Super rich South Africans increase by 14% over past six years

2014-01-15 15:51

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South Africans with more than $30 million (R326 million) in net assets climbed 14% in the past six years thanks to equity and commodity price gains and increasing black ownership of the economy, according to New World Wealth.

Johannesburg accounts for 48% of the country’s 600 ultra high net worth individuals. More than half of the city’s super rich live in and around Sandton, New World Wealth said in a report today.

Another 18% reside in Cape Town, and with 6% live in Durban, the report showed.

UBS, Barclays and HSBC Holdings are three of the banks that are trying to attract rich African clients as the expansion of industries from commodities to telecommunications creates more millionaires on the continent.

Durban and Johannesburg showed the fastest growth among the ultra wealthy between 2007 and 2013 with increases of 43% and 24% respectively, said Andrew Amoils, a senior analyst at New World Wealth in Johannesburg.

“High net worth individual growth was positively influenced by a rise in new business formation, particularly in the BEE arena, as well as solid local stock exchange returns and rising commodity prices,” he said in an emailed response to questions today.

South Africa has encouraged companies to increase black ownership to make up for the discrimination suffered during apartheid. Johannesburg’s stock exchange gained 86% over the past six years and the price of gold surged 90%.

Clifton in Cape Town is the neighbourhood with the largest number of homes worth more than R50 million, and neighbouring Camps Bay boasts the highest number of ultra rich residents in the city, Amoils said.

Silver Lakes in Pretoria, the suburb where Oscar Pistorius shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp almost a year ago, also houses some of the country’s wealthiest people, Amoils said.

There are also pockets of ultra wealthy residents in Western Cape resort towns, including Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, as well as in Umhlanga and La Lucia near Durban, the report showed.

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