Picture: THINKSTOCK
Picture: THINKSTOCK

The number of ultrawealthy South Africans is expected to rise 20% over the next five years, due to improved business and economic confidence resulting from Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as president, a report suggested on Thursday.

The number of ultra-wealthy South Africans — defined as those with $50m or more in assets — should rise by 20% by 2022, having risen 14% in 2017 to about 500 people, according to real-estate consultancy Frank Knight’s 2018 Wealth Report.

The number of South African dollar multimillionaires — with $5m or more — grew 13% in 2017, to 10,235.

The number of ultrawealthy individuals had declined 22% between 2012 and 2016, and the number of individuals with $5m or more had fallen 13% over the same period, the report read.

"Wealthy South Africans are likely to continue moving money abroad and acquiring dual citizenship, although they are now also more likely to stay resident in the country since they are supportive of the new ANC leader," said Ian Bremmer, head of political-risk consultancy Eurasia Group, in the report.

Prime property in Cape Town attracted the second-highest growth in 2017, with the city’s luxury residential sector also bolstered by significant inward migration in 2017.

Cape Town’s prime residential market rose 20% in 2017, with prices also lifted by constrained supply, as most luxury properties are between the mountain and coastline.

The Chinese city of Guangzhou led a ranking of city residential markets, with prices up more than 27%, the report read.

Globally, the number of ultrawealthy individuals rose 10% in 2017 to a 129,730 people, growing 7% in Africa and 26% in Russia.

The number of ultrawealthy in Africa is expected to grow 31% by 2022, and by 40% globally.