Over the past decade, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has cemented its status as the primary wealth generator among African stock markets. However, as of 2023, the JSE has seen a substantial decline in its all-share index, in contrast to other exchanges that have reported impressive year-to-date percentage gains and returns to shareholders.
As of the time of this report, the JSE boasts a remarkable total market capitalization exceeding R16.4 trillion, equivalent to $892.99 billion in U.S. dollars. This figure significantly surpasses the combined market capitalization of all other African stock exchanges.
Despite a solid start to the year, the JSE’s all-share index has retreated, erasing its earlier gains and showing a decline of 2.02 percent since the start of the year. This drop can be attributed to the notable decrease in the share prices of prominent companies, including African Rainbow Minerals, Gold Fields, AngloGold Ashanti, MTN Group, and Impala Platinum.
The dynamic nature of the JSE market is further highlighted by the varying fortunes of South Africa’s billionaire investors. While business tycoons like Michiel Le Roux, Jannie Mouton, and Adrian Gore have recorded substantial increases in the market value of their portfolios, others, such as Patrice Motsepe and Johann Rupert, have experienced significant wealth losses.
In light of these noteworthy fluctuations in the market value of stakes held by the country’s prominent businessmen in publicly traded companies, there arises a need to reevaluate their positions and reconfigure the rankings of the wealthiest investors on the local exchange.
Responding to this demand, Billionaires.Africa has compiled a list of the wealthiest investors on the JSE. This ranking is based on data sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence and publicly available documents and disclosures. The valuations of their shares are determined using closing prices as of October 7, with the values converted to U.S. dollars using prevailing exchange rates.
Billionaires.Africa‘s focus is on individual ownership rather than multi-generational family fortunes. In cases where the division of ownership among siblings or couples remains unclear, the wealth is attributed to the family’s most prominent and publicly visible member.
Here are the 30 individuals who possess the most substantial stock ownership positions on the JSE:
1. Patrice Motsepe
- Net worth on the JSE: $1.58 billion
- Holdings: African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), Sanlam, African Rainbow Capital Investments
- Patrice Motsepe, Africa’s first black billionaire, boasts the largest fortune on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. His principal holding is African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), the mining giant he founded, where he commands a 40.37-percent stake valued at $835.5 million. Additionally, he owns a 7.8-percent share in the financial services giant Sanlam worth $647.9 million and an indirect 27-percent stake in African Rainbow Capital Investments valued at $97.14 million.
2. Johann Rupert
- Net worth on the JSE: $1.33 billion
- Holdings: Remgro, Reinet
- Johann Rupert, Africa’s wealthiest individual, maintains a 6.87-percent stake in the investment holding company Remgro, valued at over $279.4 million, and a 26.84-percent share in Reinet. Reinet is a listed company on both the Luxembourg and Johannesburg stock exchanges, with Johann’s stake currently worth more than $1.06 billion.
3. Michiel Le Roux
- Net worth on the JSE: $1.332 billion
- Holdings: Capitec Bank
- South African billionaire Michiel Le Roux founded Capitec Bank in 2001, catering to the country’s middle class and empowering them in financial matters. Holding the position of chairman from 2007 to 2016, Le Roux possesses an 11.39-percent stake in Capitec Bank, valued at more than $1.33 billion.
4. Piet Mouton
- Net worth on the JSE: $841.8 million
- Holdings: Capitec Bank, PSG Konsult, Curro Holdings
- Piet Mouton, son of renowned tycoon Jannie Mouton, the founder of PSG Group, owns a 5.78-percent stake in Capitec Bank, valued at $681.7 million. He also holds a 14.64-percent stake in PSG Konsult worth $150.2 million and a 3.17-percent stake in Curro Holdings worth over $9.9 million.
5. Jannie Mouton
- Net worth on the JSE: $746.8 million
- Holdings: Capitec, PSG Konsult
- Jannie Mouton, known for founding PSG Group, an investment holding firm, holds a 5.11-percent stake in Capitec Bank through his JF Mouton Familietrust, worth over $615.3 million. He also possesses a 12.83-percent share in PSG Konsult.
6&7. Najib & Taha Mikati
- Net worth on the JSE: $631.64 million
- Holdings: MTN Group
- Three-time Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and his brother Taha Mikati own a 6.72-percent stake worth $631,647,781 in MTN Group, Africa’s largest mobile telecoms firm. This stake is held through their private investment company, M1 Limited.
8. Adrian Gore
- Net worth on the JSE: $622.3-million
- Holdings: Discovery Holdings
- Adrian Gore is a co-founder and CEO of South Africa’s leading medical insurer, Discovery Holdings. He possesses a 12.96-percent stake in the company.
9. Christoffel F. Wiese
- Net worth on the JSE: $620.89 million
- Holdings: Shoprite, Brait, Invicta
- Billionaire Christo Wiese owns an 11.5-percent stake in Shoprite Holdings, which operates supermarkets and furniture stores across South Africa. He also holds a 28.52-percent stake in investment firm Brait and a 19.23-percent stake in Invicta Holdings, an investment holding company focusing on bearing and transmission equipment.
10. Zak Calisto
- Net worth on the JSE: $557.04 million
- Holdings: Karooooo
- South African tycoon Zak Calisto is the founder of Karooooo Limited, which owns Cartrack, a company providing real-time mobility data analytics solutions for smart transportation. Karooooo has a dual listing on Nasdaq and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and Calisto owns a 74.73-percent stake worth $557.04 million.
11. Stephen Saad
- Net worth on the JSE: $541.5 million
- Holdings: Aspen Pharmacare
- Stephen Saad, the founder of publicly traded Aspen Pharmacare, South Africa’s largest pharmaceuticals maker, was the first African pharma entrepreneur to lay claim to a billion-dollar fortune. He’s no longer as wealthy as he used to be, but he is still worth a lot. He owns 12.5 percent of Aspen Pharmacare, currently worth around $541.5 million.
12. Ivan Saltzman
- Net worth on the JSE: $440.8-million
- Holdings: Dis-Chem Pharmacies
- Ivan Saltzman founded Dis-Chem Pharmacies, one of South Africa’s most respected healthcare and pharmacy retail groups. Through his Saltzman Family Trust, he controls a 35.12-percent stake in Dis-Chem Pharmacies, valued at $440.8 million.
13. Laurie Dippenaar
- Net worth on the JSE: $338.6 million
- Holdings: FirstRand
- Laurie Dippenaar and his family trust own 1.76 percent of Firstrand, with the stake valued at $338.6 million. He co-founded Rand Consolidated Investing, which eventually became FirstRand in the 1990s.
14. Giovanni Ravazzotti
- Net worth on the JSE: $293.8 million
- Holdings: Italtile
- Giovanni Ravazzotti founded Italtile, South Africa’s leading franchisor, retailer, and manufacturer of tiles, bathroom ware, and related products. He owns 33.88 percent of Italtile through Rallen Proprietary Limited, with the stake worth $293.8 million.
15. Koos Bekker
- Net worth on the JSE: $290.6 million
- Holdings: Naspers
- Koos Bekker is renowned for transforming South African newspaper publisher Naspers into a powerhouse in e-commerce and cable television. Bekker still owns a 0.88-percent stake in the company, worth $290.6 million.
16. Barry Swartzberg
- Net worth on the JSE: $183.8 million
- Holdings: Discovery
- Barry Swartzberg co-founded Discovery Holdings, South Africa’s leading medical insurer, and owns 3.92 percent of the company.
17. Michael Attridge
- Net worth on the JSE: $180.3 million
- Holdings: Aspen Pharmacare
- Michael Attridge co-founded Aspen Pharmacare with Stephen Saad in 1997 and owns a 4.26-percent stake in the company, serving as its deputy CEO and finance director.
18. Gareth Ackerman and Family
- Net worth on the JSE: $172.2 million
- Holdings: Pick ‘n Pay
- Gareth Ackerman, son of the late Pick ‘n Pay founder Raymond Ackerman and the current chairman of the group, holds a significant 25.53-percent stake in the company, valued at $172.2 million.
19. Steven Herring
- Net worth on the JSE: $163.8 million
- Holdings: Heriot REIT
- Steven Herring owns 87.23 percent of Heriot REIT worth $163,769,596
20. John Copelyn
- Net worth on the JSE: $136.3-million
- Holdings: 13.36-percent stake in Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI)
- South African tycoon John Copelyn has been the CEO of HCI since 1997 and owns a 13.36-percent stake in the Cape Town-based investment holding company, presently worth $117.3 million. He also holds a 1.36-percent stake in Tsogo Sun, valued at around $9.5 million.
21. Desmond de Beer
- Net worth on the JSE: $158.6 million
- Holdings: Lighthouse Properties, Resilient REIT
- Property tycoon Desmond de Beer founded REIT Limited, a South African Real Estate Investment Trust. He owns a 9.35-percent stake in Resilient REIT, currently valued at $73.6 million. Additionally, he is the largest individual shareholder of Lighthouse Capital Limited, which invests globally in direct property and listed real estate and infrastructure securities. His 15.95-percent stake in Lighthouse Properties is worth $85 million.
22. J.F Le Roux
- Net worth on the JSE: $115.8 million
- Holdings: Shoprite
- South African investor J.F Le Roux owns 1.56 percent of Shoprite, with the shareholding valued at $115.8 million.
23. Gerrie Fourie
- Net worth on the JSE: $104.8 million
- Holdings: Capitec Bank
- Gerrie Fourie, CEO of Capitec, owns 0.89 percent of the bank, a stake worth $104.8 million.
24. Terrence Moolman
- Net worth on the JSE: $100.2 million
- Holdings: Caxton and CTP Publishers and Printers
- The reclusive media mogul and founder of Caxton and CTP Publishers and Printers owns a 47.22-percent stake in the company, with his shares currently valued at over $100.2 million.
25. Andre du Plessis
- Net worth on the JSE: $91.8 million
- Holdings: Capitec Bank
- Andre du Plessis, one of the co-founders of Capitec, owns 0.78 percent of the bank.
26. Kiriakos Anastasiadis
- Net worth on the JSE: $82.2 million
- Holdings: Action Limited
- Kiriakos Anastasiadis is the founder and CEO at Acsion Ltd. Acsion Limited is a specialist property developer and holding company. Anastasiadis owns a 77.48-percent stake valued at $82.2 million.
27. Jens Montanana
- Net worth on the JSE: $66.7 million
- Holdings: Datatec Limited
- Jens Montanana is a tech entrepreneur and CEO of Datatec, a South African-based ICT solutions and services firm. He owns 14.49 percent of the company.
28. Paul Neethling
- Net worth on the JSE: $60.6 million
- Holdings: Remgro
- Paul Johannes Neethling sits on the board of Remgro as an alternate to Johann Rupert. He owns a 1.41-percent stake in Remgro, worth $60.6 million.
29. Christopher Seabrooke
- Net worth on the JSE: $57.5 million
- Holdings: Sabvest Capital Limited
- Christopher Seabrooke is CEO at Sabvest Capital (Sabcap). Sabcap is an investment holding company with interests in various unlisted and listed investments, holding equity, debt, and cash portfolios when it has surplus liquidity. Seabrooke owns a 40.62-percent stake in Sabvest Capital Limited, valued at $57.5 million.
30. Barry Stuhler
- Net worth on the JSE: $50.5 million
- Holdings: Lighthouse Properties
- Australian real estate entrepreneur Barry Stuhler owns 9.72 percent of Lighthouse Properties.