How long it would take South Africa’s billionaires to earn your annual salary

Four of South Africa’s five billionaires ranked on the latest Forbes rich list saw their wealth increase significantly between 2017 and 2018.

South Africa’s richest man, Nicky Oppenheimer, saw his wealth increase by $700 million (R9.68 billion), but that wasn’t even the biggest gain on the list.

It was Richemont founder Johann Rupert, who saw the biggest value jump, adding $900 million (R12.44 billion) to his fortune that year.

This is how South Africa’s billionaire’s performed in 2017/18, according to Forbes.

# 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 =

Billionaires vs you

To put billionaires’ immense wealth into perspective, RS Components recently worked out how much the wealth of the top five billionaires on the Forbes rich list increased over the past year, and how quickly it would take them to earn the same salary as their national average.

For example, Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, saw his wealth increase the most last year – by $39.2 billion. Based on the UK’s average salary of £27,600 Bezos would earn the same amount in 30 seconds. With the average US salary of $56,516, it would take Jeff Bezos 46 seconds to earn the same.

Looking as South Africa’s average salary ($17,105) it would take Bezos just under 14 seconds to earn that.

South Africa’s billionaire gains were not as dramatic, but they still earned a ridiculous amount in such a short time. Richest man, Nicky Oppenheimer, for example, would earn the national average salary in approximately 13 minutes, at R306.63 a second.

The table below outlines how long it would take our billionaires to earn the average local salary (R238,300).

# Billionaire 2018 Net Worth 2017/18 Gain Per second Time to get average salary
1 Nicky Oppenheimer R106.3 billion R9.7 billion R306.63 ~13 minutes
2 Johann Rupert R96.6 billion R12.4 billion R394.15 ~10 minutes
3 Koos Bekker R35.9 billion R6.9 billion R218.80 ~18 minutes
4 Patrice Motsepe R33.1 billion R8.3 billion R262.56 ~15 minutes
Average R68.0 billion R9.3 billion R295.54 ~14 minutes

Even looking at some of the best-paying jobs in South Africa, it would take the country’s billionaires no time at all to earn the same levels.

Jobs portal CareerJunction has published its annual salary survey in May, showing how South Africans across 10 wide sectors get paid. Below, we look at 10 of the highest paying jobs in the survey, and how long the average billionaire would take to earn the same.

Job Average annual salary Time for billionaire to earn the same
Environmental engineer R911 292 ~52 minutes
Civil engineer R897 348 ~51 minutes
Structural engineer R856 524 ~48 minutes
IT management R819 372 ~46 minutes
Financial management R811 836 ~46 minutes
Plant manager R746 256 ~42 minutes
Chartered accountant R729 540 ~41 minutes
Quantity surveying R720 454 ~41 minutes
Electrical engineer R717 504 ~40 minutes
Technical and business architect R707 772 ~40 minutes

Read: South Africa’s average salary versus the world

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How long it would take South Africa’s billionaires to earn your annual salary