No problems for the rich as they get richer

04 September 2011 - 03:13 By RENÉ VOLLGRAAFF

Mining magnate Patrice Motsepe tops the annual Sunday Times Rich List for the first time.

Published today in Business Times, it reveals that the chairman of African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) is now worth R22.99-billion.

This comes after several years of trailing Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal of ArcelorMittal SA, who falls to second with R20.87-billion.

Based on the share values of holdings in listed companies at the end of March, there were 28 billionaires in SA, compared to 31 the year before.

The list is compiled by Who Owns Whom, whose researchers analyse the holdings of directors of all JSE-listed companies.

It is based on publicly available information and only includes disclosed shareholdings in JSE-listed companies.

The list also reveals:

  • Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson last year took home R627.53-million - or R2.5-million a day, based on 250 working days a year;
  • Motsepe's wealth has grown by 15.5% since last year, thanks to increased share prices;
  • There is only one woman among the 100 richest people, Sharon Wapnick, a non-executive director at Octodec Investments and Premium Properties. She is 74th and is worth R330.37-million;
  • Transnet's former acting CEO Chris Wells was the best-paid parastatal director in 2010 with a remuneration package of R10.68-million;
  • The combined wealth of the country's 100 richest people has grown by 62.19% since last year - and can now almost cover the country's budget deficit;
  • Nicky Oppenheimer, meanwhile, who Forbes magazine lists as the richest South African, is third on the Rich List based on his family's 2% stake in Anglo American, which is worth R11.06-billion.

The estimate of his wealth, however, excludes the family's 40% interest in the diamond group De Beers, which is believed to be worth R23-billion, but is a private entity and is therefore not listed.

While the economy struggled to grow in 2010 and barely created any jobs, some company directors were rewarded with hefty increases.

  • South African-born Marius Kloppers, the CEO of mining group BHP Billiton, received 43% more than the year before, with a total remuneration of R77.53-million, including a R39.19-million gain in shares;
  • Bernard Kantor, the managing director of financial services group Investec and a non-executive director of Phumelela Gaming and Leisure, took home 137% more than in 2009.
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