3 South Africans lost their dollar billionaire status last year

Forbes has published its latest ranking of the richest people on the African continent – counting 5 South Africans among their ranks.

The number of Africa based billionaires shrank between 2018 and 2019, with the rank counting 20 super wealthy individuals in 2019 compared to 23 in the year prior.

Four people fell off the list -including three South Africans – with one person rejoining the ranks after a four-year absence, Forbes said.

Collectively, South African billionaires lost a lot of money, with a collective net worth of $68.7 billion – down from $75.4 billion in 2018.

For the eighth year in a row, Nigerian industrial tycoon Aliko Dangote ranked as the richest man in Africa with an estimated net worth of $10.2 billion. However, his well has declined by around $2 billion since the last ranking.

The continent’s second wealthiest individual is owner of Nigeria’s biggest mobile network, Globacom, Mike Adenuga, who has an estimated net worth of $9.2 billion.

While Nigerians top the list, South Africa and Egypt had the strongest showing with five billionaires ranked from each country.

South Africa lost three dollar billionaires in an economically flat 2018, with Aspen Pharmacare founder Stephen Saad, Assor Group’s Desmond Sacco, and Shoprite and Steinhoff investor Christoffel Wiese falling off the list.

The fourth dropoff was Onsi Sawiris of Egypt, who owns a stake in Netherlands-based fertilizer and chemical producer OCI N.V, Forbes said, with all four falling off due to a decline in the stock price of their main asset.

The five South African billionaires featured on the list are Nicky Oppenheimer – South Africa’s richest man with $7.3 billion – followed by Johann Rupert ($5.3 billion), Koos Bekker ($2.3 billion), Patrice Motsepe ($2.3 billion) and 2018’s new entrant, Michiel le Roux ($1.1 billion).

Collectively, South Africa’s five richest people are worth $18.3 billion – roughly R254 billion at current rates.

However, this is down from the $21.3 billion (R282 billion) the same five were worth in 2018’s ranking, having collectively lost $3 billion (R28 billion) over the course of a year.

The table below outlines how their wealth has changed since the last Forbes Africa ranking.

Africa Name 2019 Net worth (dollars) 2018 Net worth (dollars) Change
3 Nicky Oppenheimer $7.3 billion $7.7 billion -5.2%
5 Johann Rupert $5.3 billion $7.2 billion -26.4%
8= Koos Bekker $2.3 billion $2.8 billion -17.9%
8= Patrice Motsepe $2.3 billion $2.4 billion -4.2%
19= Michiel Le Roux $1.1 billion $1.2 billion -8.3%

Read: The 4 richest people in South Africa at the start of 2019 – and how much money they lost last year

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3 South Africans lost their dollar billionaire status last year