The richest people in South Africa at the start of 2024

 ·10 Jan 2024

2023 may be a year that some South Africa’s richest would like to forget, with all of the country’s billionaires listed by Forbes losing a chunk of their net worth and dropping in the world rankings.

According to Forbes’ real-time tracking of billionaires, the country’s six richest lost an estimated combined total of $1.4 billion (R26.2 billion) of their net worth. However, this may be a drop in the ocean as their current collective net worth is estimated to be sitting at a cool $25.3 billion (R472.3 billion).

Luxury goods mogul Johann Rupert, former diamond magnate Nicky Oppenheimer, media mogul Koos Bekker, mining boss Patrice Motsepe, Capitec founder Michiel le Roux, and consumer retail businessman Chrstoffel Wiese are the wealthiest South Africans kicking off 2024.

Rupert maintains his title as richest South African and is the second richest person in Africa (behind Aliko Dangote of Nigeria). His net worth of $10.1 billion (R188.47 billion) is thanks to his wide array of investments.

Rupert is the chairman of Richemont, a Swiss-based luxury goods holding company that owns Cartier, Dunhill, and Mont Blanc, where he maintains 51% voting power.

Richemont’s market cap is R1.71 trillion, and he owns more than 9% of the total shares – meaning he holds over R154 billion in the company. He is also the chairman of Stellenbosch-based investment holding company Remgro, which invests in healthcare, food, sports, and media.

Despite a 20-spot drop over the year, Rupert remains as the only South African to be part of the top 200 wealthiest individuals in the world.

Whilst former diamond magnate Nicky Oppenheimer was able to stay within the world’s wealthiest 300, he dropped over 50 spots to 282 in the world as a result of his estimated $300 million net worth drop.

Africa’s first black billionaire Motsepe had the largest net worth drop amongst South African billionaires, losing an estimated $500 million.

According to Business Insider, the 61-year-old self-made billionaire’s 40.37 percent stake in African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) is to blame as there had been a considerable prolonged decline in the market value of his equity investments.

Naspers chairman Bekker, Capitec founder le Roux, and retail giant Wiese all saw considerable drops in their net worth and world billionaire ranking positions, dropping at least 290 spots each.

South Africans on Forbes’ list

Jan-23Jan-24BillionaireJan-23 net worthJan-24 net worthChange
175195Johann Rupert$10.3 billion$10.1 billion-$0.2 billion
229282Nicky Oppenheimer$8.6 billion$8.3 billion-$0.3 billion
10091292Patrice Motsepe$2.9 billion$2.4 billion-$0.5 billion
11471341Koos Bekker$2.6 billion$2.3 billion-$0.3 billion
19872347Michiel le Roux$1.4 billion$1.2 billion-$0.2 billion
2494Christoffel Wiese$1.1 billion$1.0 billion-$0.1 billion

South African-born Elon Musk kicks off 2024 as the richest person in the world, sporting a net worth of $245.6 billion (R4.595 trillion), mainly thanks to his income from Tesla and SpaceX.

France’s Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton – the world’s largest luxury goods producer – receives the global billionaires silver medal, with a net worth $186.4 billion (R3.487 trillion).

Clinching the bronze medal is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, with a $171.4 billion (R3.2 trillion) net worth.

Cofounder of software giant Oracle Larry Ellison, and cofounder of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg complete the world’s top five.

Read: 13 richest South Africans in the world

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