Swinging from chandeliers: How SA’s rich spend


Swinging from chandeliers: How SA’s rich spend

New review unpacks the top hobbies of SA’s wealth brigade

Senior reporter

How do SA’s uber-wealthy unwind? By playing 18 holes on an award-winning golf course, naturally.
Golf has emerged as the top hobby for SA’s high net-worth individuals – those who have net assets of $1m (about R13.6m) or more.
AfrAsia Bank and New World Wealth recently reviewed the favourite leisure pursuits of the wealthy, among them directors, chief executive officers, chairmen and chief financial officers.
Art collecting, mountain biking, cycling and horses also featured high on their list.
“Based on the feedback from wealth managers and other high net-worth individual intermediaries ... golf is especially popular among the wealthy in SA,” said Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth.
According to the review, SA is home to some of the best golf courses in the world, including Fancourt Links, the Gary Player course at Sun City and Leopard Creek.
“Golf has always been a popular sport for SA’s wealthy, especially those who are retired,” said Amoils.
The review found golf was particularly popular because the money brigade chose to live on exclusive golf estates such as Zimbali and Fancourt.
The review also found that collectables – such classic cars, fine wine and art – was a growing segment in SA.
“Collectables include any luxury item that holds its value reasonably well over time. The global top-end art market is valued at around US$75bn. African art accounts for around US$1bn of this, with US$450m [R5.5bn] held in South Africa specifically,” the review stated.
Artworks by Irma Steyn, whose work fetches up to R30m a painting, and Gerard Sekoto are among the favourites of the wealthy.
“According to our in-house indices, South African fine art prices have risen by 28% over the past 10 years [in dollar terms]. Global fine art prices have risen by 12% over the same period,” said Amoils.
Other popular hobbies for the rich range from yachting and sailing, skiing (mainly overseas), collecting watches and sports betting to flyfishing, hunting and collecting classic cars.
Turning the spotlight on watch collecting, the review found that the wealthy favoured the likes of Patek Philippe, Breguet and Vacheron Constantin – considered the oldest watchmaker in the world, founded in 1755.
Like classic watches, collecting cars is another favoured hobby of the rich.
“The global classic car market is valued at around US$5bn. According to our in-house indices, classic car prices rose by a strong 160% over the past 10 years [in US$ terms], making it the best performing investment class for wealthy people globally,” said Amoils.

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