Raymond Ackerman, South African business legend and the man who built the retail giant Pick n Pay from the ground up, has died at the age of 92.
The store group shared the news of Ackerman’s death on social media on Thursday.
“An idealist, entrepreneur, philanthropist and a distinguished South African,” Pick n Pay wrote on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter).
“Our country has lost a brilliant patriot who always saw a positive future for South Africa.”
Ackerman started to build Pick n Pay in the 1960s and was the chairman of this group for many years until he retired about 10 years ago.
Today there are more than 1,900 Pick n Pay stores nationwide. Ackerman’s son, Gareth, is currently chairman of the retail group, which is still controlled by the family.
The mayor of Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis, expressed his condolences to Ackerman’s loved ones and said he leaves a “great legacy”.
“He was truly an outstanding Capetian!”
Earlier this year, Hill-Lewis presented Ackerman and his wife, Wendy, with a gift from the city archive. The gift was a photo of the couple at one of the first shops they opened in the Mother City.
“I put a caption to the photo that reads: ‘With thanks for everything you have done for Cape Town and its people’. It’s a sentiment I repeat today,” says Hill-Lewis.
Many messages of condolences and tributes have already poured in for the iconic businessman. Mmusi Maimane, leader of Build One South Africa (Bosa), was among those who expressed condolences.
“His impact on retail and his contribution to the South African economy will never be forgotten,” says Maimane.
No funeral arrangements have yet been announced.