As of June 2022, the richest people in South Africa, second richest in the African continent, and 228th in the world were Nicky Oppenheimer and his family, with a net worth of 8.7 billion U.S. dollars. Their net worth source was especially via the diamond market. They were followed by Johann Rupert and his family, with 7.6 billion U.S. dollars of net worth. Patrice Motsepe came next, with 2.7 billion U.S. dollars of net worth. He is the founder of African Rainbow Minerals and the first black African on the Forbes list. Ranking fourth and fifth in South Africa were Koos Bekker and Michiel Le Roux with a net worth of 2.2 billion and 1.7 billion U.S. dollars, respectively.
Over a century in the diamond market comes to an end
In late 2011, Nicky Oppenheimer and his family sold their stake in the De Beers company to the Anglo-American group which accounted for 40 percent bidding farewell to more than a century of control over the world’s diamond market. In 2010, De Beers produced 33 million carats of diamond generating 5.1 billion U.S. dollars in revenues, with their closest rivals being Alrosa with 1.8 billion U.S. dollars less. The company still operates, and its mines are mainly located in Botswana, Canada, Namibia, and South Africa. In 2021, De Beers generated 5.6 billion U.S. dollars in revenue.
Where does the wealth reside in the continent?
The three largest economies in the continent in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), namely Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa saw the highest concentration of private wealth in the continent, with South Africa ranking first when it came to private wealth. In fact, out of Africa’s 20 wealthiest families and individuals, 14 of them were from these economies. Since 2010, the number of high net worth individuals in the continent fluctuated peaking at 150 individuals in 2010 and reaching its lowest in 2020 at 125. High net worth individuals are people whose net assets exceed one million U.S. dollars. On the other hand, South Africa suffered from severe income inequality ranking as the most unequal country in the world with a Gini coefficient of 62.73 percent.
South Africa's billionaires as of 2022
(net worth in billion U.S. dollars)
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Forbes. (June 21, 2022). South Africa's billionaires as of 2022 (net worth in billion U.S. dollars) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1230448/billionaires-in-south-africa-by-net-worth/
Forbes. "South Africa's billionaires as of 2022 (net worth in billion U.S. dollars)." Chart. June 21, 2022. Statista. Accessed January 30, 2023. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1230448/billionaires-in-south-africa-by-net-worth/
Forbes. (2022). South Africa's billionaires as of 2022 (net worth in billion U.S. dollars). Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: January 30, 2023. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1230448/billionaires-in-south-africa-by-net-worth/
Forbes. "South Africa's Billionaires as of 2022 (Net worth in Billion U.S. Dollars)." Statista, Statista Inc., 21 Jun 2022, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1230448/billionaires-in-south-africa-by-net-worth/
Forbes, South Africa's billionaires as of 2022 (net worth in billion U.S. dollars) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1230448/billionaires-in-south-africa-by-net-worth/ (last visited January 30, 2023)
South Africa's billionaires as of 2022 (net worth in billion U.S. dollars) [Graph], Forbes, June 21, 2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1230448/billionaires-in-south-africa-by-net-worth/