It has been reported that Richard Maponya, aged 99, died in hospital in the early hours of this morning.
Maponya was a South African entrepreneur and property developer who recently turned 99.
President Cyril Ramaphosa tweeted a birthday message to the late businessmen.
Let me take this opportunity to wish Ntate Richard Maponya a happy 99th birthday. I urge young South Africans to research the life story of this great legend, and draw lessons from how he overcame adversity to become one of the greatest pioneers and success stories of our time. pic.twitter.com/ZgVpmGAuHL— Cyril Ramaphosa ���� (@CyrilRamaphosa) December 26, 2019
It is reported that Maponya was a trained teacher who started his business career in the clothing industry, but was better known for building a business empire despite the restrictions of apartheid and his determination to see the Soweto township develop economically. He also opened the first 100% black-owned BMW dealership operating in Soweto in the 1980s.
The most visible sign of Maponya's success is the Maponya Mall in Soweto.
The family requested privacy “during this time of grieving” and funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.
South Africa has shared its sadness over Maponya’s passing on social media, so much so that the news is trending:
We send our condolences to the family of pioneer, and business leader, Dr Richard Maponya. Thank you for leading and inspiring a generation of entrepreneurs. #RIPRichardMaponya pic.twitter.com/Pl1MgwEVJb— SiMODiSA Start-Up (@SiMODiSA_SA) January 6, 2020
It’s the end of an era.— Vusi Thembekwayo (@VusiThembekwayo) January 6, 2020
Very reminiscent of the day we lost Bab’ Max Maisela.
These were the true & original doyens. They wrote their own rule book because they were not allowed to be on the sports field.
Lala kahle Ndlovu. #RIPRichardMaponya pic.twitter.com/KaJkPySDo5
One of the greatest minds of our times has taken a final bow. Businessman extraordinaire, a visionary, the epitome of #BlackExcellence thank you Ntate Richard Maponya for using the 99 years God gave you to greatly impact lives around you. You did well. ���� #RIPRichardMaponya pic.twitter.com/N285NuLnMh— Khanyi Magubane (@Khanyi_Magubane) January 6, 2020
We at Bizcommunity offer our sincere condolences to the Maponya family.