South Africa has the highest number of dollar millionaires on the African continent and this number is set to rise in coming years, according to Old Mutual’s New World Wealth Africa Report for 2015 released on Wednesday.
The report predicted an increase of 55 500 in the number of dollar millionaires in the country by 2017, despite a weakening local currency. The group had grown by nine percent since 2007.
This projection, said Luke Martins, a financial planner at Old Mutual Private Wealth Management was realistic, but dependent on the country’s future economic situation.
While individual attitudes toward building wealth, such as investing and having a clear vision plays a role in the success of high net worth (HNW) individuals, the performance of the local economy was equally important, he said.
Martins said there was great potential for South Africans to create wealth, despite educational and socio-economic challenges, which may slow down the growth of HNW individuals.
“The continued growth in numbers of high net worth individuals in South Africa can be attributed to a combination of factors, including the country’s continued position as a business and investment gateway into Africa and its appeal as a global investment destination, and its robust physical and financial infrastructure.”
A financial planner for Old Mutual Private Wealth Management, Lesego Monareng, said South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) policies had done much to create wealthy South Africans.
“In South Africa, the political will to drive economic empowerment of previously disadvantaged persons has been a major contributor to wealth creation for many. It has both built the middle market as a feeder into individual wealth achievement and allowed many individuals to position themselves to take advantage of the resulting opportunities,” Monareng said.