Bidvest's Joffe gets an honorary doctorate from Wits

29 March 2016 - 20:17 By TMG Digital

The University of the Witwatersrand has bestowed an honorary doctorate on Bidvest CEO Brian Joffe.

Brian Joffe is stepping down after 28 years
Brian Joffe is stepping down after 28 years

Wits released a statement on Tuesday saying the degree had been conferred by Justice Dikgang Moseneke.

The founder of the JSE-listed Bidvest Group‚ Joffe graduated from Wits University as a chartered accountant in 1971. The company has a turnover exceeding R204 billion‚ and employs more than 145 000 people‚ more than 125 000 in South Africa.

Joffe began his entrepreneurial career in 1978 when he borrowed R49 000 to buy an interest in a small pet food manufacturer. Within six months his business held 15% of South Africa’s canned dog food market.

He launched Bidvest in 1989‚ building a diversified company with interests in sectors as spread out as food services‚ travel services and pharmaceuticals. In 1995 Bidvest made its first international acquisition‚ Manettas Australia (now Bidvest Australia)‚ now Australia’s leading national foodservice supplier.

Bidvest’s social investment stands at a reported R540 million. These projects include: Reach For A Dream‚ QuadPara (to develop the potential of quadriplegics and paraplegics)‚ Sagda (graduate development)‚ Hear For Life‚ the Chefs Association‚ Wits University‚ Hospice‚ Bethany House‚ the Nkosi Haven‚ ORT SA and PinkDrive.