Michiel le Roux dollar-billionaire

Photo: Forbes

Could South Africa soon ‘lose’ one of its dollar-billionaires?

The South African dollar-billionaire club is notoriously exclusive – and one member is clinging to his ‘membership’ by the barest of margins.

Michiel le Roux dollar-billionaire

Photo: Forbes

Data released by Forbes this week has confirmed that South Africa has five dollar-billionaires who are still citizens within the Republic. Four of them – Johann Rupert, Nicky Oppenheimer, Patrice Motsepe, and Koos Bekker – have all increased their wealth over the past 12 months. And then there’s Michiel le Roux…

Who is Michiel le Roux?

  • – MLR was born in Stellenbosch. He is 71 years old, and currently married.
  • – He founded Capitec Bank in 2001 – and owns about an 11% stake.
  • – The bank has more than 800 branches and over 13,000 employees, according to Forbes.
  • – He served as chairman of the board of Capitec from 2007 to 2016 – and has continued on as a board member ever since.
  • – Le Roux previously ran Boland Bank – a small regional bank in Cape Town’s hinterland.

Could South Africa lose its fifth dollar-billionaire?

The Capitec bank founder gatecrashed the ‘billionaire boys club’ back in 2019, as his fortune soared to $1.2 billion. However, in the past two years, that number has contracted, and it’s estimated he is now valued at $1.1 billion. Should this decline continue, le Roux may lose his dollar-billionaire status by 2023 – or even a little earlier.

Le Roux is no longer inside the 2 500 ‘most elite’ money-makers in the world. He has fallen more than 700 places on the global list since his first appearance, and his $100 million losses account for about 8.5% of his net worth.

Michiel le Roux: Net worth and fortune in Rand

He is perilously close to trapdoor, and the banking brainbox may have to settle for being a regular, run-of-the-mill, multi-millionaire. Yeah, we won’t be crying him a river any time soon, put it that way – and he’ll always be a billionaire on our shores, as his $1.1 billion translates to R16 billion. That should keep him going for a while, one would assume…

Michiel le Roux doesn’t have much room to play with, when it comes to his dollar-billionaire status – Photo: Forbes