AS PUBLISHED IN THE DAILY SUN:

“SOMETHING unusual happened in the Meadowlands Shopping Centre – and councillors, business people, pastors and community members witnessed it.

A dream of a young businessman, Morgan Makhubela, came true on Thursday when Pick n Pay told that they wanted him to own a brand-new Pick n Pay store in this historically famous township of Soweto.

Morgan and his wife, Mapule Makhubela who is also his business partner, own the new Pick n Pay branch in Meadowlands’ Meadow Point Shopping Centre. Two years ago, Morgan approached Pick n Pay with his idea of opening a new branch in Meadowlands. It was not easy, but it worked. According to his wife, Mapule, who is Morgan’s business partner, they visited other stores around Soweto so they could learn how the business is run. “Today we stand here to tell you that this adventure is not only for us but it is also for the people of Meadowlands,” said Mapule.

During their last meeting with Pick n Pay’s director of Emerging Markets, Frans van der Colff, did their plan finally come together. “After the meeting we were sitting speechless in the car. I asked Morgan if he saw some spark in Frans’ eyes. Morgan just answered: ‘Let’s hope we succeed,” said Mapule. Frans said they were glad that Pick n Pay opened this store in Soweto. “The apartheid government first moved people from Sophiatown to Soweto. Now we’re coming here too.”

He said they want to bring decent shopping to the people of Meadowlands, also known as Ndofaya. This new branch is another of growing list of stores in the Gauteng-Free State region. There are now 143 Pick n Pay stores in this region and most of them are owned by black people who have been training in the store’s academy that was set up to empower employees.

It is the Makhubelas’ two cellphone retail stores that led to their new “big deal”. Those little things were like steps that led to greater things. Morgan, whose father sold coal and vegetables, said he was aiming on empowering small, local suppliers in an effort to uplift black business and the Soweto community. Morgan and Mapule have more than 130 people working in their Pick & Pay.

Morgan reminded staff that respect, cleanliness and service are important.”

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