26% of 100 richest & 11% of top earners

The Sunday Times RICH LIST 2013 published last weekend had SA Jewry WITH 26 percent of the wealthiest & 11 percent of top SA earners. The annual survey understates the wealth & income of SA Jewry - READ WHY! This is no small feat given that the SA Jewry represents just 0.0014 percent of the total SA population. ALSO – LINKS TO FOLLOW THE LIST FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS!
by ANT KATZ | Dec 04, 2013

The Sunday Times RICH LIST 2013 was published last weekend and, once again, SA Jewry came out tops – listing an incredible 26 percent of the top 100 wealthiest and 11 percent of the top SA earners!

Richlist - Motsepe, Kirsh and Koseff HiResRIGHT: At the Jewish Achievers banquet this year were honourees Motsepi & Kirsh with Stephen Koseff

The annual Sunday Times Rich List survey tends to understate the wealth and income of SA Jewry:

  • On the wealth side, this is largely because of the tendency of some of the wealthiest members of the community not to list their companies and to invest overseas; and
  • On the income side many among the community also earn income from their overseas holdings.

Richlist - Raymond Acherman

TOP GUYS: Jewish Report non-exec chair Howard Feldman, left,  with waelthiest Jew raymond Acherman

The author has been analysing the Sunday Times Rich List for five consecutive years now, and links to the comparable statistics are available below   for the interst of readers.


Among the wealthiest shareholders in SA, 26 Jews appear on the top 100 list and 50 in the total published list of 263. These represent 26 and 19 percent of the totals respectively – which is no small feat given that the SA Jewish community represents just 0.0014 of the total SA population.

Richlist - Brian Joffee
RIGHT: Bidvest's Joffe was the
highest-earning Jew in the year

As this list covers wealth as the value of shares owned on the JSE, this would be understated as some of SA’s wealthiest Jewish individuals and companies choose to stay private. The list does not include, for example:

  • Natie Kirsh – believed by Bloomberg to be the wealthiest South African
  • Families such as the Samsons, Lubners, Kaplans, Kroks, and many, many more
  • Donny Gordon and family – his daughter, Wendy Appelbaum, is said by Forbes to be the wealthiest woman and biggest female philanthropist in Africa.

As it is not the Jewish way to brag about wealth, Jewish Report does not intend to publish the complete lists – but among the notable information in the Sunday Times Survey has the highest ranked Jewish entity as the Ackerman Family Trust at number 11 with R4.8-bil, and Adrian Gore hot on their heels in twelfth place with R4.2-bil. Really noteworthy is that Gore, the founder and CEO of Discovery, has seen his shares’ value climb from 2.1-bil in 2011 to R2.7-bil last year – effectively doubling over two years.

Top earners

In 2012 it was the turn of the bankers to pocket the big salaries – with Investec executives topping the bill. The company’s CEO, Stephen Koseff, whose income ranking dropped from fourth place in 2011 eighth in 2012 having taken a knock of seven percent to just R56-mil – and being billed as the highest paid banker in SA - has this year fallen off the 263 high-earners list completely (although he is listed as the 75th wealthiest with R438-mil).

This is the fifth year that author Ant Katz has reported on the Rich List – between 2009 and 2012 on MyShtetl. Users can look back over the previous stories by clicking on the following links:


  1. 3 Ben Mapoane 03 Jul
    I am very impressed about how the Jewish community work hard for their being. I really would like to attend some of their galla dinners and functions to learn how they make it to the top.
  2. 2 lester kalmin 19 Dec
    Want to Read
  3. 1 matthew 24 Jun


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