Business leader Bertie Lubner dies
Business leader and philanthropist Bertie Lubner has died at the age of 85‚ the South African Jewish Board of Deputies said on Monday.“Bertie was an extraordinary man contributing to so many worthy causes‚” the organisation’s national director Wendy Kahn said in a statement.Describing his humble nature‚ she quoted him as saying: “One should never expect to be rewarded for doing the right things. The reward in one’s own soul is far greater”.Lubner and his brother Ronnie built PG Group into one of South Africa's most successful companies.After relinquishing operational control of his glass and wood conglomerate in the early 1990s‚ he started several non-profit organisations aimed at improving the lives of under-privileged youngsters in some of the most deprived areas in the country.One of them is MaAfrika Tikkun (meaning "transformation")‚ which looks after children with feeding schemes and life-support programmes in places such as Alexandra township‚ Orange Farm and Delft‚ according to a Sunday Times report in 2010. It provides computers‚ broadband‚ IT systems and whatever other assistance they need to become properly educated‚ skilled and economically active.Lubner campaigned for business-government partnerships‚ commenting to the Sunday Times in 2010: "We're at war against poverty. And when you're at war you bring all your resources together‚ because you dare not lose that war. We are not bringing our resources together. It is the craziest‚ most frustrating thing."“Government has got the money‚ we have got the skills. If you put it together in partnerships then we've got the best chance of success."Lubner‚ a recipient of the State President’s Award for Meritorious Service‚ was also honorary life chairman of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies and served on its National Executive Council for several decades.Kahn said: “His warmth‚ insight‚ humour‚ anecdotes and valuable input at our meetings‚ will be sorely missed.”“May his memory be a blessing to his family and all who had the good fortune of engaging with him.”..