Constantia resident, property icon and leading businesswoman Pam Golding, 89, passed away peacefully on Tuesday April 3 at her home Wittebomen in Constantia.
Born in Cape Town, Ms Golding attended Collegiate Girls’ High School in Port Elizabeth and graduated from UCT with honours in English and psychology. She turned what began as a hobby into a lifelong passion as founder and Life President of the Pam Golding Property group.
In an interview with a British newspaper in 2009 she described the humble beginnings of her property empire. “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.”
Ms Golding launched the Pam Golding Property Group in 1976 when the real estate industry was dominated by men. She developed selling luxury homes into a thriving business which now has over 300 branches in Africa and international branches or sales links in Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Miami, Malta, Grenada, Cyprus, Mauritius and the Seychelles.
Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the Pam Golding Properties Group, said in a statement that his mum had had fearless entrepreneurial flair for people, property and business – and creating what ultimately became a thriving, global property company. She set the highly competitive property industry on a new course which continues to this day, he added.
Last year, the property group received recognition as the Best Real Estate Agency in South Africa and Africa at the International Property Awards in Dubai.
It is the most awarded real estate company in South Africa and has won the award for Best Estate Agency in South Africa 10 times since 2005.
Spokesperson for the Estate Agency Affairs Board, Bongani Mlangeni, said Ms Golding would be “dearly missed”.
“We send our deepest condolences to her children, the entire family, Pam Golding Properties and the entire sector where she will be dearly missed and remembered for the huge role she played in the professionalisation of the industry,” he said.
He added that Ms Golding would be remembered for her astute business acumen, having established the company in 1976 and grown it to where it was today.
“Her success must encourage all women in South Africa particularly the youth that with determination and hard work nothing is impossible,” he said.
Mr Mlangeni said the history of the property industry in South Africa would never be complete without mentioning the role she played in ensuring that estate agents provided nothing but quality services through the high standards she set not only for Pam Golding but the entire sector.
“We will miss her passion for the sector, mentorship and most importantly her willingness to always do good to humanity.”
Dr Golding’s personal assistant, Debby Coltman, said the Ms Golding had been 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 to all,” she said.
Ms Golding, loved gardening and a yellow rose was named in her honour.
She is survived by her two sons Peter and Andrew, daughter Jilly and 10 grandchildren.