South African business icon Ronnie Lubner passes away – ending an era

Leading South African entrepreneur Ronnie Lubner passed away on Thursday, 27th December 2018. He was 84 and succumbed after a short illness. His late wife Rhona, who was also from Johannesburg, preceded him by three months, having died on September 20.

Lubner and his late elder brother Bertie, were among the country’s leading philanthopists, highest profile of which is Afrika Tikkun which has developed and uplifted tens of thousands of South Africans after its creation in 1994 to help HIV-infected children or whose parents died of Aids.

The Lubners invested considerable time and energy into serving society after retiring from the PG Group, built by their father Morrie, which dominated Southern Africa’s glass, windscreen and timber sector for half a century.

Right to the end, Ronnie remained involved in business through life chairmanship of the global group Belron (he’s the Ron in the name) which he established by taking PG Glass global in the 1970s. Belron, whose CEO is Ronnie’s son Gary, is the western world’s largest windscreen replacement company, best known through its Autoglass brand.

Ronnie served the PG Group and its offshoots for 65 years since joining the family business in 1953 as a 19 year old.

In recent years he has been intimately involved in the development of The Houghton, a high end residental complex built within the precints of the famous Johannesburg golf course of the same name.