Cape Town – Role players in the property and business sector have paid tribute to property icon and businesswoman Pam Golding, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 90.
Samuel Seeff, group chair of the Seeff Property Group, told Fin24 that Golding made a significant contribution to the real estate industry and has left a lasting legacy.
Golding's family said in a statement that she used her "fearless entrepreneurial flair for people, property and business" to turn what began as a hobby into a global property company.
Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde said Golding was the embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirit, building her small business into an internationally recognised brand.
He believes the keys to her success were her strength and leadership ability, which drove her to occupy prime position in her sector.
Wesgro (the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape) told Fin24 that Golding’s passing is without doubt a loss to the real estate industry.
"Her story, as a woman entrepreneur who built one of the biggest property companies in South Africa, especially at a time when there were few other businesswomen, is one that should inspire women across our province and country,” Wesgro responded.
Janine Myburgh, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Golding was more than just a pioneer businesswoman - she changed an industry.
“She opened the door to new careers for many women and in the process, she became the face of the property sales industry in Cape Town and then in the country," Myburgh told Fin24.
She pointed out that, outside her industry, Golding was a great promoter of Cape Town and worked with businesses organisations in helping to build the Mother City's global image.
Karin Pickard Louis, chair of Kaapstad Sakekamer (Cape Town Business Chamber) told Fin24 "Pam needs no surname, she was and will forever be a household name".
Speaking in her personal capacity, Pickard Louis said Pam was a "mensch" in every sense of the word.
Golding was the first woman to be honoured as Business Leader of the Year by Kaapstad Sakekamer.
FNB property strategist John Loos told Fin24 that he has known the name Pam Golding since childhood.
"It was an honour to have known her as an adult. She was a legend in the industry and certainly created one of the strongest and surely longest lasting brands in the estate agency business," said Loos.
Denise Dogon, CEO of Dogon Group Properties, said Golding will always remain an icon and a real estate doyenne.
"Pam exuded charm and besides her impressive tenacity and work ethic, she was always ready to have fun and we were both jazz lovers. With her numerous talents and life experiences, she touched the lives of many."
Lew Geffen, chair of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, said Golding was "the total package" - a formidable business rival with whom he shared a perpetual passion for the real estate industry.
Geffen described Golding as “a big sky thinker” and an unswervingly ethical business leader who was instrumental in shaping SA’s property industry over decades.
Diane Watkins, executive director of Barnes International Realty in Mauritius, said Golding had a rare, natural instinct for property and frequently read and responded to new market trends well before they were on anyone else’s radar.
Arifa Parkar, CEO of the Western Cape Business Opportunities Forum (Wecbof) said one of the things that use to fascinate her about Golding was her genuineness.
"She would greet you and talk to you as though you are the most important person with her at that moment. Women in business will miss this woman of substance," said Parkar.
* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER