Where world’s super rich are migrating – hint: SA doesn’t feature well

British company Knight Frank’s annual Wealth Report tracking the growth of Ultra High Net Worth individuals hit my inbox last night. It defines UHNWIs as those with net assets over $30m (R500m). Their number rose 3% last year and now stands at 193,490 people.

The report contains depressing data for South Africa where the number of UHNWI rose by just 8% in the past decade, the second lowest of 20 countries listed (Spain went backwards). The other African countries on the list, Kenya (+93%) and Nigeria (+40%) did a lot better.

At the other end, Vietnam tops the growth table with a booming economy boosting that country’s UHNWI by a staggering 320% between 2006 and 2016, shading other Asian boomers India (+290%) and China (+281%). The US has the biggest by number at 69,000 UHNWIs, up 30% in the last decade; with China at 14,310 and the UK 9,470.

Because of oversized tax contributions the super rich are a prime target for most countries. Knight Frank says they tend to migrate to places which offer “a fiscal and political safe haven” – current magnets being Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Malta, the UAE, Qatar, Monaco and Israel. After Budget 2017 gave the top end another bath, it’s clearly not a field where SA is playing. A pity SA politicians cannot grasp their problem is excessive poverty, not one of too many wealthy people.