. He was a long time campaigner for the enactment of Consumer Rights in South Africa. As the owner of the retail giant, Pick N Pay, the South African billionaire has been able to make his dream of creating jobs and creating a business-friendly environment for the fast-growing South African economy a reality.

Key Takeaways

1. Raymond’s dad was in the ostrich-feather business before opening a grocery store in Cape Town when it failed.

2. Raymond, who toed the same path, has been able to build a supermarket chain that has about 870 stores in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Australia.

14. GT Ferreira – $510 Million

  • Date of Birth: 6 April 1948
  • Place of Birth: South Africa
  • Education: Stellenbosch University
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Banking & Insurance
  • Net Worth: $510 Million
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Gerrit Thomas Ferreira is a veteran banker and businessman. He is famous for being the Chairman of RMI Holdings. Alongside Paul Harris and Lauritz Dippenaa, he co-founded Firstrand Bank which has been able to help him maintain his status as one of the richest men in South Africa.

Key Takeaways

1. GT Ferreira is well-grounded in the business field. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, a BComm from Stellenbosch (South Africa) University as well as an MBA from the same institution.

2. Between 1985 and 1988, he served as the managing director of RMB Holdings.

13. Mark Shuttleworth – $548.1 Million

  • Date of Birth: 18 September 1973
  • Place of Birth: Welkom, Orange Free State, South Africa
  • Education: Western Province Preparatory School, Rondebosch Boys’ High School, and then at Bishops/Diocesan College, University of Cape Town
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Compute Software
  • Net Worth: $548.1 Million
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This South African entrepreneur is also a well-known space tourist. Long before he gained fame for being the first ever South Africian in space, Mark Shuttleworth made a name for himself in the world of computer software. At a very young age, he participated as one of the developers of the Debian operating system. He would later fund the development of the Linux-based Ubuntu operating system in 2004 through his company, Canonical Ltd.

Key Takeaway

1. Shuttleworth underwent one year of training and preparation before being able to travel to space aboard the Russian Soyuz TM-34 mission. He paid approximately $20 million to be able to do so.

12. Laurie Dippenaar – $650 Million

  • Date of Birth: 25 October 1948
  • Place of Birth: N/A
  • Education: University of Pretoria, Die Hoërskool Menlopark
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Banking & Insurance
  • Net Worth: $650 Million

Laurie Dippenaar

Laurie Dippenaar is a self-made millionaire businessman, investor and banker. He is famous for having co-founded FirstRand Limited in 1977. He currently serves the FirstRand Group in a non-executive capacity and is also Chairman of Discovery, Momentum, and OUTsurance.

Key Takeaway

1. Dippenaar is well known for his philanthropic activities. He offers scholarships for postgraduate studies to any South African going to study outside the country. The scholarship has a value R350 000 ($37,000) per annum for a maximum of two years.

11. Douw Steyn – $984.6 Million (R.16.7 BILLION)

  • Date of Birth: December 1952
  • Place of Birth: N/A
  • Education: Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Finance
  • Net Worth: $984.6 Million (R16.7 Billion)
20 richest people in South Africa
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Douw Steyn is the founder of the UK-based insurance and financial services company, BGL Group. Having began his career as a quantity surveyor at Eskom Mega Watt Park, the successful businessman has since ventured into real estate, setting up Steyn City on a 900 hectare site between Fourways and Lanseria in Johannesburg.

Key Takeaway

1. Steyn once housed former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, at the Southern Sun Estate. He is said to have then bought Houghton Estate for the late leader.

10. Ivan and Lynette Saltzman – $919.7 Million (R15.6 Billion)

  • Date of Birth: N/A
  • Place of Birth: N/A
  • Education: N/A
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Pharmaceuticals
  • Net Worth: $919.7 Million (R15.6 Billion)
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Proud founders of one of South Africa’s highest grossing pharmaceutical companies are pharmacists Ivan and Lynette Saltzman, who inadvertanelty make the list of the richest people in South Africa. The chain had a total revenue of R21.4 billion in 2019.

Ivan and Lynette founded Dis-Chem in 1978 in Mondeor, a southern suburb of Johannesburg. Today, it is one of the largest chain of pharmacies in South Africa with 165 stores acoross the country. It further has stores in Namibia and Botswana.

9. Jannie Mouton – $1 Billion

  • Date of Birth: 1946
  • Place of Birth: Carnarvon, South Africa
  • Education: Stellenbosch University
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Finance
  • Net Worth: $1 Billion

richest people in South Africa

Jannie Mouton is a chartered accountant who is the founder and chairman of PSG Group, one of South Africa’s most successful investment companies with interests in financial services, banking, private equity, agriculture, and education.

Key Takeaways

1. Before establishing PSG Group, Mouton was fired by his fellow partners at the stockbroking firm, Senekal, Mouton & Kitshoff, which he co-founded. At that time he was 48.

2. Two of his sons are on the PSG Group’s board, with his son Piet Mouton serving as the CEO.

3. Aside from his endeavors in the world of finance, Jannie Mouton has written a book titled And They Fired Me (published in 2011). He chronicles how he established his company after he was fired by his partners at the firm.

8. Christoffel Wiese – $1.1 Billion

  • Date of Birth: 10 September 1941
  • Place of Birth: Upington, South Africa
  • Education: Paarl Boys High School, Stellenbosch University
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Retail
  • Net Worth: $1.1 Billion
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Christoffel Wiese was once South Africa’s third-richest man and the fourth richest on the continent with a net worth of $5.6 billion. Unfortunately, he lost his billionaire status in 2018 in a scandal known as the Steinhoff deal. Notwithstanding, Wiese has been able to regain his billionaire status with most of his wealth coming from the retail sector. He is the chairman and the largest single shareholder of Africa’s biggest retail store, Shoprite. He also has large stakes in Pepkor, a large discount wears chain where he is executive chairman. He is further an investor in seven publicly traded companies.

Key Takeaway

1. Wiese was a legal practitioner for some years at the Cape Bar before leaving to pursue his business career. He started off as a Director at Pepkor, a discount clothing chain his mom and dad helped to establish.

7. Stephen Saad – $1.2 Billion

  • Date of Birth: 23 June 1964
  • Place of Birth: Durban, South Africa
  • Education: Durban High School, University of Natal
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Pharmaceuticals
  • Net Worth: $1.2 Billion

Stephen Saad

Stephen Saad is a South African businessman who founded and serves as the chief executive of the largest drug company in Africa, Aspen Pharmacare. Saad attended the University of Natal, where he received a Bachelor of Commerce. He then moved to Ireland where he became a chartered accountant before returning to his home country to start his career at Quickmed, a prescription drug distribution company spread across black townships during apartheid South Africa.

Key Takeaway

1. Saad became a millionaire at age 29 when he sold his shares in Covan Zurich for $3 million.

6. Michiel Le Roux – $1.3 Billion

  • Date of Birth: May 20, 1949
  • Place of Birth: South Africa
  • Education: Stellenbosch University
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Banking
  • Net Worth: $1.3 Billion

20 richest people in South Africa

Michiel Le Roux is a South African billionaire banker who founded the Capitec Bank in 2001. He served as the CEO of the institution which trades on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange until 2004. He previously ran Boland Bank, a small regional bank in Cape Town’s hinterland.

Key Takeaway

1. Le Roux worked with Distillers Corp before leaving to start a banking venture with the support of Christio Wiese in the mid 1990s.

5. Patrice Motsepe – $2.1 Billion

  • Date of Birth: 28 January 1962
  • Place of Birth: Ga-Rankuwa, South Africa
  • Education: the University of Swaziland, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Metals & Mining
  • Net Worth: $2.1 Billion

Patrice Motsepe

Patrice Motsepe is South Africa’s first and only black billionaire. His wealth comes from his African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) mining company which has interests in platinum, nickel, chrome, iron, manganese, coal, copper, and gold.

In addition to his role with ARM, the Soweto-born lawyer also has interests in companies in various other sectors of the economy. He holds equity in Sanlam, a publicly traded financial services company. Some of his other non-corporate investments include the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club in which he is the president and owner.

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Key Takeaway

1. Patrice Motsepe got his entrepreneurial skills from his dad who after retiring as a schoolteacher established a business; a Spaza shop that became really famous among black mineworkers.

4. Koos Bekker – $2.5 Billion

  • Date of Birth: 14 December 1952
  • Place of Birth: Potchefstroom, South Africa
  • Education: University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, Columbia University, United States, Stellenbosch University
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Media & Entertainment
  • Net Worth: $2.5 Billion

20 richest people in South Africa

Jacobus Petrus “Koos” Bekker is the chairman of the media group, Naspers. Bekker is revered as an astute executive who transformed Naspers into an e-commerce investor (OLX and Takealot) & cable TV powerhouse (DStv, Multichoice, and MNet). He also led Naspers to invest in the Chinese internet and media firm Tencent in 2001.

Key Takeaway

1. Koos Beker started his career in advertising before he and his colleagues established M.Net, one of the first two pay-TV services outside the United States. They also founded its sister companies, including Multichoice which expanded to over 40 countries in Africa.

2. He was also a founding director of mobile communication company MTN in the 1990s.

3. Ivan Glasenberg – $2.6 Billion

  • Date of Birth: January 1957
  • Place of Birth: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Nationality: South Africas, Swiss, Australian
  • Education: Marshall Business School, USC, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, University of Southern California
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Mining
  • Net Worth: $2.6 Billion

Ivan Glasenberg is a South African billionaire who made his wealth through the role he plays on one of the world’s largest commodity trading and mining companies, Glencore. He has been the CEO of the company since 2002 but announced in December 2018 that he plans to find a successor by the time he clocks 65. Glasenberg further sits on the board of several companies around the world, including Minara Resources Ltd.

Key Takeaways

1. Before becoming a business mogul, Glasenberg’s earliest dream was to be a notable athlete. He was even a national junior champion in racewalking.

2. He came from an entrepreneurial background as his father was a luggage manufacturer and importer.

2. Johann Rupert & Family – $4.6 Billion

  • Date of Birth: 1 June 1950
  • Place of Birth: Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Education: Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch University
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Luxury goods
  • Net Worth: $4.6 Billion

richest people in South Africa

Johann Rupert, the eldest son of South African business tycoon Anton Rupert, is the second richest man in South Africa with a fortune of $6.5 billion. He is the CEO of the luxury goods outfit Compagnie Financiere Richemont.

Apart from the aforementioned company, Johann has stakes in investment holding companies like Remgro and Reinet.

Key Takeaway 

1. Johann Rupert dropped out of the University of Stellenbosch to pursue a business career and luckily enough, he became very successful. In 2004, the school awarded him an honorary doctorate in Economics.

1. Nicky Oppenheimer – $7.6 Billion

  • Date of Birth: 8 June 1945
  • Place of Birth: South Africa
  • Education: Harrow School and Christ Church, Oxford
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Diamond Minning
  • Net Worth: $7.6 Billion
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This diamond magnet is the richest man in South Africa with a staggering $7.6 billion under his control. He is the 2nd richest African and he continues to see his wealth increase over the years as he is richer than he was some years back.

A graduate of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Christ Church, Oxford, Nicky Oppenheimer in 1968 worked in London at the Anglo-American Corporation, a mining company founded in 1917 by his father. In 1975, he returned to Johannesburg where he joined De Beers diamond mining company. He rose to the position of Chairman before choosing to sell his 40% stake in the company to Anglo American for $5.1 billion in cash in 2012.

Key Takeaways

1. Oppenheimer’s father is renowned South African businessman, Harry Oppenheimer. His grandfather Ernest Oppenheimer was a gold and diamond mining businessman who founded the Anglo American mining company in Johannesburg.

2. 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.

Notable Mentions To The Richest People in South Africa

1. Bridgette Motsepe Radebe

  • Date of Birth: 26 February 1960
  • Place of Birth: South Africa
  • Education: University of Botswana
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Minning
  • Net Worth: $58.9 million

    Richest People in South Africa
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Like her brother who was featured earlier on this list, Bridgette Motsepe Radebe owns a mining company, Mmakau Mining, which specializes in the mining of gold, platinum, and chrome.
Prior to her owning Mmakau Mining, she was a common miner who managed individual shaft mining operations and produced materials for the larger mine operations in South Africa.

Key Takeaway

1. In addition to her being the sister of billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe Radebe, she is also the sister of First Lady of South Africa, Tshepo Motsepe, the wife of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

2. Irene Charnley – $88.4 Million (R.1.5 Billion)

  • Date of Birth: 6 May 1960
  • Place of Birth: South Africa
  • Education: N/A
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Telecommunications
  • Net Worth: $88.4 million (R.1.5 billion)
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Irene Charnley is notable for her role in negotiating for the betterment of miners. For over a decade, she served as an arbitrator and negotiator for South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers. The radical and dedicated Charnley would later venture into the telecommunications business where she fared better, achieving great feats for MTN and Smile Telecoms among other telecommunications giants she chaired as executive director. Today, she stands tall as one of the richest people in South Africa.

3. Allan Gray – $1.8 Billion

  • Date of Birth: 8 April 1938
  • Place of Birth: East London, South Africa
  • Education: Harvard Business School (1965), Selborne College, Rhodes University
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Business Interests: Money Management
  • Net Worth: $1.8 billion
  • Died: 10 November 2019, Bermuda
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Allan WB Gray was a business magnate and investor who also founded the Allan Gray Investment Management as well as the non-profit, Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, and the Allan and Gill Gray Charitable Trust. His net worth was estimated at $1.8 billion before his demise, a far cry from the $10.5 billion he was worth in 2013.

Key Takeaway

1. He studied accounting at Rhodes University before obtaining a master’s degree at the Harvard Business School.

2. He broke the record when he established his charity organization( the Allan and Gill Gray Charitable Trust and Allan & Gill Gray Foundation) with $130 million – the largest single recorded donation to a charity in South Africa at the time.

3. He died on November 10, 2019, after suffering a heart attack.

4. Going by what was in a letter he wrote to his shareholders, Gray transferred control of Allan Gray Limited and Orbis to the charitable Allan & Gill Gray Foundation.

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