Richest Woman in South Africa 2023 – Top 10 Wealthiest

Richest Woman in South Africa 2023

South Africa is a country rich in natural resources and economic potential. It’s no surprise then that many individuals have become incredibly wealthy through business ventures and entrepreneurial pursuits. Amongst them, there are a handful of women who have managed to rise to the top and secure their place as some of the richest individuals in the country. These women are not just powerful because of their wealth, but also because they represent a significant shift in the male-dominated business landscape of South Africa.

By breaking down barriers and achieving incredible success, these women serve as role models for future generations of female entrepreneurs.In this article, we will be discussing some of the wealthiest women in South Africa and the key factors that have contributed to their success. From mining magnates to media moguls, these women have proven themselves to be formidable forces in their respective industries.

We will explore their business strategies, the challenges they faced, and how they overcame them. By the end of this article, you will have a newfound appreciation for the remarkable achievements of these women and the impact they have had on South Africa’s business landscape.

Top 10 Richest Women in South Africa

South Africa boasts a remarkable number of women who have risen to prominent leadership positions and are making a significant impact in various sectors of the country’s growing economy. These women are equally matched with their male counterparts in terms of wealth and influence, and are well-represented on the list of the richest women in Africa.

With 40% of the individuals on the list hailing from South Africa, it is clear that the country’s women are thriving financially and are among the wealthiest in Africa. Here is the list of top 10 richest women in South Africa along with their networth.

S.No

Richest Women 

Networth

1

Wendy Appelbaum

$168 million

2

Wendy Ackerman

$124 million

3

Irene Charnley

$102 million

4

Bridgette Radebe

$95 million

5

Sharon Wapnick

$50 million

6

Elizabeth Bradley

$130 million

7

Pam Golding

$15 million

8

Judy Dlamini

$10 million

9

Mamphela Ramphele

$6 million

10

Nonhlanhla Mjoli- Mncube

$5 million

Let us see each one of these women in detail .

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1. Wendy Appelbaum – $168 million

Wendy Appelbaum, a successful businesswoman, leader, and philanthropist, holds the title of the richest young woman in South Africa with a net worth of $168 million, equivalent to 2.6 billion South African Rand. Currently serving as Chairperson of Demorgenzon Wine Estate, a wine and agricultural business located in Stellenbosch, South Africa, she has helped generate millions of revenue from all kinds of wine.

As the only daughter of the late South African businessman and billionaire, Donald Gordon, who founded Liberty Group, an insurance, asset management, and investment company, Wendy now serves as Director and the largest individual shareholder of the company. She also holds several other positions, including board member at Trustee Tribe Trust, Director at Sphere Holding Limited and Victny Strategic Services.

She is also the Director at Western Cape Tourism, Trade and Investment, Director at Witns Donald Gordon Medical Center Limited, Deputy Chairperson at South Africa Connection Group Holding, Chairperson at South Africa Women’s Professional Golf Association, and Board Member at Harvard University Global Advisory Board and International Women’s Forum, among others, which contribute to her revenue.

Wendy’s exceptional business and leadership qualities have earned her recognition as one of the world’s leading women entrepreneurs. In 2015, she was notably named Forbes World Businesswoman of the Year and African Woman of the Year.

Richest Woman in South Africa 2023 - Top 10 Wealthiest

2.  Wendy Ackerman – $124 million

Wendy Ackerman, the wife of Raymond Ackerman, one of the richest businessmen in South Africa with a net worth of $500 million, is herself a wealthy individual with an independent net worth of $124 million, equivalent to 1.9 billion South African Rand. Notably, she holds the title of the richest black woman in South Africa. Wendy serves as a non-executive director of Pick and Pay Holdings Limited, the largest chain of supermarkets in Africa founded by her husband, and is also a trustee of the Ackerman Family Educational Trust and a Life Governor of the University of Cape Town Foundation.

Wendy made history in South Africa as the first female director of a retail company, and her business brilliance has earned her a significant fortune, as well as recognition. In 2021, Forbes awarded her a Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions to the industry.

Richest Woman in South Africa 2023 - Top 10 Wealthiest

3. Irene Charnley – $102 million

Irene Charnley is a prominent businesswoman, social entrepreneur, and former trade unionist who is known for her notable contributions to the technology and telecommunication industry. She co-founded Smile Telecommunication Holding LTD, a leading broadband network and telecommunication provider in Africa, where she currently serves as the Chairman. Irene is a serial entrepreneur who has invested significantly in technology and telecommunication.

Previously, she served as the Executive Director of MTN Group, the largest telecommunication company in Africa, before leaving to set up Smile, her own telecommunication company, which currently operates in Nigeria, Uganda, DR Congo, Tanzania, and South Africa. With a net worth of $102 million, which is equivalent to 1.6 billion South African Rand, Irene is currently ranked as the 3rd richest woman in South Africa.

Richest Woman in South Africa 2023 - Top 10 Wealthiest

4. Bridgette Radebe – $95 million

Bridgette Radebe, a highly accomplished entrepreneur, is renowned for being the first black female mining entrepreneur in South Africa. With a net worth of $95 million, she is one of the wealthiest women in the country. She is the founder, Executive Chairman, and CEO of Mmakau Mining (Pty) Ltd, which has been a major black-owned mining company in Africa for over three decades. The company specializes in mining gold, platinum, uranium, coal, ferrochrome, and explorative assets, with a focus on creating wealth and improving mining communities.

In addition to her role as a successful businesswoman, Bridgette Radebe is also the President of the South African Mining Development Association and founder of the New African Mining Fund. She has held positions as Officer of the Black Business Council, Member of the BRICS Business Council, Member of the SAPP Board, and Former Vice Chairman of the Minerals and Mining Development Board.

Richest Woman in South Africa 2023 - Top 10 Wealthiest

5. Sharon Wapnick – $50 million

Sharon Wapnick, the daughter of the late Alec Wapnick who was a millionaire and founder of Octodec Investments and Premier Properties Ltd, holds several high-profile positions within her family’s businesses. She is the Non-executive Chairman of Octodec Investments Ltd, Non-executive Chairman of City Property Proprietary Limited, and Senior Partner of Tugendhaft Wapnick Banchetti & Partners, which she established in 2004. With a net worth of $50 million, or 767 million South African Rand, Sharon Wapnick is among the wealthiest women in South Africa.

Richest Woman in South Africa 2023 - Top 10 Wealthiest

6. Elizabeth Bradley – $130 million

Elizabeth Bradley is a highly successful businesswoman with a wide range of investments and executive positions. She is the Head of Weslo Investments, Vice Chairman of Toyota Group SA, and holds shares in various companies such as Standard Bank, Rosebank Inn, Anglogold, Hilton Hotel, Tongaat Hullet, and Savol Company, among others. All of these contribute to her impressive net worth of $130 Million. Apart from her successful hospitality business, Bradley is also a well-known philanthropist.

She is a trustee of the Elizabeth Montgomerie Foundation, a charity dedicated to supporting cancer patients and their families. In addition, she is a trustee of the Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust, which supports charitable causes related to health, education, arts, and religion. Bradley is also actively involved in politics. 

Richest Woman in South Africa 2023 - Top 10 Wealthiest

7. Pam Golding – $15 million

Pam Golding, a real estate developer and mogul, established the Pam Golding Property Group, the biggest real estate company in South Africa with more than 350 offices worldwide. She is also an international businesswoman. Pam Golding is among the wealthiest women in South Africa with a net worth of $15 million, which justifies her position on the list. In addition to her business ventures, Golding is also known for her philanthropic work.

She has established the Pam Golding Property Youth Initiative, which aims to provide education and employment opportunities for disadvantaged young people in South Africa. Pam Golding’s story is a testament to the power of determination, hard work, and a passion for excellence. She serves as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women, and a reminder of the potential for success in the real estate industry.

Richest Woman in South Africa 2023 - Top 10 Wealthiest

8. Judy Dlamini –  $10 million

Judy Dlamini is an accomplished South African businesswoman who holds the positions of Chairman at Aspan Pharmacare (a global pharmaceutical company), Chairman of Mbekani Group (a South African health investment company), and formerly a Non-Executive Director at Northam Platinum (an independent mining and integrated PGM product company). Judy Dlamini currently serves as the Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand and is recognized by Forbes as one of the most influential and prosperous women in Africa.

With a net worth of $10 million, equivalent to 154 million South African Rand, she rightfully earns her place on this list.

Richest Woman in South Africa 2023 - Top 10 Wealthiest

9. Mamphela Ramphele – $6 million

Mamphela Ramphele is a woman of many talents, having excelled as a politician, businesswoman, medical doctor, academic, author, and activist. She has held various positions and served on the boards of several companies throughout her career. Currently, Mamphela is the founder of ReimagineSA and Head of Circle Capital, and she is recognized as one of the wealthiest women in South Africa with a net worth of $6 million.  I

n addition to her business ventures, Ramphele has been actively involved in politics and social justice. She was a prominent anti-apartheid activist and co-founded the Black Consciousness Movement alongside Steve Biko. She later co-founded Agang South Africa, a political party aimed at fighting corruption and promoting good governance in South Africa. Mamphela Ramphele’s story is one of a woman who has dedicated her life to making a positive impact on South Africa’s society and economy.

She serves as a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs, academics, and political activists, and a reminder of the power of education, innovation, and dedication in creating a better future for all.

Richest Woman in South Africa 2023 - Top 10 Wealthiest

10. Nonhlanhla Mjoli-Mncube – $5 million

Nonhlanhla Mjoli-Mncube is a highly esteemed South African businesswoman who has made a name for herself in the real estate industry. She is the founder and Managing Director of Mjoli Development Company (Pty) Ltd, Eziko Investments, and the Alpha Network for Women. With a net worth of $5 million, Nonhlanhla rightfully earns her place on the list of the richest women in South Africa. In addition to her business ventures, Mjoli-Mncube is also actively involved in empowering other women and promoting gender equality.

She has served on the board of the South African Women in Construction, an organization that aims to support women in the construction industry, and is a founding member of the South African Women Entrepreneurs Network.

Richest Woman in South Africa 2023 - Top 10 Wealthiest

Who is the Richest Woman in South Africa?

Wendy Appelbaum is a well-known philanthropist and savvy businesswoman who has achieved recognition in South Africa and worldwide. She currently serves as the chair of De Morgenzon Estate, an agricultural business and wine farm situated in Stellenbosch, and is estimated to be worth around $170 million. Born to successful entrepreneurs Sir Donald Gordon and Peggy in South Africa, Wendy grew up in Johannesburg where she developed a passion for sports, playing tennis, golf, and other games.

She obtained a degree in psychology from the University of Witwatersrand and is married with two sons, with her husband Hylton Appelbaum managing their wine garden and other business ventures. Wendy’s childhood dream of owning a wine farm became a reality when she purchased the De Morgenzon wine farm in 2003, which has since become one of the top wine farms in South Africa. Despite her father’s successful business background, Wendy acknowledges that her success is her own.

Wendy has utilized her platform to make a positive impact in her community, donating millions to various institutions such as the creation of the Gordon Institute of Business Science and the Donald Gordon Medical Center. She is also a trustee for The Donald Gordon Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in Africa, as well as the Wendy Appelbaum Foundation, which focuses on health, education, and women.

Wendy has been recognized for her achievements with numerous awards, including Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World in 2006, International Women’s Forum South Africa Excellent Award in Recognition of a Sterling Contribution to Business and Community in 2012, Forbes Woman Businesswoman of the Year in 2015, and Forbes Africa Woman of the Year in 2015, among others.

South Africa’s Richest Woman

In 2023, South Africa is home to some of the wealthiest and most influential women in Africa, as shown by the fact that 40% of the richest women in Africa hail from South Africa. These women have gained their wealth through their businesses and leadership skills in various sectors of the country’s growing economy. Wendy Appelbaum is the richest woman in South Africa with a net worth of $168 million, followed by Wendy Ackerman with a net worth of $124 million.

Irene Charnley, Bridgette Radebe, and Sharon Wapnick also make the top 5 richest women in the country. These women have not only gained financial success but have also received recognition for their exceptional business and leadership qualities. South Africa’s women are thriving financially and making a significant impact in the country’s economic growth.

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