Mzansi’s Richest: A Look at the 5 Wealthiest South Africans in 2021

Mzansi’s Richest: A Look at the 5 Wealthiest South Africans in 2021

Every country has them, the people who are on the top of the hierarchy. The people who have so much money they can afford to donate millions towards Covid19 relief efforts.

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South Africa might be a developing country but it has no shortage of super wealthy people. A handful of people in Mzansi are so rich they are dollar billionaires.

Briefly News decided to take a look at the five wealthiest people in South Africa.

Nicky Oppenheimer

Coming in at the top of the list is Nicky Oppenheimer and his family.

According to data by Statista, Oppenheimer is worth an impressive $8 billion - which is an estimated R113.6 billion.

Oppenheimer made his billions through the diamond business.

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The richest man in SA started his career at mining company Anglo American in 1968. He was promoted to director in 1974, before becoming the deputy chairman in 1983. His grandfather, Harry Oppenheimer, was the founder of Anglo American. Oppenheimer's granddad was the first generation to chair De Beers diamond mining company before he also came on board as its chairperson together with its Diamond Trading Company subsidiary.

He resigned from Anglo American in 2001, but continued to act as the non-executive director until 2011.

Oppenheimer used to be the Chairman of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited before stepping down in 2012.

Mzansi’s Richest: A Look at the 5 Wealthiest South Africans in 2021
Oppenheimer, age 63, the Chairman of De Beers stands in a De Beers boardroom in 2008. Photo credit: Per-Anders Pettersson/Reportage by Getty Images.
Source: Getty Images

Johann Rupert

Johann Rupert is the second richest person in South Africa with a nett worth of $7.1 billion (R100.8 billion). Rupert made it to the 385th position on Forbes Billionaires List for 2021.

Financial experts revealed that Rupert's fortune had ballooned since the start of the pandemic last year, from an estimated $4.6 billion to a whopping $7.1 billion. The stats from Forbes revealed that Rupert is Africa's fourth-wealthiest person.

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Rupert serves as the chairman of the Rich Goods company, which is located in Switzerland. He also serves in the same capacity in a South African company known as Remgro.

He started his journey in business in New York after serving as an apprenticeship in Chase Manhattan. He was there for two years before moving on to Lizard Feres where he stayed for three years. He came back to South Africa in 1976 to form the Rand Merchant Bank in which he served as a CEO.

It is in this same year that the same man formed a corporation called the Small Business Development Corporation that has been responsible for providing over 600 000 jobs so far.

Rupert is arguably one of the most controversial billionaires in the country and he often finds himself a hot topic on social media.

In March, 2021, Twitter blew up with reactions after Rupert allegedly gave President Cyril Ramaphosa an ultimatum over Ace Magashule.

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Briefly News at the time reported Rupert allegedly threatened to withdraw his support unless Ramaphosa acted against Magashule and social media users weren’t impressed.

EFF leader Julius Malema had harsh criticism of the sitting president, stating that he has been compromised by the Rupert family, Johann Rupert in particular. interview with SABC News to celebrate the party's 8th anniversary, Malema issued stern warnings to Ramaphosa about his relationship with the billionaire.

Patrice Motsepe

Patrice Motsepe might just be the most beloved billionaire in SA. As of June, 2022, Motsepe is said to be worth R41 billion ($2.9 billion.)

He made most of his wealth through the mining industry. In 1997, gold prices hit rock bottom and it enabled Motsepe to buy six gold mine shafts from AngloGold for $7.7 million.

As part of the deal, he was able to pay off the mines with money his company, now called African Rainbow Minerals, earned. African Rainbow Minerals was the first black-owned mining company in South Africa.

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Even though he lives a low-key luxury life with his wife, Motsepe uses his wealth to do good as well.

In March 2020, Motsepe donated R1 billion towards the Covid19 relief efforts. The billionaire announced that he will help fund the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa.

During a briefing on the current situation, Motsepe said that this is a challenging time for the country, but with SA's history of coming together during these tough times, there is hope.

The billionaire said the coronavirus is very serious and commended the state for the effort it has undertaken to combat the pandemic. However, he feels more serious measures need to be implemented. It is understood the funds will be channelled into purchasing soap, sanitizer, water and other essential items needed during the lockdown period.

He is also a sports fan and Motsepe’s wealth enabled him to own a soccer team, the Mamelodi Sundowns.

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He also bought shares in the Bulls rugby team alongside fellow dollar billionaire Johann Rupert.

In 2018, Motsepe paid R45 million to bring the FC Barcelona team to South Africa.

Koos Bekker

Koos Bekker is right there with Patrice Motsepe with a nett worth of $2.9bn (R41 billion.)

Bekker is best known for his revered role as chair at Naspers Media Group. The billionaire has crossed borders and managed to build one of the most influential market capitalizations outside of China and the United States.

Bekker was a founding director at MTN Mobile Communication Company in the early 1990's. He later became the chief executive officer (CEO) at Naspers in 1997. The company was at the time a leading investor at M-Net/Multichoice group.

Michiel le Roux

Michiel le Roux is the founder of one of Mzansi’s most popular banks, Capitec.

After getting his LLB degree and deciding law isn't for him, Michiel landed a job at Distillers Corp. He worked as the managing director until the mid 90s.

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He then worked for Boland Bank Ltd for several years. In 2001, Michiel founded Capitec bank. He served as the bank’s board chairman from 2007 to 2016, as still holds a seat on the board.

Today, Michiel holds only 11% of the stakes in Capitec. However, his success has seen him become a very wealthy man. He is one of South Africa's dollar billionaires. According to Forbes, Michiel is worth a whopping $1.4 billion - which is about R19.89 billion at the current exchange rate.

Meet South Africa’s biggest political party funders

Previously, Briefly News reported that IEC deputy chairperson Janet Love has announced that political parties consisting of the ANC, DA and Action SA have abided by the political party funding act and have confirmed donations of over R100 000 with each party receiving significant donations from respectable sources.

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Mary Slack has provided the Democratic Alliance (DA) with a donation of R15 million. Coming from the same family as the heir to the DeBeers diamond fortune, Nicky Oppenheimer and Mary Slack's donation has been the DA's most lucrative source.

The African National Congress's (ANC) highest donation, according to IEC, comes from the quarrying company United Manganese of Kalahar. The company provided a donation of R5 million.

Source: Briefly News

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