Six South Africans listed on Forbes Africa’s billionaire list this year

Johann Rupert, the richest man in South Africa. File image.

Johann Rupert, the richest man in South Africa. File image.

Published Jan 23, 2024


Six South Africans have made the Forbes Africa top 20 Billionaire list, while Nigerian businessman and industrialist, Aliko Dangote, retained the top spot as the richest man on the continent.

Forbes said that the fortunes of Africa’s wealthiest people rebounded slightly in the past 12 months, reversing the decline in their fortunes from a year ago, though they were still off their all-time highs.

Forbes further pointed out that the 20 billionaires on the 2024 Forbes list of Africa’s Richest were worth a combined $82.4 billion, which was up $900 million from last year’s $81.5 billion.

The continent remains one of the world’s toughest places to build – and hold onto – a billion-dollar fortune, as global investors remain leery of its stock exchanges, businesses struggle against strained economies, poor infrastructure and volatile exchange rates, while changing political winds can make, boost or bust private fortunes, Forbes stated.

South African luxury goods magnate Johann Rupert held onto the second position spot in Africa, with $10.1 billion, down from $10.7 billion in 2023 as shares of his Compagnie Financiere Richemont–maker of Cartier watches and Montblanc pens – slid.

South African Nicky Oppenheimer, who formerly ran diamond mining firm DeBeers before selling it to mining firm Anglo American a decade ago, ranks third on the list, with $9.4 billion, up $1 billion from 2023 .

Forbes said that thirteen of the billionaires added to their fortunes this year, while seven saw their net worth decline.

South Africa’s Christoffel Wiese, who rejoined the ranking last year at 18th with $1.1 billion after rebounding from an accounting scandal, holds onto his no. 18 rank with a $1.2 billion net worth, thanks to rising shares of his largest holding, Shoprite, and the spinoff of food business Premiere Group from Brait PLC. Wiese also cashed out on $50 million worth of Shoprite stock in October, reducing his stake in the supermarket chain.

The other South Africans who made it into the top 20 richest people in Africa included, Patrice Motsepe who ranked at number 9 with a net worth of $2.7 billion, Koos Bekker shared the 9th spot with Motsepe having a net worth of $2.7 billion as well.

Capitec’s Michiel le Roux was also on the list, coming in at 19th with a net worth of $1.1 billion.

Below are the rankings of the Forbes Billionaire list: