Big shift in racial distribution of SA millionaires

By Drum Digital
28 April 2016

Almost half of South Africa's dollar millionaires - those with a net value of R14.5m or more - are from previously disadvantaged groups, according to the latest report by New World Wealth.

The report has found that 45% of SA's dollar millionaires are black, coloured, Indian or Chinese - that is from groups unable to vote prior to 1994.

In the view of New World Wealth, the SA government will continue to push black economic empowerment (BEE) policies until previously disadvantaged groups make up at least 80% of SA's dollar millionaires. This goal is expected to be reached by 2030.

New World Wealth's research found that there are currently about 17 300 South African dollar millionaires from previously disadvantaged groups. This is much higher than the 14% it was in 2007. SA has almost twice as many dollar millionaires than any other African country.

Three South Africans even feature prominently on the UK’s 2016 “Rich List”, reported on Monday. Nicky Oppenheimer (70), made it to 18th position on the 1 000-strong list. London-based South African Natie Kirsh (84) is three positions behind Oppenheimer on the list and Christo Wiese (74) is in 22nd spot. It is the first time Wiese has been included on the list, because of numerous UK investments.

"Racial wealth breakdowns are an important issue in South Africa. Many feel that the speed of wealth transfer to ‘previously disadvantaged’ groups has been too slow," the report states.

According to the latest Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) Report released on Monday, top management positions in the private sector in SA are mostly allotted to white males and opportunities for promotion and training also remain inherently linked to race and gender at more senior levels.

The pace of transformation in the labour market is very slow, according to the report.

“At this rate, it will take many years for equitable representation in the labour market, especially at the upper levels of management, where the white group has a tight grip,” the report states.

Earlier this year a report by Oxfam found that the richest 1% of people on earth now has more wealth than the rest of the world's population combined.

Source: Fin24

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