Rupert and Oppenheimer Donate R1 Billion Each to Assist Small Businesses but Who Are They?

Picture: Twitter, @SABreakingNews

In his address on Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that both Johan Rupert and Nicky Oppenheimer will make R1 billion donations each to assist small businesses and their employees who are affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

While small businesses let out a sigh of relief, many other South Africans wonder who these men are. Here is a little breakdown:

Johann Rupert

Rupert is a 69-year-old South African businessman with a total net worth of R92 billion, he is at number 287 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

He is chairman of one of the world’s biggest luxury conglomerates, Richemont, which owns brands like Mont Blanc and Cartier. Richemont was created from the assets of Remgro, which was founded nearly 80 years ago by Johan Rupert’s father, Anton. 

Remgro has investments in many large South African companies which include MediClinic, Distell, FirstRand, OUTsurance, as well as the Blue Bulls. Rupert is still the chairperson at Remgro but he also chairs the international investment fund Reinet, which owns a stake in British American Tobacco (Dunhill, Lucky Strike and Rothmans).

Fun fact: Reinet is named after Anton Rupert’s birthplace, Graaff Reinet in the Eastern Cape.

Nicky Oppenheimer

Nicky Oppenheimer is a 75-year-old South African businessman, he has a total net worth of R103 billion and he is the 250th richest person in the world, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.

Nicky Oppenheimer
Picture: Supplied

He was chairperson of the De Beers diamond group until 2012 when the Oppenheimer family decided to sell their stake to Anglo American for $5.1 billion in cash. De Beers was founded by Nicky’s father, Ernest in 1929.

According to Business Insider, an agency – independent of the Oppenheimer family – will be created to administer the funding.