The 1%-Club

In a recent tweet by Karin Richards, she had this interesting wealth comparison graph (see below), showing how much you would need in net wealth to be among South Africa’s richest 1%. Knight Frank’s current model estimates this at $109 000. At today’s exchange rate, that would be R2,14 million. In 2021 this amount in SA stood at $180 000, or three times that of India, then at $60 000. India is now at $175 000. You can interpret these statistics any way you want to, but what stands out is that the average wealth base in South Africa is very low relative to some other countries, and that the base continues to drop. These figures are very selective and might even be inaccurate, but the comparison still makes for an interesting discussion.

Money does not automatically translate to happiness, of course. Every person living in Monaco is a dollar millionaire, but imagine the pressure of always having to live up to the neighbours’ latest extravagance!

What is of concern, however, is that money is the primary incentive in a capitalist system. Any hard worker who knows there is an opportunity to earn a very large bonus, will try to do just that little bit more. Capitalism is designed to reward overachievers and eliminate mediocrity.

So, when we look at the small amount of money you need to feature in the top 1% of South Africa’s richest, and the fact that the amount continues to drop, everything indicates that the average South African is not generating anything valuable enough to warrant a larger monetary reward than the previous year. In fact, they continue to offer society less than the previous year! The other rather obvious reason why the wealth base in South Africa continues to drop, is that large numbers of wealthy people emigrate.

So, once again we can turn this negative into a positive. Let all of us who remain in South Africa while the competition is emigrating, step up to the plate and become an overachiever!

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. By continuing to browse, you agree to our use of cookies