Ackerman hailed for business, political triumphs

The late Pick n Pay founder Raymond Ackerman is being hailed for playing a leading role in putting pressure on the apartheid government to remove Value Added Tax (VAT) from certain goods.

He challenged the government on issues affecting consumers, such as the price of bread.

Ackerman called for a zero rating on certain staple foods and will be remembered for his well-known campaign for the freedom to sell petrol at the lowest price possible, not the current price that government has pegged.

Ackerman’s political triumphs include when he approached then-Prime Minister John Vorster in 1975 about Pick n Pay’s promotion of African, Coloured and Indian managers to run stores in white areas which was against the Group Areas Act.

Other achievements include getting the apartheid government’s permission for his managers to own houses in urban areas on a 99-year lease basis – which was decided without cabinet approval.

Meanwhile, Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says Ackerman left a great legacy in South Africa’s economy.

Hill-Lewis says he has fond memories of the businessman.

“Earlier this year I had the pleasure of handing a gift from the city archives to the Ackermans, a photo of them at one of their early store openings in Cape Town. I inscribed the photo, ‘With grateful thanks for all you have done for Cape Town and her people’, and this is a sentiment I repeat today.”

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Source: SABC News (