SA tops Africa with the most billionaires

Comment on this story
nicky oppenheimer REUTERS Nicky Oppenheimer

Johannesburg - It’s the continent’s most exclusive club – and you need at least $400 million (about R3,6 billion) to join it. They work in diamonds, cement, telecoms, banking, hotels, retailing and oil.

Their average age is 63, most are self-made, and five live in Joburg.

The educated ones went to universities around the world, including Harvard and Sandhurst Military Academy, but some missed out on that or even dropped out.

They could fund South Africa for two-thirds of the year, because together they’re worth $72.9bn.

These are the continent’s billionaires – Africa’s 40 Richest People, a list released by Forbes magazine this week.

“Forbes’s second annual list of the continent’s 40 wealthiest reflects growth across much of it. These moguls’ combined net worth, $72.9bn, is up 12 percent over last year,” Forbes said.

iol news pic cyril ramaphosa apr 17 Businessman Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Mathieu Dasnois INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

“Africa is known for abundant natural resources, but its 40 richest operate in an array of industries, bolstered by a growing consumer sector. Only four of the 40 made their money in oil; 10, by contrast, have diversified fortunes, whether through ownership of a conglomerate or a portfolio comprising a range of assets. Six built their wealth in the financial industry.”

Top of the rich heap is Aliko Dangote of Nigeria. He is number one in Africa but only number 76 internationally.

Dangote made his money in cement, sugar and flour, and his company Dangote Cement is Africa’s largest cement manufacturer, according to Forbes.

He gives “tens of millions of dollars” to support education, health and poverty eradication.

There are 12 South Africans on Forbes’s list – the country with the most – followed by Nigeria with 11 billionaires.

Five of the South Africans – Nicky Oppenheimer, Patrice Motsepe, Desmond Sacco, Cyril Ramaphosa and Laurie Dippenaar – live in Joburg.

Only two women made the list – Folorunsho Alakija of Nigeria ($600m) and Isabel dos Santos of Angola ($500m). Dos Santos is the president’s daughter, with wealth through investments. “Her first venture was a Luanda eatery called Miami Beach Club,” Forbes said.

The Star

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines