13 successful South African business leaders you should know

Ben Ebuka March 28, 2023
13 successful South African business leaders you should know
Photo Credit: Muntu Vilakazi/City Press/File

Richard Maponya

Richard John Pelwana Maponya created successful businesses in the Soweto region of South Africa. Despite the opposition and refusal by the apartheid government to grant him a business license in the early 1950s, he founded ‘Dube Hygienic Diary’ with his wife, a milk storage and delivery firm in Soweto.

The business grew unimaginably and by 1970, it turned into an empire with several stores, car dealerships, and filling stations. He became one of the few Black South Africans to have a big successful company in that era. He is known as a property developer and serial entrepreneur, who with love and determination, helped in the economic development of Soweto.

He was the first Black South African to be granted a horse-racing color choice in the country. In 2007, he developed the Maponya Mall, a shopping center in Soweto and one of the largest shopping centers in South Africa with more than 200 stores and a cinema complex. Born on December 24, 1920, he died on January 6, 2020.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: March 28, 2023


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