ShapeShifter

Meet Whitey Basson (the retail guru who turned Shoprite into a R127bn behemoth)

It [Checkers] wasn’t a bad business; it was just badly focussed.

Whitey Basson

Why is Shoprite successful? Christo [Wiese] never interfered in the running of the business.

Whitey Basson

If I would reinvest today, I would probably invest in tourism.

Whitey Basson

I was so tired! I couldn’t lose sleep; I would’ve died! But I never had a doubt we could turn it [OK Bazaars] around.

Whitey Basson

Love or hate him; former Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson is a retail genius.

Basson led Shoprite from 1979 to 2016.

It grew under Basson from eight tiny stores with a combined value of R1 million into Africa’s largest retailer, with a market cap of R127 billion.

Basson was, until his retirement at the end of last year, South Africa’s best paid executive, by far.

In 2016; Basson’s remuneration totalled R100.1 million.

Shoprite was also compelled to buy back shares from Basson to the value of R1.8 billion.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Basson for his “ShapeShifter” feature.

Listen to the interview in the video/audio below (and/or scroll down for more quotes from it).

I’ve been ‘Whitey’ since I can remember… I had blond hair as a child…

Whitey Basson

I wanted to become a medical student… I got admitted to UCT, but never went.

Whitey Basson

We [Christo Wiese] were very close at varsity…

Whitey Basson

…Van Rooyen [Pep] had a passion for supplying affordable clothing…

Whitey Basson

Between 1974 and 1977/1978, I basically ran Pep stores at the mature age of 28.

Whitey Basson

A lot of landlords didn’t want us… they were a bit upmarket!

Whitey Basson

South Africa has all the elements to be a world-class country that provides a decent standard of living for everybody.

Whitey Basson

In South Africa we have so many regulations, it drives you crazy.

Whitey Basson

Nataniël is a good friend. He comes from Porterville, but doesn’t admit it.

Whitey Basson

OK Bazaars was not a lucky break… I stalked them [SAB] for three years…

Whitey Basson

Maputo was easy, because it’s close...

Whitey Basson

I knew Egypt wasn’t going to stand the test of time…

Whitey Basson

I don’t think I ever looked at my salary in the last three years...

Whitey Basson

Click here (then “like” the page) to follow Bruce on Facebook.

Enter your email address in the form below to receive a newsletter containing the most-read articles of the week from Bruce Whitfield’s The Money Show every Friday morning in your inbox.

Subscribe to our Business Wrap Newsletter


This article first appeared on 702 : Meet Whitey Basson (the retail guru who turned Shoprite into a R127bn behemoth)


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Sars acting Commissioner Mark Kingon wants tax to be boring. It won't be easy

Sars acting Commissioner Mark Kingon wants tax to be boring. It won't be easy

South African Revenue Services' Mark Kingon has the most dreadfully important job. Bruce Whitfield interviews him...

‘Real Wolf of Wall Street’ Jordan Belfort on sex, drugs and starting over

‘Real Wolf of Wall Street’ Jordan Belfort on sex, drugs and starting over

[Strong language warning] Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, opens up about his sordid past and inspirational new life.

Shoprite forced to pay Whitey Basson R1.8 billlion

Shoprite forced to pay Whitey Basson R1.8 billlion

The boss is retiring like a boss! Financial planner Barry O'Mahony has some advice for Basson on how to spend (or invest) it.

Shoprite's Whitey Basson (South Africa’s best-paid exec, by far) calls it a day

Shoprite's Whitey Basson (South Africa’s best-paid exec, by far) calls it a day

Basson has decided to retire, bringing to a close a wildly successful, 37-year stint at the helm of Africa’s largest retailer.

Recruitment specialist explains Whitey Basson's R100m bonus

Recruitment specialist explains Whitey Basson's R100m bonus

What is it that makes Basson so valuable? The Money Show's Bruce Whitfield interviews Woodburn Mann’s Andrew Woodburn.

Meet Shoprite’s Christo Wiese, ruler of retail (and 3rd richest African)

Meet Shoprite’s Christo Wiese, ruler of retail (and 3rd richest African)

Bruce Whitfield interviews the remarkable Wiese (net worth R100 billion!) about how it all began and where it’s going.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] Zille responds to Lindiwe Mazibuko comments that she undermined her

[LISTEN] Zille responds to Lindiwe Mazibuko comments that she undermined her

Helen Zille responds to alleged comments made by Lindiwe Mazibuko at a dinner, saying she's doing the same to Musi Maimane.

[WATCH] Melania Trump's reaction after shaking Putin's hand

[WATCH] Melania Trump's reaction after shaking Putin's hand

Waitress praised for standing up for herself after a man touched her butt on his way to the toilet and a dog comforts its owner.

Parents no longer have to travel with children's birth certificates

Parents no longer have to travel with children's birth certificates

The new Home Affairs upgrades to the system include printing parents details at the back of the child's passport.

Tell me what you want: Study reveals most common sexual fantasies

Tell me what you want: Study reveals most common sexual fantasies

What are your sexual fantasies? Disclosure can bring sexual freedom, but it can also have downsides. A study lists the top trends.

More arrests are imminent in connection with the cash-in-transit heists - Hawks

More arrests are imminent in connection with the cash-in-transit heists - Hawks

Seven suspects were arrested in Limpopo in less than 24 hours after a cash-in-transit vehicle was blown up in the province.