The richest cities in South Africa vs the rest of Africa

 ·14 Sep 2019

New World Wealth and AfrAsia Bank have published the latest African Wealth Report, showing the levels of wealth of various African nations at the end of 2018.

According to the report, South Africa is still the richest country in Africa, with the high net worth (HNWI) population of 39,200 people holding the most wealth at $649 billion.

This is double that of the second wealthiest African nation, Egypt, where the HNWI population of 16,700 people holds $303 billion.

Egypt is followed by Nigeria ($225 billion), Morocco ($114 billion) and Kenya ($93 billion).

Total wealth held on the continent amounts to US$2.2 trillion. Around US$920 billion (42%) of this is held by HNWIs, New World Wealth said.

While South Africa ranks at the top of the list, on a per capita basis ($11,450), it is only the second wealthiest nation – following behind Mauritius, where wealth per capita sits at $31,000.

Africa’s richest cities

South African cities ranks as the top richest cities on the continent, with Johannesburg and Cape Town holding the most HNWI wealth among the major cities covered, taking the first and second spots, respectively.

Total wealth held in Johannesburg amounts to US$248 billion, while total wealth held by Cape Town amounting to US$133 billion.

Most of Johannesburg’s wealth is concentrated in Sandton, New World Wealth said, which is home to the JSE (the largest stock market in Africa) and to the head offices of most of Africa’s largest banks and corporates.

Cape Town, meanwhile, is home to Africa’s most exclusive and expensive suburbs such as Clifton, Bishopscourt, Camps Bay and Bantry Bay. It is also a hotspot for wealthy second home owners from around the world. Major sectors there include: real estate, financial services (fund management), retail and tourism.

Also in the top five from South Africa is Durban and Umhlanga (combined), which holds total HNWI wealth of US$54 billion.

This figure includes wealth held in Durban, Umhlanga, La Lucia and Ballito. Notably, Umhlanga and Ballito are two of the fastest growing areas in SA, in terms of wealth growth over the past 10 years, the group said.

Among other African countries, Cairo (Egypt), Lagos (Nigeria) and Nairobi (Kenya) stand out as wealthy cities, sitting on par with South Africa’s popular HNWI areas.

Total wealth held in Cairo amounts to US$129 billion – and the city is home to more billionaires than any other African city (four billionaires live there, compared to just two in Johannesburg).

In Lagos, total wealth held in the city amounts to US$96 billion. This is the largest city in Africa, in terms of population and GDP (but not in terms of wealth).

The table below features the richest areas in Africa

City Total wealth held HNWIs ($1m+)
Johannesburg $248 billion 16 600
Cape Town $133 billion 7 100
Cairo $129 billion 8 200
Lagos $96 billion 5 400
Durban & Umhlanga $54 billion 3 300
Nairobi $49 billion 6 200
Pretoria $45 billion 2 600
Luanda $42 billion 2 600
Casablanca $39 billion 2 200
Accra $35 billion 2 400
Abidjan $25 billion 1 900
Dar Es Salaam $24 billion 1 300
Alexandria $23 billion 1 700
Kampala $16 billion 800
Addis Ababa $14 billion 800

The table below features the richest areas in South Africa

City Total wealth held HNWIs ($1m+)
Johannesburg $248 billion 16 600
Cape Town $133 billion 7 100
Durban, Ballito and Umhlanga $54 billion 3 300
Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch $47 billion 2 800
The Garden Route $46 billion 2 700
Pretoria $45 billion 2 600
The Whale Coast $22 billion 800
The Sunshine Coast $14 billion 400
Pietermaritzburg and Natal Midlands $7 billion 200
Bloemfontein $3 billion 100
Other $30 billion 2 600
Total South Africa $649 billion 39 200

Read: What South Africa’s millionaires studied – and where

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