This is what South Africa’s millionaires study

New World Wealth has published its latest South African wealth report for 2020, looking at the trends among the country’s wealthiest people.

The report found that there are currently 38,400 dollar millionaires living in the country (those with a net worth of $1 million or more) – down by 800 from the number recorded in 2019.

The largest portion of the country’s HNWIs acquired their wealth through the financial and professional services (including banks, law firms, accountants, fund managers and wealth managers), closely followed by the real estate sector.

However, the data shows that these HNWIs typically studied either law, finance or accounting degrees when at unviersity.

The University of the Cape Town is the most popular university among HNWIs (20%), followed closely by the University of the Witwatersrand (18%), and Stellenbosch University (12%).

You can find a complete breakdown of what South Africa’s wealthiest people studied and what industries they work in below.

Industry breakdown

Industry Percentage of HNWIs
Financial and professional services (includes banks, law firms, accountants, fund managers and wealth managers) 32%
Real Estate 14%
Tech and Telecoms (includes software, internet, hardware and telecoms) 9%
Basic materials (includes agriculture and mining.) 8%
Diversified 8%
Healthcare 7%
Retail 5%
FMCG 5%
Media 4%
Manufacturing 3%
Transport & Logistics 3%
Hotels & Leisure 2%

What they studied

Area of study Type of degree Percentage of HNWIs
Law LLB/LLM 27%
Finance and Economics MBA/Bcom/Business Science/CFA 19%
Accounting Chartered Accountant 10%
Medicine and science Doctorate (or other) 7%
Computers and IT Bachelor of Science 6%
Engineering Bachelor of Engineering 5%
Actuarial Bachelor of Actuarial Science 3%
Other Other 23%

Where they studied

University Percentage of HNWIs
University of Cape Town (UCT) 20%
University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) 18%
Stellenbosch University 12%
University of South Africa (UNISA) 10%
Rhodes University 8%
University of Pretoria 6%
University of Johannesburg (including RAU) 4%
US universities 4%
UK universities 3%
Other 15%

Read: How the coronavirus crisis has hit South Africa’s richest people

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This is what South Africa’s millionaires study