The richest South Africans in the world – worth a combined R5.8 trillion

 ·9 Jul 2024

South Africa may still be home to six billionaires, but several other dollar-billionaire club members have left the country for new pastures.

South Africa is currently home to six-dollar billionaires: Johann Rupert, Nicky Oppenheimer, Patrice Motsepe, Koos Bekker, Michiel le Roux and Christo Wiese.

Their wealth ranges from Rupert’s $11.6 billion (R210.55 billion) to Wiese’s $1.3 billion (R23.60 billion), according to Forbes’s real-time billionaires list.

However, seven other billionaires were born and raised in South Africa before heading overseas.

The richest person in the world, Elon Musk, was born in South Africa and attended Waterkloof House Preparatory School, Bryanston High School, and then Pretoria Boys High School in Gauteng.

His net worth totals $252.6 billion (R4.58 trillion).

Musk derives much of his wealth from Tesla and SpaceX and is the owner of the social media platform X/Twitter.

Former Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg is the second richest South African-born billionaire in the world, with a net worth of $11.6 billion (R210.55 billion) – “just” ahead of Rupert.

Following Oppenheimer’s $9.5 billion (R172.43 billion), Eswatini-based Nathan Kirsh completes the top five with a net worth of $6.6 billion (R119.80 billion).

Kirsh’s wealth is primarily from US-based Jetro Holdings, which owns restaurant supply retailers Jetro Cash and Carry and Restaurant Depot.

Patrick Soon-Shiong is the sixth richest South African-born billionaire.

Born in what is today Gqeberha, Soon-Shiong became well-known as the inventor of the drug Abraxane, which became useful for fighting certain types of cancer, such as breast and pancreatic.

Soon-Shiong now owns the Los Angeles Times and a minor stake in the Lakers basketball team.

UK-based media mogul Clive Calder ($5.7 billion (R103.46 billion)) follows in seventh, while Motsepe’s $3.1 billion (R56.27 billion) comes in eighth.

Rodney Sacks and Hilton Schlosberg follow, with the two founding the Monster Beverage Corporation.

Monster drinks are currently sold in 141 countries, and the company has a significant share of the $53 billion global energy drink market.

The remaining three positions are filled by South Africans, Koos Bekker ($2.8 billion (R50.82 billion)), Michiel le Roux ($1.5 billion (R27.23 billion)) and Christo Wiese ($1.3 billion (R23.60 billion)).

When combining the net worth of all these South African-born billionaires, it comes out to $318.4 billion (R5.78 trillion).

Billionaire Country of Residence SourceCurrent Net Worth
Elon MuskUSATesla, SpaceX$252.6 billion
(R4.58 trillion)
Ivan GlasenbergSwitzerlandMining$11.6 billion
(R210.55 billion)
Johann RupertSouth AfricaLuxury Goods$11.5 billion
(R208.73 billion)
Nicky OppenheimerSouth AfricaDiamonds $9.5 billion
(R172.43 billion)
Nathan KirshEswatiniRetail, Real Estate$6.6 billion
(R119.80 billion)
Patrick Soon-ShiongUSAHealthcare$6.3 billion
(R114.35 billion)
Clive CalderUKMedia$5.7 billion
(R103.46 billion)
Patrice MotsepeSouth AfricaMining$3.1 billion
(R56.27 billion)
Rodney SacksUSABeverages$3.0 billion
(R54.45 billion)
Hilton SchlosbergUSABeverages$2.9 billion
(R52.64 billion)
Koos BekkerSouth AfricaMedia, Investments$2.8 billion
(R50.82 billion)
Michiel le RouxSouth AfricaBanking $1.5 billion
(R27.23 billion)
Christo WieseSouth Africa Retail$1.3 billion
(R23.60 billion)
Total $318.4 billion
(R5.78 trillion)
Source: Forbes

Read: Another major company in South Africa enters business rescue

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