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by Mariam Pagava on February 17, 2020

Richest people in South Africa

South Africa has become one of the main destinations for many people. For centuries the region has been very remote and was not very attractive to people, though with the time the situation has changed and the continent has become one of the major eye-catching points. There are several South African countries that have been leading the whole continent and have been playing a major role in the development of the economic state of the region. Moreover, there are some people who have especially contributed to the well-being of the countries and have addressed all of their skills and opportunities in order to create a fascinating environment both for the local as well as for the visitors.

While everything has more or less has changed for the better, some of the richest South Africans have contributed the most and have made some significant changes within as well as outside of the continent. In order to make the whole picture more vivid, we would like to provide a list of the top richest people in South Africa.

Johann RupertJohann Rupert

This should be a very familiar name for all of the readers, as Rupert is the founder father of the Compagnie Financierer Richmont. He is the CEO of Richmont and leads the production and sales of the world-wide brands such as Cartier and Montblanc ever since 2010. If you did not have the chance to wear any of the accessories from the brand, you would have definitely heard of them.

Johann Rupert is officially the richest man in South Africa, and despite he has partially inherited his fortune, he managed to make some valuable additions to it, during his term. He is known to be one of the most prominent entrepreneurs from South Africa. He occupies the role of the chairman of the Swiss-based luxury brand company Richmond as well as Remgro. His total net worth is $7.3 billion, which might be a bit surprising for the quite poor South African region.

Rupert has the nickname of “Rupert the Bear”. The name was assigned to him due to his realistic forecasts for the economic future and he even forecasted the economic crises back in 2008. Perhaps, it is all about experience rather than finishing the university.

Rather than economics Rupert is keen on spending his time on his own and says that”I want to be the master of my own time. It is ironic that someone in the watch business should not be in control of his time.” As far as it seems, Johann tries to spend his free time doing things he enjoys the most, such as sports, mostly Golf and cricket. He follows his father steps and tries to contribute to the environment and well being of the country generally. He bought the wine estate and leads his late brother’s wine business of Rupert&Rotschild Vignerons. He has been assigned as a council member of The South Africa Foundation and trustee of the Southern African Nature Foundation. Just like his father he is a conservationist and has conserved 25,000 hectares in the Graff Reinet Area while being the chairman of the Peace Parks Foundation.

Michiel Le RouxMichiel Le Roux

Another on the list of the richest people in South Africa is the South African humanist Michiel Scholtz du Pre Le Roux. Michiel is a chairman of Capitec Bank Holdings Limited. He also is the founder of the Group and acted as the CEO of the bank until 2004. During his career, he has been a managing director of Distillers Corporation and Boland PKS, NBS Boland and BoE Bank.

Le Roux founded Capitec Bank in 2001 and owns over 11% stake of the shares. The bank which trades on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange targets South African’s emerging middle class. Stock Exchanges have become especially popular in SA for the past several years. Thus, he is the one who contributed to the user-friendly and convenient Forex South Africa environment in the country the most.

Michele Le Roux served as a chairman of the board of Capitec until 2016, and even after his retirement, he has continued on as a board member of the group. Unlike the previous candidate in the list, Le Roux has made his fortune all on his own. He did not inherit anything from his family member but instead created the best heritage for his children.

Capitec co-founder Michiel Le Roux is the latest executive to hedge his wealth using a collar structure. “Collars” have been part of institutional share-trading strategies for decades, but they are now increasingly being used by people seeking to raise cash against the value of their shares in a downbeat market. Thus, according to his words, “simplicity is everything” and as far as we see, the method of the simple structure seems to be working pretty well. Michiel has been named as the Person of the Year by Forbes Africa.

Mark ShuttleworthMark Shuttleworth

The next person on the list is one of the most interesting figures. Not only is he one of the youngest millionaires in South Africa, but he also is one of the few space tourists and the first African to travel to space. Yes, everything is all about a single person. Mark comes from an ordinary family from Cape Town. He has not inherited any of his fortunes, though he managed to create a valid fortune of his own and make his own name.

Mark Richard Shuttleworth is only 46 years old and has already way more to say than most of the people of his age from all around the globe. He is South African entrepreneur, philanthropist and space tourist, with dual citizenship of South Africa and the UK. He was a student at the University of Cape Town hen he founded Thawte, back in 1995. It was a consulting firm that became a world leader in Internet security for eCommerce. He sold the firm in 1999 to the VeriSign and with his profits founded a venture capital firm and a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding education initiatives in Africa. This is already a very impressive life and the road, and we have not come to the most interesting point yet.

With the start of the new era and new century, Mark decided to start his life over again and with his personal cost of $20 million, he bought a seat on a Russian spacecraft and thus began the First African in Space project. Shuttleworth spent eight days aboard the space station, where he conducted scientific experiments for South Africa. He returned to Earth aboard Soyuz TM-33 on May 5, 2002. One of the most famous phrases of Shuttleworth was that “I do not expect my flight to produce a generation of astronauts or cosmonauts back home, but I hope it will encourage people to pursue their dreams.

While in space he had a radio conversation with Nelson Mandela and a 14-year-old South African girl, Michelle Foster, who asked him to marry her. He politely dodged the question, stating that he was “very honored at the question” before changing the subject. The terminally ill Foster was provided the opportunity to have a conversation with Mark Shuttleworth and Nelson Mandela by the Reach for a Dream foundation.

Upon returning, Shuttleworth traveled widely and spoke about spaceflight to schoolchildren around the world. He returned to his work in technology and in 2004 founded Ubuntu, a project that created desktop and operating system software for free distribution to computer users, with a special focus on expanding personal computer access in developing countries.

Tshepo MotsepeTshepo Motsepe

She who leaves a trail of glitter is never forgotten“. Jennie Moutan is the richest woman in South Africa. She is one of the very few women from the region that have made their own own fortune rather than inheriting it from the families. Mouton is the South African businesswoman of Tswana descent. She is the First Lady of South Africa Tshepo Mostepe. At a very young age, of only 20, she started as a common miner in 1980. She managed individual shaft mining operations and producing material for the larger mine operations in South Africa while working under a contract. After the contract, she started Mmakau Mining, the firm that initiates explorations and helps to produce platinum, gold, and chrome. The firm has had quite an important impact on the local economy. It assisted in the stabilization of the currency and acted as a push-button for trading in South Africa, which has become one of the major activities in the South African region.

Currently, Radebe is the President of the South African Mining Development Association, she is also one of the very few women to occupy the managing position in the association. Radebe has been known for criticizing the capitalist mining model, as it is loads of lands and materials and is the reason for creating the ghost towns. She has also been the initiator of the possible solutions for demonopolization of the mining sector. She has received the award for the nomination of ten “Internations Businessperson of the Year” by the Global Foundation for Democracy. The reward recognizes business people who have made a difference in the world of changing political and environmental landscapes.

MotsepePatrice Motsepe

Patrice Motsepe became a billionaire in 2008, and thus became the richest man in South Africa, as well as the first black African on the Forbes list. He is the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals. In 2016 he launched a new private equity firm, African Rainbow Capital, focused on investing in Africa.

Patrice Tihopane Motsepe is a South African mining billionaire businessman of Tswana descent. He is the brother of Tshepo Mostepe and Bridgette Radebe as well as the brother in law of both President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister Jeff Radebe. So, once asking the question of who is th richest president inSouth Africa, it is the brother in the law of Patrice.

Patrice is the board member of several large companies, such as Harmony Gold, which is the world’s largest gold mining company, and also is the deputy chairman of Sanlam. It was in 2012 when Motsepe was named as South Africa’s richest man, with an estimated net worth of over $1 billion.

Motsepe is the first African black man in many sectors. Back in 1994, he became the first black partner in the law firm Bowman Gilfillan—the same year that Nelson Mandela was elected as the country’s first black president. While the new government began promoting black empowerment and entrepreneurship; Motsepe founded Future Mining, which provided contract mining services that included the cleaning of gold dust from inside mine shafts for the Vaal Reefs Gold mine, and implemented a system of worker remuneration that combined a low base salary with a profit-sharing bonus. To keep it simple, Motsepe has contributed a lot to the development and empowering black people within as well as outside of the country.

He once said that “If we continue doing the right things in Africa, we can create a very exciting and competitive market here.” It turned out to very true, as Africa owns a word in the global market of mining, as well as Forex trading in South Africa.

Elon MuskElon Musk

One of the most prominent and richest male celebrities in South Africa is Elon Musk. And yes, we are talking about the guy who produced the revolutionary transportation means and the guy who is the most known for his Tesla model, the car that is in the center of attention for already several years now. Although you might have known about Tesla, not many people know that Musk is from South Africa.

He was born in Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa and migrated to Canada at the age of 17. He then moved to the US, against the will of his father. Errol Musk, Elon’s father insisted on him attending the university in Pretoria, though Musk became determined to move to the United States, saying “I remember thinking and seeing that America is where great things are possible, more than any other country in the world“. Apparently, he was more than right with his statement as he became one of the most influential persons in the whole world while starting his career in the US.

We all have heard of Tesla cars and revolutionary transportation introduced by the company, though a little is known about his other occupations and companies. Musk is working to revolutionize transportation both on Earth and in space. Tesla Motors, founded in 2003, is bringing the fully-electric vehicles to the mass market. SpaceX, Musk’s rocket company, is now valued at more than $20 billion, is one of the leading companies in the world.

Besides transportation, Musk has been working on the development of Artificial Intelligence. He has not once stressed the importance and great potential of AI. He started his own company OpenAI in December 2015. The company is a not-for-profit artificial intelligence research company. OpenAI aims to develop artificial general intelligence in a way that is safe and beneficial to humanity.

He is also well known for philanthropy. He has his own Musk Foundation, which focuses its philanthropic efforts on providing solar-energy systems in disaster areas mainly. In October 2019, he donated $1 million to the #TeamTrees initiative.

Musk has contributed a lot to the global market. He has been operating in many sectors and has occupied one of the leading positions in online trading South Africa. Tesla has been recognized as one of the most successful companies in the whole world. Tesla’s stocks were up to 36% in only two days and have been one of the most influential assets in the local and international markets.

By Mariam Pagava

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