Feb 29, 2008
Construction|Building|Business|Education|Property Development|Training|Automotive|Products|Property Development
Full name: Richard John Pelwana Maponya
Main activity of the company: Property development, retail and automotive sales
Date and place of birth: December 24, 1926, Lenyenye, Limpopo
Education: Qualified as a school teacher at Kagiso Teacher Training College
First job: Clothing and textile clerk
Career history prior to current position: My late wife, Marina, and I opened our first business, Maponya's Dairy Products, in Soweto, in the 1950s, and went on to establish other businesses over the years.
Size of first pay packet: Seven shillings and six pence a week – much less than R10
First job with present group: My first business was a dairy shop
Value of assets under your control: Not stated
Number of people under your leadership: I Have employed a lot of people in my business life. The business is very much family run, with my three children all taking managerial roles in the different business units
Management style: I let my children implement their own ideas in their respective units, but I am still around to do the final checks and balances
Personal best achievement: I used to be a good a sprinter, believe it or not
Professional best achievement: The construction of Maponya Mall
Person who has had the biggest influence on your life: A man called Richard Baloyi – he used to own a fleet of buses in Alexandra township, and I used to observe his every move because he just inspired me – and another man I have known only as Mr Mabuza, who used to own the most beautiful restaurant in Sophiatown
Person who has had the biggest influence on your career: Same as above
Person you would most like to meet: I have been privileged enough to meet a lot of people in my life and cannot think of anyone else now. I have had tea with Queen Elizabeth, I have entertained the Oppenheimers, I have been on first name terms with Bill Clinton before he became President of the US, and I have met a host others
Businessperson who has impressed you most: Raymond Ackerman
Philosophy of life: I am driven by the pleasure I derive out of creating employment for people. It gives me great pleasure to know that I have contributed to the wellbeing of other people
Biggest ever opportunity: Building Maponya Mall
Biggest ever disappointment: Having an application for a casino licence turned down
Hope for the future: I am hoping to build more malls around the country. We are in the process of putting together Maponya Motor City in Soweto. This will be the first multibrand car sales facility in Soweto
Favourite reading: I love reading business publications
Favourite TV programme: I watch whatever is available that catches my fancy
Favourite food/drink: I have never tasted alcohol in my life. I like sugar-free soft drinks
Favourite music: Jazz
Favourite sport: Soccer
Favourite website: At my age, I use the Internet only for practical business purposes
Hobbies: Reading and watching TV
Car: I have driven a BMW for a very long time. BMW has been my favourite brand for as long as I can remember
Pets: A dog
Miscellaneous dislikes: Not stated
Favourite other South African company: Pick n Pay and Woolworths
Favourite foreign company: I cannot think of any
Married: My wife is now deceased
Children: Solly, Chichi and Godfrey
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
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