The cities in South Africa with the most millionaires – and a new king emerging

 ·21 Apr 2024

Johannesburg is still home to the most dollar millionaires on the continent, but Cape Town is set to take its crown at the end of the decade.

The latest African Wealth Report 2024 by Henley & Partners and New World Wealth shows that South Africa is bleeding millionaires, with 400 wealthy individuals calling it quits or losing their millionaire status in 2023.

South Africa now has 37,400 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) – those with a liquid wealth exceeding US$1 million (roughly R19 million), down 11,300 from the 48,700 recorded at the end of 2013.

Despite the drop, South Africa is still home to several HNWI hotspots on the continent.

Johannesburg has the most HNWIs on the continent, with 12,300.

“Johannesburg is home to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the largest stock exchange in Africa by some margin and one of the world’s top 20 exchanges,” said Henley & Partners and New World Wealth.

Many millionaires are based around Sandton or in the “old money” suburb of Westcliff.

Cape Town comes in second with 7,400 HNWIS.

It features some of the country’s most opulent residential areas, such as the Prime 7 – Clifton, Bantry Bay, Camps Bay, Bishopscourt, Constantia, Llandudno, and St. James.

The city is benefitting from the ongoing semigration of wealthy South Africans, particularly from Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Cape Town is also an incredibly popular retirement destination for migration millionaires from Europe and the rest of Africa.

“Cape Town is on track to overtake Johannesburg to become Africa’s wealthiest city by 2030.”

“We expect several major Johannesburg-based companies to move their head offices to Cape Town over the next decade, which should help to drive wealth growth.

“Lifestyle estates on the outskirts of the city are projected to perform especially well in attracting new HNWIs.”

The Cape Winelands, which includes the neighbouring towns of Paarl, Franschhoek, and Stellenbosch, has 3,600 HNWIs—the sixth-highest number on the continent.

Luxury lifestyle estates, such as Val de Vie, De Zalze, and Domaine des Anges, are attracting HNWI buyers.

Many of the wine farms in the area are also owned by ultra-wealthy HNWIs and centi-millionaires – those with wealth over $100 million (R1.9 billion) who often retire there.

Durban, Umhlanga, and Ballito follow with 3,500 HNWIs. These neighbouring areas feature some of the world’s best eco-estates, such as Zimbali, Simbithi, Izinga, Brettenwood, and more.

Lagoon Drive in Umhlanga is also very opulent, with luxury apartment complexes like the Oysters, the Pearls and the Edge of the Sea.

The Garden Route in the Western Cape follows follows just after, with 3,200 HNWIs. The area stretches from Mossel Bay to Storms River on South Africa’s South Coast, with notable towns including Plettenberg Bay, Knysna and Wilderness.

Beachy Head Drive in Plettenberg Bay is particularly affluent and has been dubbed “Africa’s Millionaire Row.”

Pretoria competes in the top 10 on the continent, with 2,100 HNWIs. Affluent areas include Waterkloff and Waterkloof Ridge, as well as luxury estates, such as Silver Lakes, Mooikloof Equestrian Estate, and Woodhill Estate.

The top 10 in Africa can be found below:

City Number of HNWIS
Johannesburg12 300
Cape Town 7 400
Cairo, Egypt 7 200
Nairobi, Kenya4 400
Lagos, Nigeria4 200
The Cape Winelands3 600
Durban, Umhlanga, and Ballito 3 500
The Garden Route 3 200
Casablanca, Morocco2 800
Pretoria 2 100

Read: South Africa has lost over 11,000 millionaires

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