In the face of adversity

Published: FY2021

  • Social and relationship capital
  • Building Better Business: Enterprise development
  • MM: Maintaining an efficient and effective supply chain

Years before the fall of apartheid, a new democratic South Africa and black economic empowerment, the management of PEP Stores partnered with a black-owned business.

Reggie hlongwane started out selling peanuts and oranges in trains, but soon realised he was destined for greater things. He started his road to success when he opened his first fish and chips shop in 1956. He then opened a butchery and grocery store, a hair salon and a men’s outfitter named Where Giants Meet. His first chain store opened in 1978, and was the start of PEP Reef.

Reggie originated the idea of PEP Reef and opened his eighth PEP store in September 1990, at the Pimville shopping centre in Soweto. The black-owned chain was an associate company of PEP Stores with a 51% black ownership. PEP Reef started operations in 1987, and reported a turnover of R10 million in 1990.

In October 2016, Reggie was among a select few pioneers who drew on their resilience, defied economic exclusion and provided their communities with products and services they did not previously have access to.

Sources: The Citizen, 30 September 1990; TALK IoT, 25 October 2016

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