13 richest South Africans in the world

 ·30 Nov 2023

South Africa is currently home to six dollar billionaires, but there are several other South African-born billionaires who are now based across the globe.

According to Forbes’ real-time tracking of billionaires, Johann Rupert and family are the wealthiest in South Africa, with a net worth of $9.4 billion (R175.7 billion).

Much of the Ruperts’ wealth is tied to the luxury goods business Richemont, which owns Cartier and Montblanc, and the holding company Remgro.

This is followed by diamond magnate Nicky Oppenheimer, who has a net worth of $8.3 billion (R155.1 billion).

Naspers chairman Koos Bekker is third – $2.4 billion (R44.9 billion), whilst mining magnate Patrice Motsepe ranked fourth with $2.3 billion.

Despite seeing his net worth drop substantially in 2023, Capitec founder Michiel le Roux is fifth with a net worth of $1.1 billion (R20.5 billion).

Retail magnate Christo Wiese has also rejoined the Forbes’ billionaire ranking, squeezing in with a net worth of $1 billion (R18.7 billion).

However, there are at least seven other billionares who were born and spent their formative years in South Africa that are not included in Forbes’ sub-category of South African billionaires.

The most widely known is Elon Musk – the richest man in the world.

With interests in Tesla, SpaceX, OpenAI, Twitter (X) and more, Musk’s net worth currently stands at $248.2 billion (R4.6 trillion).

Former Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg – who currently lives in Switzerland – is the third richest South African-born person, with a net worth of $8.8 billion (R164.5 billion).

UK-based media mogul Clive Calder also grew up in South Africa and currently has a net worth of $5.7 billion (R106.5 billion).

University of the Witwatersrand alum Patrick Soon-Shiong invented the cancer-fighting drug Abraxane and now has a net worth of $5.6 billion (R104.7 billion).

South African-born Nathan Kirsh – who now lives in Eswatini – is also on the Forbes list, with his $5.6 billion (R104.7 billion) fortune coming primarily from US-based Jetro Holdings, which owns restaurant supply retailers Jetro Cash and Carry and Restaurant Depot.

All South African-born US dollar billionaires and their wealth can be found below:

Billionaire Country of Residence SourceCurrent Net Worth
Elon MuskUSATesla, SpaceX$248.2 billion (R4.6 trillion)
Johann RupertSouth Africa Luxury Goods$9.4 billion (R175.7 billion)
Ivan GlasenbergSwitzerland Mining$8.8 billion (R164.5 billion)
Nicky OppenheimerSouth AfricaDiamonds $8.3 billion (R155.1 billion)
Clive CalderUKMedia$5.7 billion (R106.5 billion)
Patrick Soon-ShiongUSAHealthcare$5.6 billion (R104.7 billion)
Nathan KirshEswatiniRetail, Real Rstate$5.6 billion (R104.7 billion)
Hilton SchlosbergUSABeverages$3.4 billion (R65.3 billion)
Rodney SacksUSABeverages$3.0 billion (R56 billion)
Koos BekkerSouth Africa Media, Investments$2.4 billion (R44.9 billion)
Patrice MotsepeSouth AfricaMining$2.3 billion (R43.0 billion)
Michiel le RouxSouth Africa Banking $1.1 billion (R20.5 billion)
Christo WieseSouth Africa Retail$1 billion (R18.7 billion)
Source: Forbes – Correct as of Thursday, 30 November 2023

Read: The cities in South Africa where billionaires pay up to R100,000 per sqm for apartments

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