Tue. Sep 29th, 2020

Jeff Bezos vs South Africa and its GDP: Who has more money?

Who would have predicted this at the start of the year? In our ‘new world’, Jeff Bezos’ net worth and the GDP of South Africa are now closely aligned.

jeff bezos vs south africa and its gdp who has more money - Jeff Bezos vs South Africa and its GDP: Who has more money?

If we rewind six months, this is a question that would have seemed unfathomable. Despite the many pre-coronavirus woes we had with the economy, South Africa was still wealthier than any private citizen on the planet. But, during the onset of this pandemic, Jeff Bezos saw his net worth rocket – as our GDP plummeted.

Net worth: How much money does Jeff Bezos have?

By the end of the year, Bezos could see his immense fortune double from what it was worth on the last day of 2019. The owner of Amazon has profited handsomely from this global crisis, whereas countries like Mzansi have been floored by the killer disease. In fact, the swing has been so large, the richest man in the world could soon catch-up with our entire economy.

As it stands, Jeff Bezos is worth $189 billion. It’s predicted he will become the world’s first trillionaire within the next six years, as his stock is set to surge in the coming months.

What is South Africa’s GDP?

South Africa’s GDP, meanwhile, is forecast to drop to $295 billion before 2021. So on the face of things, there is daylight between the total worth of this country and the total net worth of Mr. Bezos. But let’s just consider the context, because each party is moving in different directions.

In the last 12 months alone, the American has added $74.4 billion to his vast wealth, increasing his fortune by over 64%. Even by his standards, that is a meteoric rise. Meanwhile, data from both the World Bank and Trading Economics shows that SA’s GDP was sitting just above the $350 billion mark in December 2019. If the unfavourable growth forecasts hold true, COVID-19 could wipe $55 billion off of our collective worth:

999439aa jeff bezos south africa gdp - Jeff Bezos vs South Africa and its GDP: Who has more money?
The current forecast shows GDP has dropped to $323 billion in July 2020, and may reach $295 billion by December 2020

How the richest people in South Africa compare to Jeff Bezos

So no, Jeff Bezos is not worth more than South Africa’s GDP. Not yet, anyway. But there’s a strong possibility that could change in the near future, with JB sitting in pole position to win ‘the race to $1 trillion’. One thing has been established, though: The richest man in the world is worth almost ten times more than South Africa’s five wealthiest citizens

  • Nicky Oppenheimer: $6.8 billion / R112.2 billion
  • Johann Rupert: $6.2 billion / R102.3 billion
  • Patrice Motsepe: $2.6 billion / R42.9 billion
  • Koos Bekker: $2.5 billion / R41.3 billion
  • Michiel le Roux: $1.3 billion / R21.45 billion
  • Total wealth of SA’s five richest residents: $19.4 billion / R320 billion
  • Total wealth of Jeff Bezos: $189 billion / R3.1 trillion

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