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South Africa’s rich are get­ting richer – and they’re do­ing it faster than their coun­ter­parts any­where else in the world. Re­search by an­a­lysts New World Wealth has re­vealed that we’re now home to 49 000 dol­lar mil­lion­aires – those who have net as­sets of more than $1 mil­lion (R10.7 mil­lion) – and 2 060 are mul­ti­mil­lion­aires – peo­ple who have more than $10 mil­lion in net as­sets.

New World Wealth re­veals that the fig­ures have shot up in the past decade – the num­ber of South African mil­lion­aires grew by 106% and we have 120% more mul­ti­mil­lion­aires than we did in 2004.

These fig­ures are com­pared with global fig­ures of a 58% growth in mil­lion­aires and a 71% growth in mul­ti­mil­lion­aires in the same decade.

So what are our mul­ti­mil­lion­aires hid­ing in their safes, garages or proudly hang­ing on their walls?

New World Wealth’s An­drew Amoils says wealthy South Africans have bought “a lot of lux­ury col­lectibles over the last decade”. These are “lux­ury in­vest­ments that hold their value well over time”, says Amoils.

The com­pany es­ti­mates that mul­ti­mil­lion­aires in South Africa “held R2.3 bil­lion in fine art at the end of 2013”.

Pop­u­lar artists in­clude Irma Stern, Thomas Baines, JH Pierneef, Alexis Preller, Pi­eter Wen­ning, Ger­ard Sekoto, Mag­gie Laub­ser and Hugo Naudé, he says.

A Stern paint­ing that sold for $20 000 in 1995 fetched more than $2 mil­lion in 2011 – which shows how much the value of these artists has risen in the past few decades.

Says Amoils: “Most of the ma­jor art galleries are lo­cated in Jo­han­nes­burg, Cape Town and in sec­ond-home hot spots such as Stel­len­bosch, Knysna, Dull­stroom and Plettenberg Bay.”

Clas­sic cars are another pop­u­lar in­vest­ment among the uber-rich, as are fine wines, lux­ury watches like Patek Philippe and Breguet, and “rare wild an­i­mals” like buf­falo, roan an­te­lope and sable an­te­lope.

These an­i­mals “are worth over R300 000 per an­i­mal to­day and have been a good in­vest­ment over the past decade”.

Amoils says most of South Africa’s mul­ti­mil­lion­aires (990) live in Jo­han­nes­burg, fol­lowed by 380 in Cape Town, 115 in Dur­ban and 105 in Pre­to­ria.

If you’re look­ing to meet a mul­ti­mil­lion­aire, head for sub­urbs or es­tates such as Sand­hurst and Hyde Park in Joburg, Umh­langa, La Lu­cia and Zim­bali in KwaZulu-Natal, Con­stan­tia, Bish­op­scourt and Camps Bay in Cape Town, and Waterk­loof Ridge in Pre­to­ria.

Many mul­ti­mil­lion­aires live on posh golf es­tates like Fan­court in Ge­orge and Erin­vale in Som­er­set West.

We may be get­ting rich faster than oth­ers, but the US still leads the pack when it comes to the most mul­ti­mil­lion­aires (183 500), fol­lowed by China (26 600), Ger­many (25 400), the UK (21 700) and Ja­pan (21 000).

Hong Kong is the city that is home to the most mul­ti­mil­lion­aires (15 400), fol­lowed by New York (14 300), Lon­don (9 700) and Moscow (7 600). – Staff reporter

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