Last year there were eight South African billionaires on the list, but mining magnate Desmond Sacco fell off the rankings this year. Each of the businesspeople on this list are worth $1-billion or more.
Top 7 richest South Africans
Johann Rupert & Family, $7.4-billion
South African, Luxury Goods
Rupert is the chairman of publicly-listed Swiss-based luxury goods outfit Compagnie Financiere Richemont , which owns brands including Cartier , Van Cleef & Arpels, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Montblanc. He also owns stakes in investment holding companies Remgro and Reinet. He also owns two of South Africa’s best-known vineyards, Rupert & Rothschild and L’Ormarins as well as the Franschhoek Motor Museum which houses his personal collection of over 200 antique vehicles.
Nicky Oppenheimer & Family, $6.7-billion
South African, Diamonds
Oppenheimer cashed out of the diamond business in July 2012 when he disposed of his family’s 40% stake in his family’s diamond business, De Beers, to Anglo American for $5.1-billion in an all-cash deal that marked the end of the Oppenheimer family’s multi-decade control of the diamond company. His E. Oppenheimer & Son entity controls investment arms Stockdale Street Capital and Tana Africa Capital, a joint venture with Singapore government-owned investment firm Temasek. Tana holds minority interests in African food manufacturers Promasidor and Regina Co.
Christoffel Wiese, $6.3-billion
South African, Retail
Wiese, a South African retail mogul, owns a 15% stake in Shoprite Holdings, a chain of low-price supermarkets with a presence across multiple African countries. He also owns a large stake in Pepkor, a private company that owns seven different discount fashion brands. His other assets include Lanzerac Manor & Winery, a five-star hotel and a significant shareholding in Brait, a private equity firm.
Koos Bekker, $2.3-billion
South African, Media
Koos Bekker who has run Cape Town-based media conglomerate Naspers since 1997 will be stepping down as CEO in April this year, and will be taking a year off to travel the world and explore new business opportunities for the company. He is expected to take over as chairman of the company from next year. Over a 17 year period, Bekker transformed the storied publisher into a new media powerhouse, with investments in China (Tencent), Russia (Mail.ru), Brazil (Abril) and other countries in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa. Refusing to take a salary, Bekker has traditionally been compensated via stock option grants that vest over time.
Patrice Motsepe, $2.1-billion
South African, Mining
South Africa’s first and only black billionaire is the founder and chairman of publicly traded mining conglomerate, African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) which has interests in platinum, nickel, chrome, iron, manganese, coal, copper and gold. He also holds a stake in Sanlam, a publicly traded financial services company.
Stephen Saad, $2.1-billion
South African, Pharmaceuticals
Along with business partner Gus Attridge, Stephen Saad founded Aspen Pharmacare in 1997. It is now the largest publicly-traded drug manufacturer on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Aspen is a supplier of branded and generic pharmaceuticals in more than 150 countries and of consumer and nutritional products in selected territories. The company has a market capitalisation of $11-billion. Saad is the company’s largest shareholder.
Allan Gray, $1.6-billion
South African, Investments
Moneyman Allan Gray founded Cape Town-based investment management firm Allan Gray Limited in 1973, after earning his MBA from Harvard and spending eight years at Fidelity in the US. The company manages $34-billion, making it the largest privately owned asset manager in South Africa. He also owns Orbis Investment Management in Bermuda which manages $30-billion. The venerable philanthropist funds the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, which awards higher education grants to students in Southern Africa