As of the close of 2023, the wealthiest individuals in South Africa.

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In 2023, the fortunes of South Africa’s top billionaires have shown a varied trajectory, as per Forbes’ real-time ranking. The consistent leaders — Johann Rupert, Nicky Oppenheimer, Koos Bekker, Patrice Motsepe, and Michiel le Roux — experienced a blend of financial outcomes.

Johann Rupert, the luxury goods tycoon, maintained his premier position, demonstrating a notable financial uptick with a $400 million (R7.6 billion) increase in net worth. Koos Bekker held steady at $2.4 billion (R45.7 billion), while Nicky Oppenheimer, Patrice Motsepe, and Michiel le Roux faced declines in their fortunes, collectively witnessing a reduction of hundreds of millions of dollars compared to the previous year.

Despite their positions as the wealthiest South Africans, all five billionaires observed drops in the global billionaire rankings, with Motsepe and le Roux experiencing substantial declines of nearly 300 and over 400 places, respectively.

Examining the world rankings, disparities emerge as Rupert leads by 70 spots over second-place Oppenheimer and an astonishing 1,200 places over third-placed Bekker. Motsepe slipped from his previous bronze medal position to fourth place, while le Roux finds himself over 2,200 spots behind Rupert in fifth place.

The Bloomberg Billionaire Index, using different metrics for net worth calculation, aligns closely with Forbes but presents some discrepancies. Johann Rupert claims the top spot with an estimated net worth of $11.7 billion (R223.3 billion), reflecting a significant $778 million (R14.8 billion) increase from the previous year. Rupert’s diverse portfolio, including control over Cie Financiere Richemont and ownership of Remgro, contributed to this growth.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk, originally from South Africa and CEO of Tesla, dominates Forbes’ global billionaire rankings with a staggering net worth of $248 billion, marking a remarkable $49 billion (R935.6 billion) increase from the previous year. Other global titans, such as Bernard Arnault and Jeff Bezos, follow suit.

A noteworthy shift is observed in India’s Gautam Adani, dropping from the third richest person in December 2022 to 16th by December 11, 2023. Bloomberg estimates a substantial decline in Adani’s net worth, plummeting by $35.4 billion (R676.5 billion) over the year.

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