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DUT To Confer Honorary Doctorate To Outstanding SA Business Leader, Brand Pretorius

DUT To Confer Honorary Doctorate To Outstanding SA Business Leader, Brand Pretorius


Media statement by Alan Khan, Senior Director: Corporate Affairs at the Durban University of Technology

The Durban University of Technology will confer an Honorary Doctor of Technology Degree in Marketing to South African motor industry icon Brand Pretorius in recognition of his excellent standing in the country’s motor industry as well as in the marketing and manufacturing sectors.

The honorary doctorate, to be conferred during the DUT Autumn graduation ceremony on Tuesday April 16, 2013, is also in recognition of Pretorius’s longstanding record and ongoing significant commitment to education and literacy development in South Africa.

Despite his retirement from the McCarthy Motor Group in March 2011, Pretorius, 65, currently serves as a non-executive director on the boards of ABSA Group, ABSA Bank Limited, Reunert, Italtile, Tongaat Hulett Limited, RGT Smart and Tata Africa Holdings. He also lectures at leading South African business schools and universities, is a professional speaker on leadership and business, mentors and coaches young business leaders, is a Director of the READ Educational Trust and is the ambassador of the acclaimed Rally to Read programme.
Born in Steynsrus, Free State, Pretorius’s career in the motor industry began in 1973 when he joined Toyota South Africa after obtaining a Master of Commerce degree from the University of the Free State. Following a number of management positions in sales and marketing, research and planning, he was appointed managing director of Toyota SA Marketing in 1988. Under his guidance, the company became the market leader in vehicle sales and customer satisfaction.

Pretorius joined McCarthy Motor Holdings, South Africa’s largest motor retail group, as chief executive in March 1995, becoming CEO of McCarthy Limited, the holding company of McCarthy Motor Holdings, in October, 1999. He played a pivotal role in saving McCarthy from bankruptcy. Due to massive bad debt write-offs in its Prefcor division, the group was declared technically insolvent in December 1999. Under his leadership, the company was successfully recapitalised, restructured and restored to financial health. Today, the group enjoys an annual turnover in excess of R20bn.

This will be Pretorius’s first honorary doctorate. The University of the Free State bestowed on him an Honorary Professorship in Business Management in May 1991. He received another honorary Professorship from the University of Johannesburg in May 2001.

His awards include Junior Businessman of the Year in 1985, Communicator of the Year in 1994, Best Boss in 1994, Automobile Man of the Year, the Manpower Award of Excellence in 1995 and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Business Communication by the SA Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators in 1997. The publishers of the South African Automotive Year Book bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Award on him in September 2003, for outstanding service to the motor industry. In March 2006, he became a member of the SA Automotive Industry’s “Hall of Fame” in recognition of his significant contribution to the industry. The Automotive Industry Development Council also bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Award on him in April 2011.

Brand Pretorius’s graduation will take place as follows:

Date: Tuesday April 16, 2013.
Time: 6pm.
Venue: Fred Crookes Sports Centre, DUT Steve Biko Campus.

For more information or comment, kindly contact Mr Brand Pretorius on 082 455 2020. His picture is available on request from Sinegugu Ndlovu.

Issued by:

Sinegugu Ndlovu
Communications Manager
Durban University of Technology
Steve Biko Campus Durban
031 373 2845
078 924 2996