The world of SA’s super-rich

2014-08-10 17:48

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Johannesburg - South Africa’s rich are getting richer - and they’re doing it faster than their counterparts anywhere else in the world, City Press reports.

Research by analysts New World Wealth has revealed that we’re now home to 49 000 dollar millionaires - those who have net assets of more than $1m (R10.7m) - and 2 060 are multimillionaires - people who have more than $10m in net assets.

New World Wealth reveals that the figures have shot up in the past decade – the number of South African millionaires grew by 106% and we have 120% more multimillionaires than we did in 2004.

These figures are compared with global figures of a 58% growth in millionaires and a 71% growth in multimillionaires in the same decade.

So what are our multimillionaires hiding in their safes, garages or proudly hanging on their walls?

New World Wealth’s Andrew Amoils says wealthy South Africans have bought “a lot of luxury collectibles over the last decade”. These are “luxury investments that hold their value well over time”, says Amoils.

The company estimates that multimillionaires in South Africa “held R2.3bn in fine art at the end of 2013”.

Popular artists include Irma Stern, Thomas Baines, JH Pierneef, Alexis Preller, Pieter Wenning, Gerard Sekoto, Maggie Laubser and Hugo Naudé, he says.

A Stern painting that sold for $20 000 in 1995 fetched more than $2m in 2011 - which shows how much the value of these artists has risen in the past few decades.

Says Amoils: “Most of the major art galleries are located in Johannesburg, Cape Town and in second-home hot spots such as Stellenbosch, Knysna, Dullstroom and Plettenberg Bay.”

Classic cars are another popular investment among the uber-rich, as are fine wines, luxury watches like Patek Philippe and Breguet, and “rare wild animals” like buffalo, roan antelope and sable antelope.

These animals “are worth over R300 000 per animal today and have been a good investment over the past decade”.

Amoils says most of South Africa’s multimillionaires (990) live in Johannesburg, followed by 380 in Cape Town, 115 in Durban and 105 in Pretoria.

If you’re looking to meet a multimillionaire, head for suburbs or estates such as Sandhurst and Hyde Park in Joburg, Umhlanga, La Lucia and Zimbali in KwaZulu-Natal, Constantia, Bishopscourt and Camps Bay in Cape Town, and Waterkloof Ridge in Pretoria.

Many multimillionaires live on posh golf estates like Fancourt in George and Erinvale in Somerset West.

We may be getting rich faster than others, but the US still leads the pack when it comes to the most multimillionaires (183 500), followed by China (26 600), Germany (25 400), the UK (21 700) and Japan (21 000).

Hong Kong is the city that is home to the most multimillionaires (15 400), followed by New York (14 300), London (9 700) and Moscow (7 600).

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