7 January 2020
The Durban University of Technology is deeply saddened by the passing of Dr Richard Maponya. The University conveys its most sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the late Dr Richard John Pelwana Maponya. May his soul Rest In Peace.
Dr Maponya, who had recently turned 99, was a proud member of the DUT family, after receiving an Honorary Doctorate from our University in April 2015. He had made a significant contribution to our country.
Dr Maponya was the founder of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce (NAFCOC) in 1964 and the Founder and Chairman of the African Chamber of Commerce. He was widely regarded as the “father of black retail.” In 2007, Dr Maponya opened the Maponya Mall in Soweto, on land that he had purchased in the 1970’s. Dr Maponya’s business achievements were immense. He had won numerous awards, including the Small Business Excellence Award (2007), World Enterprise Award in 2008, he was a recipient of the Top 100 Companies Award: Business Times (2008), Lifetime Achievement Award and a BEE Entrepreneur Award.
He proudly received his Honorary Doctorate from DUT in 2015 and since then, Dr Maponya had played a meaningful role in inspiring our students. In 2016, DUT hosted the Inaugural Dr Richard Maponya Workshop on Entrepreneurship. This has now evolved into an annual workshop and lecture at DUT, ensuring that Dr Maponya’s legacy will benefit generations to come. DUT and our Co-Operative Education Department, will continue to partner with the Dr Richard Maponya Institute for Skills and Entrepreneurship Development, to ensure that the good work will continue in the years ahead.
DUT is extremely proud and honoured to have played a part in the journey of the late Dr Richard Maponya. Whilst we mourn his loss, we also celebrate his pioneering spirit, his entrepreneurial drive and his deep desire to make our world a better place.