These two South Africans now rank among the world’s 250 richest people

Almost all of South Africa’s super-wealthy individuals have seen their fortunes grow over the last 12 months, with two local billionaires now ranked among the richest 250 people in the world.

Forbes has published its annual Billionaires List for 2022, tracking the wealth of the world’s richest people over the last year, including five from South Africa.

In the 2022 ranking, luxury goods tycoon Johann Rupert ranks as the richest man in South Africa with an estimated net worth of $8.9 billion, up 25% from $7.1 billion in 2021.

Rupert moves ahead of mining magnate Nicky Oppenheimer, whose fortune of $8.7 billion tracks closely behind. Both Rupert and Oppenheimer now rank within the top 250, placing 230th and 241st, respectively.

South Africa’s other billionaires include familiar names on the list – mineral resources boss Patrice Motsepe saw his fortune grow by $400 million over the period, while Capitec founder Michiel le Roux has cemented his place on the ranking with his net worth growing to $1.8 billion.

The only local billionaire to suffer a loss is media mogul Koos Bekker, whose wealth declined by 23% over the last year to $2.3 billion from $3 billion.

Billionaire 2021 2022 Change %
Johann Rupert $7.1 billion $8.9 billion +$1.8 billion +25.4%
Nicky Oppenheimer $8.0 billion $8.7 billion +$700 million +8.8%
Patrice Motsepe $2.9 billion $3.3 billion +$400 million +6.9%
Koos Bekker $3.0 billion $2.3 billion -$700 million -23.3%
Michiel le Roux $1.1 billion $1.8 billion +$700 million +63.6%

Like South Africa’s billionaires, the global elite were slaves to the global marketplace, hit by the Covid pandemic, sluggish markets, and more recently, the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

While many billionaires hit is big and saw their wealth boosted by these events, not all were as lucky. Counting 2,668 billionaires in 2022, the Forbes ranking was 87 people lighter than in 2021.

Collective billionaire wealth was also down, the group said – $400 billion less than in 2021 ($12.7 trillion).

“The most dramatic drops have occurred in Russia, where there are 34 fewer billionaires than last year following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and China, where a government crackdown on tech companies has led to 87 fewer Chinese billionaires on the list,” Forbes said.

“Still, [there are] more than 1,000 billionaires who are richer than they were a year ago. And 236 newcomers have become billionaires over the past year,” it said.

There were two notable changes among the top 10 this year – the first being a new global number one in Elon Musk, with an estimated net worth of $219 billion, up 45% from last year.

Musk supplants Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who actually saw his wealth decline over the last year.

The second notable change is that Meta (Facebook) founder Mark Zuckerberg has dropped out of the top 10 entirely, now ranking 15th overall. Zuckerberg’s fortune dropped 31% over the last 12 months, tracking many controversies around fake news and misinformation being spread on the Facebook platform, as well as the company’s rebranding process.

These are the richest people in the world:

# Billionaire 2021 ($bn) 2022 ($bn) % change
1 Elon Musk 151.0 219.0 +45.0%
2 Jeff Bezos 177.0 171.0 -3.4%
3 Bernard Arnault 150.0 158.0 +5.3%
4 Bill Gates 124.0 129.0 +4.0%
5 Warren Buffet 96.0 118.0 +22.9%
6 Larry Page 91.5 111.0 +21.3%
7 Sergey Brin 89.0 107.0 +20.2%
8 Larry Ellison 93.0 106.0 +14.0%
9 Steve Ballmer 68.7 91.4 +33.0%
10 Mukesh Ambani 84.5 90.7 +7.3%
230 Johan Rupert 7.1 8.9 +25.4%
241 Nicky Oppenheimer 8.0 8.7 +8.8%
913 Patrice Motsepe 2.9 3.3 +6.9%
1341 Koos Bekker 3.0 2.3 -23.3%
1645 Michiel le Roux 1.1 1.8 +63.6%

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