4. Christoffel Wiese
Net Worth: $5.4 Billion
Wiese studied Law at the university of Stellenbosch. After school, he took up a job as an executive director at Pep Stores, a discount clothing chain co-founded by his parents which later diversified by acquiring a small retail chain, Shoprite.
When Wiese became chairman of the company in 1981, he changed the company’s name to Pepkor and made a series of acquisitions including Ackermans, a prominent clothing chain.
Wiese holds a 44-percent stake in Pepkor and a 15-percent stake in Shoprite, which he listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). While his Shoprite stake remains his most lucrative asset, he also owns significant stakes in other JSE-listed companies including Invicta Holdings, Mining Group, Pallinghurst Resources, Tradehold Ltd, Naspers, Digicore, and a 35-percent stake in the private equity firm, Brait. Other assets include Trans Hex Group and a private game reserve in the Kalahari. Today, Shoprite is Africa’s largest discount grocery retailer.
Wiese is the largest individual shareholder of Shoprite. It operates 453 grocery stores in South Africa and across Sub-Saharan Africa. Shoprite recently bet big on Nigeria and has plans to open 50 stores in the near term, with long-term plans for as many as 700 grocery outlets across the country.