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Coronavirus crash: South Africa’s richest citizens are now R12bn worse-off

An unfathomable amount of money has been lost to the coronavirus crash this week, and South Africa’s dollar-billionaires are on red alert.

SASSA R350 Grant

Photo: AdobeStock

Won’t somebody think of the billionaires? South Africa’s richest citizens have all experienced some intense losses over the past 48 hours, as a destructive start to the week wipes enormous amounts of money away from stocks and shares. The spread of coronavirus has, amongst other things, crippled the global economy.

There’s no escpaing the reality that disease outbreaks such as this one have the potential to shutdown trading and financial industries. Since the start of the week, the money-watchers of this world have recoiled in horror – and it has been keenly felt in South Africa, too.

South Africa’s richest wiped-out by coronavirus fears

The true impact of coronavirus’ fiscal destruction can best be illustrated by those who have the most wealth. We looked at the fortunes of Mzansi’s richest citizens – the dollar billionaires, essentially – to see how the coronavirus hit their bank accounts. Their losses were first reported on Monday, and after another full day of trading, things only got worse on Tuesday.

Those of a sensitive nature may have to look away, because we’re about to witness an absolute pummelling. The data taken from the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List makes for grim reading…

Coronavirus crash: How much money South Africa’s dollar-billionaires have lost

  • Johann Rupert: He’s roughly $385 million (R6.1 billion) down since Monday morning, losing 7.5% of his net worth
  • Patrice Motsepe: Losing $175 million (R2.8 billion) has accounted for just under 9% of his personal fortune.
  • Koos Bekker: The last 48 hours have knocked $96 million (R1.5 billion) – or 3.5% – off his billionaire status.
  • Nicky Oppenheimer: Frequently touted as SA’s richest man, he may be grateful to lose *only* $48 million (0.6% of his wealth, or R750 million)
  • Michiel le Roux: He may have lost the least out of everyone at $47 million (R734 million), but it still takes 3.5% off his personal value.
  • Total: The coronavirus crash has cost our richest citizens round R11.9 billion.

Richest people in the world losing money

While we’re on the South African connection, it’s also worth mentioning Elon Musk’s terrible start to the week. His vast $33 billion fortune has had a chunk taken out of it, with $3.3 billion getting wiped from his coffers. That’s roughly the same amount of money Bill Gates lost since the weekend, too.

Meanwhile, the richest man in the world – Jeff Bezos – lost $5.6 billion to the coronavirus crash. That’s only $1 billion shy of Johann Rupert’s entire net worth. However, with the Amazon supremo still worth over $111 billion, we’re sure he won’t be losing too much sleep. Not yet, anyway.