SA’s super wealthy: Who they are, where they live and what they do

2015-03-11 14:30

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Wealth – big wealth – is growing among black South Africans, but distribution still remains skewed.

This is according to research by New World Wealth, a wealth consultancy and research firm.

There were 14 700 high net worth individuals (with an individual wealth of about R12 million or more) South Africans from previously disadvantaged groups at the end of 2014 and a third of them were black Africans.

The research showed that high net worth individuals who are Indian, coloured and black African hold 31% of the high net worth wealth in South Africa while the white population owns 69%.

Overall, there are 9800 in the Indian, Asian and coloured category, and there are 4900 black African high net worth individuals.

“This is a relatively low percentage considering that these groups make up 90% of the national population. However it should be noted that their volumes have risen strongly over the review period, particularly the Indian or Asian category,” said Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth, in the report.

Amoils told City Press that the growth in this category is linked to “strong growth in Durban (which has a large Indian community) and black economic empowerment policies nationwide [as well as] strong growth in Joburg or Sandton as well,” he said.

In 2007 there were 2300 black African high net worth individuals and at the end of 2014 there were 4900, a growth of 113%. In 2007 there were 36 900 white high net worth individuals while at the end of 2014 there were 32 100, a contraction of 13% over the last seven years.

“Many [of the whites] have left the country, [and have] mainly have moved to the United Kingdom, European Union, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand,” said Amoils.

Half of the total high net worth individual population in South Africa (46 800) lives in Johannesburg. Cape Town comes in second with 8900.

The fastest growing city for high net worth individuals is Durban, which had 2100 in 2007 and by the end of 2014 had 2700 – a growth of 29%, higher than all the major South African cities.

When it comes to multimillionaires (individuals with a wealth of $10 million dollars or more) in South Africa, the financial services industry is the primary source of wealth for 20% of local multimillionaires.

Other industries that were an important source of wealth for multimillionaires was real estate and construction as well as basic materials (which includes mining and agriculture).

The report said the fastest growing sectors for local multimillionaires were telecommunications and healthcare and that media and healthcare were expected to be the fastest growing sectors for creating multimillionaires.

“South Africa is the media hub for Africa so strong growth forecast there. In terms of healthcare sector: private hospital use and nursing care are both on the rise particularly with the growing middle class,” explained Amoils.

Johannesburg is home to 990 multimillionaires while Cape Town has 380 multimillionaires. In total, South Africa has 2060 multimillionaires.

In Johannesburg, the most popular suburbs for multimillionaires are Sandhurst, Hyde Park and Bryanston, while in Cape Town it is Camps Bay, Bishopscourt and Constantia. Other popular towns include Knysna, Umhlanga, La Lucia and Stellenbosch.

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