These are the richest billionaires in South Africa in 2018

Forbes has published its annual billionaires list, ranking the world’s richest individuals.

In its 2018 ranking, the world’s richest man – founder Jeff Bezos – has amassed the highest net worth ever recorded at $112 billion (over R1.3 trillion), making him the world’s first centibillionaire.

On top of being the first billionaire to have a 12-figure net worth Bezos also posted the biggest gain ever recorded, with his wealth jumping up over $39 billion in one year.

In total, the 2018 ranking listed 2,208 billionaires, five of which were from South Africa.

The elite group of global billionaires were worth a combined total of $9.1 trillion, up 18% from 2017, with an average net worth of $4.1 billion a pop.

Billionaires in the United States made up the most positions in the ranking, with 585 listed, followed by mainland China with 373 billionaires.

After Bezos, former number one billionaire Bill Gates ranked second at $90 billion, followed by famous investor Warren Buffet at $84 billion. Bernard Arnault, with a fortune of $72 billion, reclaimed the title of richest European for the first time since 2012.

# Billionaire 2018 Net Worth (US$bn) 2017 Net Worth (US$bn) Change (%)
1 Jeff Bezos 112.0 72.8 +53.8%
2 Bill Gates 90.0 86.0 +4.7%
3 Warren Buffet 84.0 75.6 +11.1%
4 Bernard Arnault 72.0 41.5 73.5%
5 Mark Zuckerberg 71.0 56.0 +26.8%
6 Amancio Ortega 70.0 71.3 -1.8%
7 Carlos Slim Helu 67.1 54.5 +23.1%
8 Charles Koch 60.0 48.3 +24.2%
8 David Koch 60.0 48.3 +24.2%
10 Larry Ellison 58.5 52.2 +12.1%

South African billionaires

Following a tough year for South Africa’s super wealthy, only five billionaires feature on the list, down from the record eight billionaires in 2017.

Losing dollar billionaire status in 2018 was retail mogul Christo Wiese, ‘Boere Buffet’ Jannie Mouton, who made his debut in the 2017 ranking, and investor, Allan Gray.

These wealthy individuals were all impacted by a tough economy in 2017, and also the Steinhoff scandal, which forced Wiese in particular to write off billions of rands in losses.

On the positive side, all the South African billionaires listed saw a climb in earnings, however two still dropped down the list.

South Africa’s richest man was again listed as diamond magnate Nicky Oppenheimer, followed by luxury goods businessman, Johann Rupert. Naspers chairman, Koos Bekker, rannked third, followed by Patrice Motsepe, and Stephen Saad.

The country’s billionaires have a combined net worth of $20.9 billion (R246 billion), averaging $4.2 billion (R49.5 billion) each.

# Billionaire 2018 Net Worth (US$bn) 2017 Net Worth (US$bn) Change (%)
202 Nicky Oppenheimer 7.7 7.0 +10.0%
228 Johann Rupert 7.0 6.1 +14.8%
924 Koos Bekker 2.6 2.1 +23.8%
1020 Patrice Motsepe 2.4 1.8 +33.3%
1867 Stephen Saad 1.2 1.2 =

Read: How long South Africa’s billionaires could keep the government running

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These are the richest billionaires in South Africa in 2018