December 9, 2014, 9:32am
Quinton van Rooyen worth N$1b
THE founder of the Trustco Group Holdings, Quinton van Rooyen (Snr), is listed as 36th richest person in South Africa, according to a list compiled by the Sunday Times of South Africa.
The list was compiled by Who Owns Whom, also a South Africa-based firm.
Commenting on the list, his son Quinton van Rooyen (Jnr) yesterday said although his father is a Namibian, the dual listing of the Trustco Group on the Namibian Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange made him appear on the list.
The list puts Van Rooyen's wealth at N$1,099 billion. The Van Rooyen family owns 50,84% of Trustco, having sold the other shares last year.
“This shows how much confidence investors have in the Namibian economy,” Van Rooyen (Jnr) said. “We have a stable government and a well-run economy.”
He said Trustco shares have risen by 300% in the past one year.
Asked if he considered his father to be the richest man in Namibia, he said it was difficult to say because most people in Namibia do not make their wealth public.
It is widely believed that the Pupkewitz family is one of the richest in Namibia. The estate of its late founder Harold Pupkewitz, who died in 2012, has mysteriously never been published in the High Court. Pupkewitz is also said to have left his wealth in a trust.
The other rich families are those of the late Werner List, who founded the Ohlthaver & List Group, and the Voigts family of the Wecke & Voigts Group.
Frans Indongo of the Indongo Group is considered one of the richest Namibians but like others, the size of this wealth has never been published.
Van Rooyen (Jnr) said property developers in the country are considerably rich even though it does not appear so.
“Game farmers are also rich. I know of a game farmer, who has sable antelopes worth N$1 million each. If you have 250 stables, who can guess, how much that farmer is worth,” he said.
Van Rooyen's (Snr) rise to riches has not been without controversy. Nine years ago, a unit of Trustco, Legal Shield was placed under curatorship after the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) expressed concern over the way it was conducting business.
However, a curator appointed by the High Court found that Legal Shield was financially healthy and profitable, and that it had more than enough capital to honour potential claims, and no material irregularities that could justify winding-up the company.
Trustco's insurance products and training programmes also have a lot of unhappy customers who regularly send complaints to The Namibian's SMS line. But Van Rooyen (Jnr) said 'a few' unhappy customers were expected, given the size of clientelle. “We have 500 000 clients, so a few of them will not be happy,” he said.
The Sunday Times Rich List, released last week, showed that despite anaemic South African GDP growth of an expected 1,5% this year, the wealth at the top of the pyramid had soared.
South Africa's wealthiest person Ivan Glasenberg is new to the Rich List. He is a South African-born boss of Swiss-based mining company Glencore, whose fortune was worth N$61,3 billion last month.
Glasenberg, who has kept his wealth under wraps, did not feature until Glencore listed on the JSE last year. His inclusion knocked Christo Wiese, chairman of Africa's largest retailer Shoprite, from the top spot.
The best-paid executive last year was Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani, who scored N$107 million.
Last year, strikes brought the mining industry to a standstill as union Amcu demanded a minimum wage for mineworkers of N$12 500 a month.
The Rich List shows that 31 of 214 South African CEOs earned more than 100 times that coveted N$12 500 monthly salary.
Old Mutual CEO Julian Roberts, who took home N$73-million last year, earned 488 times that N$12 500. Sasol CEO David Constable's N$53,6 million was 358 times that amount.
Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson earned N$50 million and MTN CEO Sifiso Dabengwa was paid N$48 million.
More controversially, the directors of Eskom continue to coin it, although the bumbling parastatal has implemented power cuts across the country.
Eskom lavished N$52-million on 11 individuals last year, with five of the top 11 best-paid parastatal bosses coming from the embattled power company.
While mining mogul Patrice Motsepe briefly led the list two years ago, the plunge in the value of commodities shares means that the chairman of African Rainbow Minerals and owner of 2013 Premier League champions Mamelodi Sundowns now drops to fifth on the list, behind Glasenberg, Wiese, Naspers' former CEO Koos Bekker and Aspen CEO Stephen Saad.
By Chamwe Kaira: The Namibian