One of Africa's most successful women entrepreneurs and a magnate of the real-estate industry, Pam Doyenne Golding built a property empire that will live on after her death on Tuesday.
With no startup capital and just one sales assistant, Golding opened the doors of Pam Golding Properties in 1976. Today it is a multimillion-rand business with 300 branches in Africa and international offices in the U.K., Germany, France and Mauritius, 186 franchises and around 3,000 staff members.
Through the estate agency, Golding's professionalism, ethics and integrity earned her a place as one of the world's leading businesswomen, selling properties to world-renowed names including the likes of Nelson Mandela.
Golding finished her schooling at Collegiate Girls High School in Port Elizabeth and completed her BA degree, majoring in English and psychology, at the University of Cape Town.
Her first job was at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, as assistant to the student adviser, followed by a position as sales agent for the Junior Literary Society and then sales promotion and marketing assistant at Caltex head office.
Golding died peacefully at her home in Wittebomen in Constantia, Cape Town, on Tuesday, April 3.
Her death came as a shock and resulted in sadness throughout the estate agency, Pam Golding Properties group marketing director Anthony Stroebel told HuffPost on Wednesday.
"This is a sad time in the company's history,; she [Pam] was our founder and life president, and we are all reeling as the Pam Golding Property Group. This is a huge loss for the company – and for South Africa as well, because she was one of the most respected, leading businesswomen in our country and certainly changed the way real estate was done when she started the group," Stroebel said.
People have expressed grief and condolences on Twitter:
My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Cape Town resident Pam Golding. May she rest in peace. #PamGolding— Patricia de Lille (@PatriciaDeLille) April 4, 2018
When I grow up i wana be like Pam of Pam Golding Properties. Investing on property you will never go wrong. RIP Mrs #pamgolding— ndivhuwo (@zecks30) April 4, 2018
I was not expecting this! Pam Golding, the name we all know, respected and aspired to associate with, with such World Class business acumen and exquisite taste and style in property. She was such an icon #PamGolding Condolences to loved ones.— Iggy (@G_VrSeven) April 3, 2018
From small acorns giant oaks grow, Pam Golding - An entrepreneur realtor who founded one of the largest estate agencies in SA in the 1970s a time when women still needed their husbands permission to take out a bank loan. Women Pioneers RIP #PamGolding pic.twitter.com/mToi3fBLPJ— Lerato Mbele (@BBCLerato) April 4, 2018
As we mourn the death of the greatest property giants in the world, #PamGolding has been an astounding leader in the property industry. We honor her fearless entrepreneurial flair, as she developed selling luxury homes into a thriving business.— S A Flair Travel (@SAFlairTravel) April 4, 2018
Rest In Peace #PamGolding pic.twitter.com/J8t8VUsMC3
RIP the greatest lady in business in South Africa - Pam Golding we salute you - condolences to Andrew and family @PamGoldingGroup— Ingrid Diesel (@ingriddiesel1) April 3, 2018