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


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Meet Fortune Mojapelo of (London-listed) SA vanadium producer Bushveld Minerals

Meet Fortune Mojapelo of (London-listed) SA vanadium producer Bushveld Minerals

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield asks Bushveld Minerals founder Fortune Mojapelo to share his success story.

The Duchess - the story behind the world’s first non-alcoholic gin & tonic

The Duchess - the story behind the world’s first non-alcoholic gin & tonic

Launched in 2016, The Duchess has won numerous awards and successfully broke into the UK, Belgium and the Scandinavian countries.

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
Justice ministry on a mission to put a stop to criminals repeating offences

Justice ministry on a mission to put a stop to criminals repeating offences

Questions have been raised in the wake of the murder of eight-year-old Tazne van Wyk.

'Soweto residents worried about electricity hike being granted'

'Soweto residents worried about electricity hike being granted'

EWN reporter Kgomotso Modise says the residents say if the tariff increase is granted they will not be able to make ends meet.

Outa lawyer accuses Dudu Myeni of being evasive in court, contradicting herself

Outa lawyer accuses Dudu Myeni of being evasive in court, contradicting herself

Eyewitness News reporter Edwin Ntshidi gives more details of Monday's proceedings.

SA doctor issued sick note to Thabane based on a telephone conversation - report

SA doctor issued sick note to Thabane based on a telephone conversation - report

It was reported last week that the Lesotho prime minister was receiving emergency medical attention in South Africa.

Police hunt for eight suspects after East Rand Mall robbery

Police hunt for eight suspects after East Rand Mall robbery

Eyewitness News reporter Ahmed Kajee says one person has been shot and Entrance 1 has been cordoned off.

[LISTEN] How many vaccinations will a child receive throughout childhood?

[LISTEN] How many vaccinations will a child receive throughout childhood?

Lee Kasumba, standing in for Azania Mosaka, speaks to Africa Check acting deputy editor Kate Wilkinson.

'I do believe I was used as an example,' says Fees Must Fall's Kanya Cekeshe

'I do believe I was used as an example,' says Fees Must Fall's Kanya Cekeshe

The student activist reflects on the movement and the time he spent in jail.

Afrikaner academics declare apartheid crime against humanity, favour restitution

Afrikaner academics declare apartheid crime against humanity, favour restitution

Business Day reports that the group calling itself Concerned South Africans released a declaration on Sunday.

State calls first witness as Omotoso human trafficking trial resumes

State calls first witness as Omotoso human trafficking trial resumes

EWN reporter Shamiela Fisher gives an update on what has been happening at the Port Elizabeth High Court.

[UPDATED] Warrant of arrest for Julius Malema for failing to appear in court

[UPDATED] Warrant of arrest for Julius Malema for failing to appear in court

Malema was supposed to appear on Monday on a charge related to disarming a firearm in a public space in 2018.