President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed sadness at the passing of Pick n Pay founder and philanthropist Raymond Ackerman, who was also an Esteemed Member of the Order of The Baobab.
President Ramaphosa has extended his condolences to Wendy Ackerman, children, Gareth, Kathy, Suzanne, Jonathan and the extended family.
Ackerman, who passed away at the age of 92, was awarded the Order of The Baobab in 2014 for his commitment to uplifting the lives of South Africans by providing scholarships to young people and conducting socially responsible retail business.
Ackerman was one of the first retailers to fight on behalf of the South African consumers against the apartheid state’s monopoly on basic goods.
He drastically reduced the cost of essentials such as bread, milk and chicken. He also spoke against the inclusion of value-added tax (VAT) on basic food lines, a course that they fought and won on behalf of the poor.
He was one of the first executives to promote black South Africans to senior positions and to acknowledge black trade unions. This was at the period when such unions were banned from operating in the country.
He also abolished race classification on the company’s human resources payroll.
Since the 1970s, the Ackerman Family Trust has supported hundreds of young people to become graduates across a broad range of professions.
“We mourn with the Ackerman family as they bid farewell to a husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather whose name resounded as comfortably in millions of households around the country,” President Ramaphosa said.
“Raymond Ackerman was an outstanding business leader and entrepreneur who placed people first and stood up to the injustices and discrimination which the apartheid regime sought to outsource to the business sector,” the President said. – SAnews.gov.za