Johannesburg Remains The Financial Capital Of Africa - By Some Margin

Africa’s richest cities: where the continent’s elite live

Cape Town and Durban have the beaches, but the City of Gold still glitters more brightly than any other on the continent.

Johannesburg has been ranked Africa’s wealthiest city by New World Wealth. More precisely, Johannesburg is the wealthiest by total wealth held by all individuals living in the city. The NW Wealth report looks exclusively at private wealth, excluding government funds.

It should surprise no one that the ‘financial powerhouse of Africa’ still holds the number one spot, but the sheer quantity of wealth held compared to other major African cities is a useful metric for understanding the relative amount of money generated and accumulated in South Africa. After all, Nigeria’s economy is technically larger than South Africa’s (as measured by GDP) but Johannesburg boasts 18 200 US dollar millionaires compared to 6 800 in Lagos. Moreover, South Africa has four cities in the top 10 richest wealthiest cities in Africa table, whereas Nigeria has only one (Abuja is ranked 17th).

The report also offers some perspective about Joburg’s economic dynamism. After all, Joburg isn’t somewhere people traditionally retire to with their money; it’s a city in which money is made.

The big five

So how rich are Joburgers? According to the NW Wealth report, total wealth held in the city amounts to $245 billion. Major sectors include financial services, professional services (notably law firms), construction and telecoms.

Egypt boasts the second wealthiest city on the continent, with $140 billion held by residents of Cairo. Cairo is also home to five billionaires.

The third spot is interesting. Cape Town residents hold total wealth of $135 billion. Of  course, Cape Town has a thriving real estate and tourism sector, and there is a notable financial services market. But the city is also a second home to many of the world’s super rich. A number of the 1 500 multi-millionaires who live in Cape Town during peak season come from outside South Africa.

Lagos takes the number four spot, with a total of $120 billion held. The city is home to four billionaires, which is more than Joburg’s two.

Number five is Nairobi. Total wealth in the Kenyan capital stands at $55 billion.

Where SA’s rich reside

The NW Wealth report offers a clear snapshot of where South Africa’s millionaires live. As noted, Joburg and Cape Town hold the number one and number two spots in SA respectively.

Durban (the figures include Umhlanga, Ballito, Zimbali and La Lucia) is the third wealthiest city in SA and the seventh wealthiest in Africa. Total wealth is $46 billion. 3 200 residents are dollar millionaires. 130 residents hold over $10 million in assets.

Pretoria is the fourth wealthiest city in South Africa and the eighth wealthiest on the continent. Total wealth is $42 billion. There are 2 600 dollar millionaires in the Jacaranda City and 110 residents with over $10 million in assets.

The state of the neighbourhood

Total wealth in Windhoek is $12 billion. Maputo is $10 billion. Gaborone stands at $8 billion.

Zimbabwean cities are notably absent from the top 25.

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