South Africa’s richest people in 2015

The number of South African dollar billionaires is shrinking, showing that amid trying economic times, even the super wealthy take a knock.

According to the Hurun Global Rich list for 2015, as of January, South Africa has only six dollar billionaires. The group’s wealth calculations are a snapshot of January 2015.

This is down from total billionaires reported in 2014, when global wealth tracker Wealth-X listed 10 South African billionaires.

Hurun’s listing cites a 24% weakness in the Rand since its 2014 ranking, wiping 29% from the country’s wealth.

This is especially evident when looking at billionaires with investment ties inside South Africa, as well as those tied to mining and minerals, which has been one of the more tumultuous sectors in the country in recent years.

Johann Rupert remains South Africa’s richest man, however, according to Hurun, he has seen a 40% decline in his fortune.

Diamond magnate Nick Oppenheimer, is ranked as the country’s second richest man, but also saw his wealth decline by 29%.

African Rainbow Minerals chief Patrice Motsepe saw the biggest drop – 52% – sending him down over 1,000 places on the global list.

South African billionaires

# Change Person Net worth (US$) Change
261 -73 Johann Rupert $4.3 billion -40%
295 -7 Nicky Oppenheimer $3.7 billion -29%
403 247 Christo Wiese $2.8 billion 4%
723 404 Koos Bekker $2.2 billion 29%
842 New Stephen Saad $2.0 billion New
1911 -1019 Patrice Motsepe $1.0 billion -52%

It was not all gloom, however, as Naspers chairman Koos Bekker saw his wealth grow by 29% over the course a year.

Bekker is a major shareholder in Naspers, a South African media giant which has seen massive gains over the years thanks in large part to its 34% holding in Chinese Internet company, Tencent.

Shoprite chairman, Christo Wiese also saw a relatively marginal increase in wealth of 4%, thanks to his retail holdings across Africa.

With a cumulative net worth of US$80 billion, Africa has 31 billionaires on the Hurun Rich List.

Nigerian cement magnate, Aliko Dangote, with a net worth of $17 billion, was the only African to break into the Top 100.

Global billionaires

Contrary to South Africa’s super wealthy, the world’s richest people have had far more successes  in 2014.

The world’s richest man Bill Gates extended his lead over Carlos Slim Helu, though the latter experienced a higher rate of growth in wealth  in 2014 (38% versus 25%).

Warren Buffet is ranked as the top self-made billionaire (with a self-made rating of 5), while Oracle CEO Larry Ellison remains the richest man in tech.

# Change Person Net worth (US$) Change
1 0 Bill Gates $85 billion 25%
2 2 Carlos Slim Helu $83 billion 38%
3 -1 Warren Buffet $76 billion 19%
4 -1 Amancio Ortega $55 billion -11%
5 0 Larry Ellison $54 billion 13%
6 0 Bernard Arnault $45 billion -2%
7 11 Mark Zuckerberg $44 billion 42%
8 1 Charles Koch $36 billion 0%
8 1 David Koch $36 billion 0%
8 11 Dieter Schwarz $36 billion 29%

According to Hurun, the technology, telecoms and media (TMT) sector holds the most global billionaires (297), followed by real estate (280) and manufacturing (219).

The USA is home to the most billionaires (537), followed by China (430). The countries far outpace India (97), which is ranked third above Russia (93).

Snapchat creators Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy are the youngest listed billionaires, worth $1.5 billion each at ages 24 and 26 respectively; and David Rockerfeller Sr is the oldest, at age 99, worth $1.4 billion.

Mark Zuckerberg, at 30 is the youngest member of the Top 10.

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South Africa’s richest people in 2015