These two South African billionaires rank among the 250 richest people in the world

 ·6 Apr 2023

There have been mixed fortunes for South Africa’s richest people over the last year – but the country’s top two billionaires are still counted among the 250 wealthiest people in the world.

Forbes has published its annual Billionaires List for 2023, tracking the wealth of the world’s richest people over the last year, including five from South Africa.

In the 2023 ranking, luxury goods tycoon Johann Rupert maintains his position as the richest man in South Africa with an estimated net worth of $11.1billion, up 25% from $8.9 billion in 2022.

What’s notable with Rupert’s wealth is that his 2022 net worth was also up 25% from $7.1 billion in 2021 – meaning the businessman is seeing his wealth grow leaps and bounds year on year.

Mining magnate Nicky Oppenheimer carries a fortune of $8.4 billion. The diamond boss saw his net worth drop $300 million over the last 12 months.

Despite this, Oppenheimer only dropped one rank on the global list, now ranking 242nd, from 241st in 2022. Rupert climbed the rank significantly, jumping from 230th in 2022 to 157th in 2023.

South Africa’s other billionaires include familiar names on the list – mineral resources boss Patrice Motsepe saw his fortune decline by $600 million over the period, while Capitec founder Michiel le Roux saw the biggest decline, losing $800 million to take his net worth to $1.0 billion.

Media mogul Koos Bekker, whose wealth declined by 23% in 2022 saw his fortunes turn, growing his wealth by $100 million to take his total to $2.4 billion.

Billionaire 2022 2023 Change %
Johann Rupert $8.9 billion $11.1 billion +$2.2 billion +24.7%
Nicky Oppenheimer $8.7 billion $8.4 billion -$300 million -3.4%
Patrice Motsepe $3.3 billion $2.7 billion -$600 million -18.2%
Koos Bekker $2.3 billion $2.4 billion +$100 million +4.3%
Michiel le Roux $1.8 billion $1.0 billion -$800 million -44.4%

The global ranking of billionaires saw some serious shake-ups, with a new global number one.

Globally, Forbes counted 2,640 billionaires in 2023, down from 2,668 last year. Cumulatively, the planet’s billionaires are now worth $12.2 trillion, down $500 billion from $12.7 trillion in March 2022, the group said.

“Nearly half the list is poorer than a year ago, including Elon Musk, who falls from number one to number two after his pricey acquisition of Twitter helped sink Tesla shares.

“Bernard Arnault, head of luxury goods giant LVMH, takes his place as the world’s richest person, marking the first time a citizen of France leads the ranking,” Forbes said.

According to the ranking, the United States still ranks the most billionaires, with 735 list members worth a collective $4.5 trillion.

China (including Hong Kong and Macau) remains second, with 562 billionaires worth $2 trillion, followed by India, with 169 billionaires worth $675 billion.

To calculate net worths, Forbes used stock prices and exchange rates from March 10, 2023.

# Billionaire 2022 ($bn) 2023 ($bn) % change
1 Bernard Arnault 158.0 211.0 +33.5%
2 Elon Musk 219.0 180.0 -17.8%
3 Jeff Bezos 171.0 114.0 -33.3%
4 Larry Ellison 106.0 107.0 +1.0%
5 Warren Buffet 118.0 106.0 -10.2%
6 Bill Gates 129.0 104.0 -19.4%
7 Michael Bloomberg 82.0 94.5 +15.2%
8 Carlos Slim Helu 81.2 93.0 +14.5%
9 Mukesh Ambani 90.7 83.4 -8.0%
10 Steve Ballmer 91.4 80.7 -11.7%
157 Johan Rupert 8.9 11.1 +24.7%
242 Nicky Oppenheimer 8.7 8.4 -3.4%
1104 Patrice Motsepe 3.3 2.7 -18.2%
1272 Koos Bekker 2.3 2.4 +4.3%
2540 Michiel le Roux 1.8 1.0 -44.4%

Read: These are the richest cities and suburbs in South Africa

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