Cheryl Kahla
Deputy Online News Editor
2 minute read
7 Apr 2022
2:02 pm

South Africans on Billionaires List 2022: Here’s why their wealth is shocking

Cheryl Kahla

SA's billionaires are getting richer while the rest struggle to make ends meet.

Photo: iStock

The gap between South Africa’s richest and poorest are growing wider by the day, and this became even more evident when compared to the world’s richest people on Forbes’ Billionaires List for 2022.  

The annual Billionaires List for 2022 keeps track of the world’s wealthiest people.  

Most people struggled to make ends meet during the pandemic.

Billionaires, however, had it easy. Out of the five South Africans on the complete billionaires’ list, only Koos Bekker’s wealth declined.  

Let’s take a look.  

2022 Billionaires List

South Africa’s wealthiest

South Africa’s super-rich accumulated even more wealth over the past 12 months, with Johann Rupert staking his claim as the wealthiest person in South Africa with a fortune of $8.9 billion (approximately R130 billion at the time of publishing.)  

His wealth grew 25% from the $7.1 billion he had in 2021.

Meanwhile, mining magnate Nicky Oppenheimer is now in second place (shame, ne) with a fortune of $8.7 billion (R128 billion).  

Rupert ranks 230 on the 250-richest people list and Oppenheimer clocks in at 241.

The other South Africans on the Forbes’ Billionaires list are Patrice Motsepe with $3.3 billion, Koos Bekker with $2.3 billion and Michel le Roux with $1.8 billion.  

ALSO READ: Johann Rupert, Oppenheimers are the faces of SA’s land criminals, says Malema

Difference between a million and billion

Keep in mind we’re talking about billions here, not millions.

You may think the difference between a million and a billion isn’t so significant. You would be wrong. Let’s think of it in terms of time.  

A million seconds are 11.5 days.  

A billion seconds are 31.5 years.  

Not so small now, hey?  

Here’s another way to look at it: If you have R1 million and you spend R1 per second, you’ll use it all up within two weeks.  

If, however, you have R1 billion and you spend R1 per second, you’ll run out of money in 32 years.  


Anyway, moving on.

Five richest people in the world

Elon Musk increased his wealth from $151 billion in 2021 to $219 billion this year (an increase of approximately 45%.)

Jeff Bezos had $177 billion in 2021, he has $171 billion now (a decrease of 3.4%); meanwhile, Bernard Arnault added $8 billion to his riches, going from $150 in 2021 to R158 in 2022 (+5.3%).  

The fourth richest person in the world, Bill Gates, went from $124 to $129, a 5.3% increase, while Warren Buffet showed an increase of 22.9%, going from $96 billion to $118 billion.  

The Forbes’ Billionaire List for 2022 can be viewed here.