File photo: Reuters

Johannesburg - Johannesburg was the city with the most millionaires in Africa last year.

An annual update report released by an Oxford-based wealth consultancy firm, New World Wealth, showed yesterday that Johannesburg had 23 400 millionaires at the end of last year, followed by Cairo with 12 300 and Lagos with 9 800.

Four South African cities were placed in the top 10 of the rankings and at 48 800 individuals, the country topped the list of countries with millionaires across the continent last year. The country’s increase represented growth of 9 percent from 2011.

Cape Town was ranked fourth with 9 000, Durban had 2 700 and Pretoria was ranked in the eighth place with 2 500 millionaires.

New World Wealth’s list includes high-net worth individuals with net assets of $1 million (R9.8m) or more, excluding their primary residences.

New World Wealth provides information and customised products to Africa’s wealth sectors such as luxury goods companies, private banks and fund managers among others. It has a sample of more than 120 000 worldwide high-net worth individuals on its database.

The report estimated that Johannesburg millionaires would grow to 30 600 by 2020 and would maintain its first position, as Lagos would only follow at a wide remove with 15 800 millionaires then.

Although in other African cities the number of millionaires was growing at a fast rate, South African cities were still expected to dominate the top 10 list in 2020.

The report showed that Accra in Ghana would be the fastest growing major city for African millionaires in the period to 2020, as the number of millionaires would grow by 8 percent a year, while Durban would have the fastest growth in South Africa at 3.7 percent. But seven other cities will grow millionaires faster than it.

Pretoria’s millionaires would increase at 3.5 percent a year and Johannesburg’s at 3.4 percent. Cape Town did not feature in the list of fastest-growing cities for millionaires in the next eight years.

Local cities also dominated the multimillionaire cities’ list. This list included individuals with a net worth of more than $30m each, excluding their primary residences.

The multimillionaires list showed that in the top three, Johannesburg had 285 multi-millionaires, followed by Cairo with 145 and Lagos with 123. Cape Town had 110 multi-millionaires, Durban had 33 and Pretoria had 31.

South Africa’s high-net worth individuals have been receiving recognition worldwide.

This year, out of the 20 Africa billionaires who made it to Forbes’ annual ranking of the world’s richest people, six were South Africans. These included Johann Rupert whose net worth was $6.6 billion, followed by Nicky Oppenheimer and family, Shoprite chairman Christo Wiese, Patrice Motsepe, Desmond Sacco of Assore Group and Aspen chief executive Stephen Saad. Only Egypt was ahead of South Africa with seven billionaires featured on Forbes list.

South Africa’s wealthy are clearly getting wealthier as their net worth increased last year, according to Forbes’ list. Rupert’s net worth, for instance, had increased from $5.1bn during 2012.

Taku Fundira, an analyst at the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute, said as the rich got richer, the poverty gap had also increased.

“While we see an increase in incomes for the top-income deciles, the same cannot be said for the low-income earners. The redistribution of wealth that has taken place literally transferred wealth from [the] white corporate sector to black business sector through black economic empowerment deals which have benefited few.” - Business Report