More South Africans are set to become millionaires

 ·9 May 2024

A recent report by Henley & Partners and New World Wealth shows South Africa is expected to see a significant increase in the number of millionaires over the next ten years.

The report, which tracks private wealth and investment migration trends worldwide, shows that high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in Africa’s wealthiest countries—including South Africa — are expected to grow, on average, by 65% over the next decade.

HNWIs include individuals with a wealth of $1 million (R18.4 million) or more.

The group’s data shows that South Africa is currently home to 37,400 HNWIs and 102 centi-millionaires—those with a net wealth of $10 million or more, while Five-dollar billionaires also call the country home.

“Despite its challenges, South Africa remains home to over twice as many HNWIs as any other African country,” said the report.

According to the NWW projections, the country could have over 61,000 HNWIs by 2033 – a gain of 23,600 new wealthy individuals.

In particular, Cape Town is expected to see a significant influx of HNWIs, with its current 7,400 millionaire population set to swell by 85% over the next ten years to 13,500 in 2033.

Although Johannesburg is the wealthiest city in Africa, with 12,300 millionaires, 25 centi-millionaires, and two billionaires, Cape Town is predicted to become Africa’s wealthiest city by 2030.

Additionally, Henley & Partners noted that several big companies based in Johannesburg are expected to relocate their head offices to Cape Town by then.

In the last ten years, the Winelands region has seen a 28% increase in the number of millionaires living there, and this trend is expected to accelerate in the 2030s.

The millionaire population in the Garden Route and the Whale Coast also grew by 32% and 35%, respectively, during the previous decade.

The report also highlighted that, according to private wealth growth projections, South Africa is expected to see a 60% increase in wealth per capita by 2033.

The emerging narrative among certain sectors—like the property sector—is that South Africans are returning to their homeland after a period abroad, drawn by the lower cost of living (relative to main destination countries) and other pull factors like weather and family.

For instance, if you have $1 million to invest in Cape Town, you can purchase a residential property of approximately 200 sqm.

In comparison, the same amount of money will only buy you 33 sqm in New York, 34 sqm in London, 43 sqm in Paris, 44 sqm in Sydney, and 17 sqm in Monaco.

Moreover, the lifestyle offered in South Africa is among the best in the world, and it doesn’t get compromised in any way, added Golding.

However, despite South Africa’s prospects, its problems have still impacted its potential, with many other African countries expected to see an even bigger increase in millionaires.

Over the next decade, Mauritius, Namibia, Morocco, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda are all expected to experience 80%+ millionaire growth.

With its stable governance and favourable tax regime, Mauritius is projected to experience a remarkable 95% growth rate, positioning it as one of the world’s fastest-growing wealth markets.

Namibia, too, is poised for impressive high-net-worth growth, which is forecast to exceed 85% by 2033. Both Mauritius and Namibia offer investment migration pathways to attract global investors.

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

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