What you need to study to become a millionaire in South Africa

Global market research group New World Wealth has released its latest South African Wealth Report, looking at the trends among the country’s wealthiest people.

The report found that South Africa is home to 43,600 High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) – defined as individuals who have net assets of $1 million or more.

Additionally South Africa is home to 2,200 multimillionaires (net assets of $10 million or more), and 5 billionaires with net assets of $1 billion or more.

The average age of HNWIs in South Africa is 57 years, slightly above the worldwide average. However South Africa is also home to a large number of young millionaires with those aged 40 and under accounting for 29% of the total make up.

The largest portion of South Africa’s HNWIs acquired their wealth through the financial and professional services (including banks, law firms, accountants, fund managers and wealth managers), however this is closely followed by the real estate and construction industry.

The financial and professional services industry was also the fastest growing sectors for South African HNWIs over the past decade.

Industry breakdown

Industry Percentage of HNWIs
Financial and professional services (includes banks, law firms, accountants, fund managers and wealth managers) 26.8%
Real Estate and Construction 19.7%
Tech and Telecoms (includes software, internet, hardware and telecoms) 8.9%
Basic materials (includes agriculture and mining.) 8.3%
Retail (includes all forms of retail, with the exception of food retail which is under FMCG) 7.0%
FMCG (includes food distribution, food processing and food retail) 6.4%
Healthcare (includes pharmaceuticals, doctors, hospitals, nursing homes and health insurance) 5.7%
Media 3.8%
Manufacturing (includes automotive, textiles, machinery, electrics, chemicals and shipbuilding) 3.2%
Transport and Logistics 2.5%
Hotels and Leisure 1.3%
Other 6.4%

What they studied

Area of study Type of degree Percentage of HNWIs
Law LLB/LLM 28%
Finance and Economics MBA/Bcom/Business Science/CFA 21%
Accounting Chartered Accountant 12%
Computers and Science Bachelor of Science 6%
Medicine Doctorate (or other) 4%
Engineering Bachelor of Engineering 4%
Actuarial Bachelor of Actuarial Science 3%
Other Other 22%

Where they studied

University Percentage of HNWIs
University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) 22%
University of Cape Town (UCT) 19%
Stellenbosch University 12%
University of South Africa (UNISA) 10%
University of Pretoria 6%
Rhodes University 5%
University of Johannesburg (formerly RAU) 4%
US universities 4%
UK universities 3%
Other 15%

Read: How much it costs for South Africans to study overseas in 2018

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What you need to study to become a millionaire in South Africa