South Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs

South Africa is blessed with abundant gold, it is one of the leading economies in Africa.

Entrepreneurs in the country are currently pushing the nation’s economy to the forefront through their entrepreneurial culture.

This article will examine the list of South African entrepreneurs who are making the country proud within and outside the country.

However, it should be noted that success is measured in different ways but for the purpose of this article, the net worth will be used to rate the first top ten entrepreneurs. Also, those listed here have a net worth of over $1 billion.
1. Elon Musk
Elon Musk has made international headlines countless times. Recently in January 2021, he was announced as the richest man on earth with a net worth of US $25 billion just before Jeff Bezos who has recently clinched the title back. His innovative personality has given birth to many projects. He is the CEO of Tesla, he founded X.com, PayPal (the first online payment service), Space X, Neuralink, SolarcCity, and the Boring company. He is at the peak of his entrepreneurial career, and he is undaunted to take risks.
2. Patrick Soon-Shiong
Patrick Soon-Shiong is a South African Chinese surgeon and business man. He is a bioscientist and a transplant surgeon. He is the inventor of the drug Abraxane which is known for its efficiency in treating lung, breast and pancreatic cancer. He owns 230 patents, 42 in the US and 138 internationally. In 2019, his net worth is about $7.1 billion, and about $1.5 billion lies in his Celgene shares according to Forbes.
3. Nicky Oppenheimer
Nicky Oppenheimer was dubbed by the Forbes list as the richest person in South Africa in 2019 with a net worth of US$7.3 billion but currently his net worth stands at US$7.6 billion He made a vast amount of his fortune in trading diamonds, one of the many valuable gems that South Africa has. His wealth is not self-made in the sense of the word as the company that made his family wealth was founded long before his birth by Cecil Rhodes in 1888. He was the chairman of the De Beers Consolidated Mines from 1985 and later went on to become the chairman of the De Beers Group from 1998 to 2012.
4. Ivan Glasenberg
Ivan Glasenberg is the Chief Executive Officer of one of the world’s largest commodity trading and mining companies, Glencore. He joined the company in 1984 and became CEO after almost 30 years in 2002. He owns over 15 percent of the Glencore stock with an estimated net worth of $6.3 billion. His net worth has fluctuated over the years depending on share prices of Glencore stock. He also serves on the board of Xstrata and Minara Resources Limited. It is worth noting that Glencore acquired Xtrata in one of the largest merger deals, which at times, made Glencore worth about US $ 88 billion.
5. Johann Rupert
Johann founded the Rand Merchant Bank in 1979. He is the chairman of Richemont, the family-owned Swiss luxury goods brand. Despite being born into a wealthy family, Rupert made a vast majority of his fortune on his own. His net worth is $5.9 billion.
6. Christo Wiese

Christo Wiese has made a reputation for himself in the retail business. His zealous expansion strategy increased the company value from a 1-million-rand acquisition to a multi-billion-dollar operation. Wiese has a majority shareholding in Pepkor owning 44% of the shares. His parents co-founded the clothing brand, and he became its chairman in 1981. Christo Wiese also owns the investment firm Brait. The most notable transactions by the company include the purchase of an 80% share of Virgin Active from Virgin Group in 2015.
Together with his family, he was estimated to be worth $5.9 billion as of April 2019, and was ranked as the second wealthiest person in South Africa on the Forbes list in 2019, his fortune however declined from US$7.3 billion. His wealth further declined in 2020 when the Forbes list ranked him and his family as the second-richest in South Africa with a net worth of US$5.4 billion.
7. Koos Bekker
You may or may not have heard of the name Jacobus “Koos” Bekker before but you sure have seen his work, literally. Koos Bekker was one of the founders of MTN, the first pay television service providers in Africa. The two companies are currently the largest satellite television providers in Africa. Koos did not stop his business with MTN, and he eventually acquired a majority shareholding in Naspers, the company that funded them as they started MTN and Multichoice. He has since then in charge of Naspers as its Chairman. His net worth is currently $2.4 billion.
8. Allan William Buchanan Gray
Allan Gray is a South African entrepreneur, in 1973 he founded Allan Gray Investment Management which stands as the largest privately-owned investment firm in AfricaHe later went on to start and manage Orbis Investment Management Limited in 1989. His stake in the two companies that he founded is what has made him so wealthy. The newt worth stands at US$1.8 billion according to a 2017 estimate. He is one of the few top entrepreneurs in South Africa that has given a large part of his wealth to various philanthropic efforts.
9. Patrice Motsepe
Popularly known as the owner of Mamelodi Sundowns, Patrice Motsepe is a sharp businessman that built his fortune from scratch. Patrice Motsepe founded his first company, Future Mining, in the 90s when the first black government began empowering black people. His venture later acquired six mines from AngloGold for $7.7 million. This acquisition by Future Mining has since grown his business interests to the mining conglomerate – African Rainbow Minerals – the company which he serves as Executive Chairman. As at the beginning of 2021, his net worth was at $3 billion.
10. Stephen Saad
Saad is a unique individual on this list. He went to school at Durban High School and later got a degree in commerce from the University of Natal. He got into the healthcare industry with his partner Gus Attridge in 1997 after selling off all his stock in Covan Zurich. This capital boost is what he put into Aspen Pharmacare. He currently serves as the Chief Executive of the company alongside Gus Attridge. The stake he owns in the company has seen a tremendous growth since its formation. His current net worth is US$1.4 billion.

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