Durban is producing millionaires faster than any other city in South Africa. And it is rapidly becoming the new City of Gold, according to a report released by a global finance research firm. The city at present has 2 700 high net-worth individuals with net assets worth more than R11 million or $1m, with the number expected to grow by 35 percent over the next decade. While Joburg and Cape Town still have more dollar millionaires than Durban with 23 400 and 9 000 respectively, Durban is catching up, having demonstrated a higher percentage growth in the number of high rollers produced since 2007
The revelations have been made by finance research company New World Wealth in their 2014 Africa Wealth Report. The report is produced by a team of economists and analysts using data received from hundreds of financial institutions, revenue collection agencies and surveys conducted across top corporations in Africa.
Since 2007, Durban has also produced more individuals with net assets of $30m (R336m) growing by 43 percent, compared with Joburg’s 24 percent. According to the report there are 33 people in Durban who fall in the $30m category, known as ultra high net-worth individuals. Wealth analyst Andrew Amoils said wealth growth in South Africa was strong but the rising number of millionaires in Durban was particularly impressive.
“The research is certainly showing that there is definitely growth in Durban, the highest percentage in South Africa and certain Durban areas such as Umhlanga and Zimbali have experienced massive top-end wealth growth over the past five to 10 years,” Amoils said.
The Africa Report also highlighted Umhlanga, Zimbali, Umdloti, Mount Edgecombe, Morningside and Durban North as the wealthiest areas in Durban.
According to the national treasury, KZN is the second largest GDP contributor to the economy, generating an estimated R322bn, second only to Gauteng.
“Durban is not the small-time place people think it is any more. It’s a town that has some serious players and we’re seeing more and more wealthy people coming out of the city and the province,” said a private banker from a leading bank.
“We’ve known for a long time that this was going to happen.”
Chief executive of Albaraka Bank, Shabir Chohan, said there was a trend in which an increasing number of young millionaires were emerging in Durban.
“There’s a new generation of business people in Durban who are proving to be successful at taking their business to the next level. They are using the latest business practices and hiring professionals. These are young businessmen who are really growing,” he said.
“This shows that there are opportunities in KZN and things are beginning to pick up in the province tremendously,” he added.
Chohan said he was also seeing a reverse trend of high-level executives moving from Joburg, considered the business hub of the country, to take up positions in Durban. The MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mike Mabuyakhulu, said Durban was quickly becoming a serious economic hub.
“For some time we’ve been indicating to the people of KwaZulu-Natal and the country that this province is a place where you can do business and be successful. Quite a number of millionaires are emerging in KwaZulu-Natal,” he said.
“We are seeing this growth because we handle more than 80 percent of South Africa’s imports and exports, they are coming through Durban and Richards Bay. This indicates that if you want to do business and succeed you should be located in this province.
”We are the only province to pass an investment protocol which clearly outlines a roadmap for investors and simplifies investment in this province,” Mabuyakhulu said.
“We are reducing the cost of doing business… The investment in logistics has made it very profitable to do business here…”, he said.
KZN aimed to attract more big companies’ headquarters. “I can guarantee that in 20 years KZN will be the country’s leading economic base.”
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