8 Richest South Africans
1. Nicky Oppenheimer – R93.7 Billion ($6.8 Billion / €6.21 Billion)
Born Nicholas Oppenheimer is a the wealthiest man in South Africa. Born the son of wealthy mining tycoon Harry Oppenheimer, Nicky (Nicholas) Oppenheimer would go on to continue the family business with an emphasis on education and multiply his family’s billions.
Nicky Oppenheimer joined the London based Anglo American (worlds largest platinum mining coming and a company his father was Chairman of the Board of Directors) in 1968 and was quickly promoted to director in 1974.
Like his grandfather and father before him Nicholas Oppenheimer would become Chairman of De Beers Group (once the worlds largest diamond producer) in 1985. His family fortune controlled a 40% stake in the company. According to Bloomberg Oppenheimer, in what some might consider a conflict of interest, sold his 40% interest in De Beers to Anglo American (a company in which he was on the board of directors) for $5.1 billion.
Date of Birth: June 1945
Net Worth: R93.7 Billion (source: Forbes)
Companies: Anglo American / De Beer
2. Christo Wiese – R94.5 Billion ($6.9 Billion / €6.27 Billion)
With a fluctuating net worth Christoffel Wiese is sometimes the wealthiest man in South Africa. A child working class parents, Wiese excelled in education receiving his BA nad LLB from the prestigious Stellenbosch University in South Africa.
After practicing law for several years Wiese started his career as an entrepreneur launching a Pepkor (a discount chain clothing chain his parents had helped found: Forbes) store in the country of Zambia.
Wiese is currently the Chairman of Brait SE, an investment firm Wiese uses to make corporate sales and acquisitions most notably Virgin Active health clubs based in London for £682 (R14.27 Billion/ $1 Billion)
Date of Birth: 10 September 1941
Education: University of Stellenbosch
Net Worth: R94.5 Billion
Companies: Pepkor / Shoprite Holdings / Invicta Holdings
3. Johann Rupert – R90.3 Billion ($6.6 Billion / €6 Billion)
Third on the list of South African’s wealthiest is Johann Rupert. Rupert is the son of tobacco magnate Anton Rupert and another wealthy alumni of the University of Stellenbosch. Johann Rupert is currently the founder and chairman of Compagnie Financiere Richemont (maker of Baume & Mercier, Cartier) a luxury goods holding company he started in 1988.
Forbes writes, “Rupert owns a 7% stake in Remgro, which he chairs, as well as 25% of Reinet, an investment holding company based in Luxembourg that has a stake in British American Tobacco.”
Date of Birth: 1 June 1950
Education: University of Stellenbosch
Net Worth: R90.3 Billion
Companies: Compagnie Financiere Richemont / Rembrandt Group / Remgro Limited
4. Ivan Glasenberg – R45.1 Billion ($3.3 Billion / €3 Billion)
Johannesburg, South Africa born Ivan Glasenberg is the CEO of commodities trading and mining giant Glencore (formally Marc Rich & Co AG). Glasenberg was on the board of Swiss mining giant Xstrata before being acquired by Glencore in what can be called a potential conflict of interest. The business tycoon also has a seat on the board of directors of Minara Resources, an Australian mining giant based in Perth.
In 2011 Ivan Glasenberg’s Glencore purchased the outstanding shares of Minara for R3.83 billion ($280 million / €253 million) according to Financial Times The Times also writes, “The offer, which represent a premium of 35.9 per cent over Tuesday’s closing price of A$0.64, values Minara at A$1.01bn”.
Date of Birth: January 1957
Education: University of the Witwatersrand SA / University of Southern California (USA)
Net Worth: R45.1 Billion.
5. Patrice Motsepe – R30.1 Billion / $2.2 Billion / €2 Billion
Highly educated Patrice Motsepe (born Augustine Motsepe) is South Africa’s first black billionaire. Born in Soweto, South Africa Motsepe attended law school at the esteemed University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
Motsepe is the founder and current chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, which Forbes states is ,”a publicly traded firm that mines and processes iron, manganese, chrome, platinum, copper, nickel, coal and gold”.
In 1997 with sunken gold prices Patrice Motsepe had the intuition to purchase gold producing mines at a fraction of there value. BlackEntrepreneurProfile writes, “Mr. Motsepe…acquired a number of marginal shafts at Vaal Reefs in January 1998 on favorable financial terms, followed by the purchase of other marginal shafts owned by AngloGold in the Free State.”.
Date of Birth: 28 January 1962
Education: University of Swaziland / University of the Witwatersrand
Net Worth: R30.1 Billion (source: CNN)
6. Koos Bekker – R28.7 Billion / $2.1 Billion / €1.90 Billion
Koos Bekker is a Cape Town born billionaire and the first South African billionaire on our list not specializing in mining. Mr. Bekker is he Chairman and former CEO of Cape Town based Naspers a multinational media company with investments in China, India, Russia and over 100 other countries.
Koos Bekker has been called Africa’s Rupert Murdock by Businesstech.co.za. The website also states he raised Naspers market cap from $R8.2 billion in 1984 to over R340 billion in 2015.
Date of Birth: 14 December 1952
Education: Stellenbosch University / Columbia Business School (US)
Net Worth: R28.7 Billion.
7. Stephen Saad – R20.5 Billion / $1.5 / €1.36 Billion
Stephen Saad is a Durban, South Africa born billionaire and 7th on our list of wealthiest South Africans. Saad is Chief Executive of Aspen Pharmacare which is the largest drug company in Africa.
Founded in 1997 with business partner Gus Attridge, Pharmacare specializes in generic drug manufacturing particularly antiretrovirals used in the management of HIV/AIDS.
Date of Birth: 23 June 1964
Education: University of Natal
Net Worth: R20.5 Billion.
8. Desmond Sacco – R19.1 Billion / $1.4 Billion / €1.26 Billion
Desmond Sacco is Chairman and Managing Director of mining holding company Assore Limited and former Chairman of Associated Manganese Mines from February 1999 to May 2001. Upon graduation from the University of South Africa Sacco joined his fathers company (Assore Group) and quickly (perhaps through nepotism, hard work or a combination of the two) rose to senior management.
In a company profile of Assore on whoswho.co.za owns 50% of Patrice Motsepe’s multi-billion Rand mining company African Rainbow Minerals Limited (ARM).
Date of Birth: 1940
Education: University of Witwatersrand / University of South Africa,
Net Worth: R19.1 Billion.