Richard Maponya: Celebrating the birthday of one of SA's richest men

Richard Maponya: Celebrating the birthday of one of SA's richest men

On 24 December, Richard Maponya celebrated his 99th birthday. Maponya is one of South Africa's most prominent and richest businessmen.

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On Tuesday, South African activist and businessman Richard Maponya turned 99 years old. Maponya is a property developer who founded a business empire, Soweto's Maponya Mall, all while battling the apartheid restrictions imposed on black South Africans at the time.

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In honour of the businessman's birthday, gathered four quick facts about his life.

1. He had a completely different career

When Maponya worked as a teacher before taking a job as a stock trader at a clothing manufacturer at the age of 24.

Maponya bought soiled clothes and offcuts from the manager - which he then resold in Soweto, SME Africa reported.

2. Turning to Madiba and Tambo for help

After he saved enough money to open a clothing retailer in Soweto, Maponya employed Mandela and Tambo's law firm to help him secure a licence under the apartheid laws for business ownership for black South Africans.

3. Soweto's Maponya Mall

Maponya's business became a success and he started branching out. However, his biggest development was Soweto's Maponya Mall.

On 27 September, 2007, Madiba officially opened Maponya Mall - which is one of the largest shopping centres in the country.

4. Getting the land

In 1979, Maponya secured the property the mall is built on, on a 100-year lease. However, after a battle in 1994, the businessman was finally given the opportunity to own the land outright.

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