Property icon Pam Golding dies
South African property icon and businesswoman Pam Golding‚ 89‚ died on Tuesday.
Spokesperson Anel Lewis‚ on behalf of Pam Golding Properties‚ said Golding passed away “peacefully” at her house, Wittebomen, in Constantia in Cape Town.
Golding started Pam Golding Properties in 1976 and it mushroomed into a thriving business empire.
Golding described the humble beginnings of her property empire in an interview with the Independent UK in 2009.
“I just got this idea one day. We were a typical‚ young married couple with two small children. We had just bought our first house but had nothing much else: No furniture. People told me I was mad to start a business in the market as it was then. But I thought to myself‚ if I can survive in this market‚ business will fly when things improve.”
Describing one of her many high-profile customers‚ she recalled getting a telephone call from former president Nelson Mandela for whom she found the perfect home.
“I was in bed at home early one morning when the telephone rang. It was around 6.30am and this voice said‚ ‘I am putting you through to the president of South Africa.’ Of course‚ I thought it was a hoax. Then I heard this famous voice. Well‚ I got out of bed in no time. And I had to put on a dressing gown.”
“I couldn’t talk to the president of South Africa wearing only a nightie.”
Lewis said the Pam Golding Property Group was launched when the real estate industry was “male-dominated and still somewhat of a ‘home industry’.”
Golding opened an office in London in 1986 “at a time when the country’s international image was at its worst”.
Pam Golding Properties currently has more than 300 offices across Africa‚ Europe and the Indian Ocean Islands.
Golding leaves behind her sons Peter and Andrew‚ daughter Jilly‚ their spouses and 10 grandchildren.
Lewis said Golding was revered by her peers.
“Admired and respected by clients and dearly loved by colleagues‚ agents and staff alike‚ her natural warmth and sincere interest in everyone she encountered were trademark characteristics which endeared her."