South Africa’s richest people have seen their wealth grow by 14% over the past six years, accounting for almost a third of the country’s total wealth.
This is according to a report by consultation firm, New World Wealth (NWW), released this week.
According to NWW, South Africa remains the African leader in terms of having the highest number of high net-worth individuals (HNWIs), with the firm recording over 48,700 individuals in 2013 – a 14% increase in volume since 2007 (42,800 HNWIs).
These individuals have a combined wealth of US$200 billion (R2.18 trillion) – up 14% from US$168 billion (R1.83 trillion) in 2007 – and account for 31% of the country’s total individual wealth of US$650 billion (R7.1 trillion).
With South Africa’s population sitting just under 51.2 million (2012), this means that 0.1% of the population owns approximately 31% of the country’s total individual wealth.
“Growth in the wealth of HNWIs is linked to a number of factors – including the country’s GDP, the local real estate market and the local equity market,” NWW reported.
The firm reported that 7,800 of South Africa’s HNWIs are from previously disadvantaged groups, which equates to 16% of South Africa’s total HNWI population.
The report also showed that a majority of South Africa’s HWNIs (23,400 – or 48%) live in Johannesburg, followed by Cape Town (9,000) and Durban (2,700).
More rich, getting richer
HNWIs are defined by NWW as individuals with a net worth above US$1 million (R10.9 million), with UHNWIs (ultra-high net worth individuals) having above US$30 million (R327 million).
According to NWW, South Africa is home to 599 UHNWIs, with an average net worth of US$105 million (R1.14 billion) each.
Among the Brics nations, however, South Africa has the lowest number of UHNWIs, NWW said, with China on top with 7,900 UHNWIs, followed by Brazil (4,100), India (2,500) and Russia (1,280).
Over the next 4 years, NWW expects the number of millionaires in South Africa to grow even more, as new businesses are developed in country.
In the next forecast period, the number of South Africa’s HNWIs is forecast to grow by 28%, to reach over 62,400 in 2017, while wealth is expected see an even larger percentage increase, growing by 30% to reach just over US$259 billion (R2.82 trillion) in 2017, NWW said.