How Mike Nkuna Became A Billionaire Property Tycoon

Mike Nkuna started out his business career in 1979 by working in his father’s butchery to support his family. After 3 years, he decided to branch out of the family business, and established a construction company to take advantage of the subsidies the apartheid government was offering to black residents.

In 1983, he got his first breakthrough after the municipality in Soweto offered to sell him a plot of land for R100 000 which he bought after securing a loan from Perm Bank.

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Mike Nkuna

During that time, BP approached him by offering to buy the plot from him in order to build a filling station on it but Nkuna declined the offer with a counter offer. He asked the petroleum giants to help him develop the plot into a small shopping centre that would – among other things – include a BP filling petrol station.

BP liked the idea and offered him an interest-free loan to develop the plot.

Being the ultimate dealmaker that he’s known to be, Nkuna approached Shell concerning the plot to see what sort of deal he could get from them. To his surprise, Shell offered him a better deal than BP. Playing off one giant against the other, he returned to BP with Shell’s offer, forcing them to up their offer.

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But the 2nd time he went back to BP, they insisted on him signing the papers on the spot. It was that experience that made him realise the potential of commercial property and how valuable it was.

The small shopping centre opened in 1986, and became the first organised shopping outlet in Soweto. Nkuna soon developed similar projects around Soweto.

Seeing the success of his shopping centres, Nkuna decided that he wanted to build a mall. He started by approaching OK Bazaars to be his anchor tenant. OK asked him to conduct a demographic study to see the viability of such a venture in townships.

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The study found that though the demographics of the area were in fact ideal, the political instability at that time, and the perceptions of the population concerning shopping in Soweto were major obstacles.

It was found that black people still believed that anything sold in the townships was inferior to what they could buy in town. As a result, Nkuna put stoppage to the venture until years later.

He continued developing shopping centres in rural areas where people were used to travel on average of between 150km – 200km to do their shopping.

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Wanting to be closer to the projects he was developing, he moved his family to Giyani in 1990. He developed two shopping centres in the area, which were financed by Absa.

In 2004, Nkuna was approached by Nedbank and asked if they could tap into his invaluable experience in township property development. In the end, they partnered with him to accelerate their interests in commercial and retail property development in previously disadvantaged areas.

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Masingita Towers

Nkuna then formed Masingita Property Investment Holdings(MPIH), where he held 65% of its equity, and Nedbank taking the remaining 35%.

Between 2004 – 2005, MPIH built Jabulani Mall and Bara Mall. They were the first full service shopping malls in Soweto, housing a number of major national brands like Truworths, Woolworths, Foshini, Game, and many more.

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Under the Masingita Group of Companies, Mike went on to…..

Develop Malls:

  • Masingita Shopping Centre – Giyani
  • Aeroton Convenience Centre – Nasrec
  • Masingita Plaza – Giyani
  • Mangalani Convenience Centre – Soweto
  • Mangalani Convenience Centre – Giyani
  • Mangalani Shopping Centre – Malamulele
  • MotorTown – Giyani
  • Masingita Mall – Giyani
  • Diepsloot Mall – Diepsloot
  • Masingita Towers – Sandton
  • Prorea Glen Mall – Soweto
  • Morena Mall – Mahikeng

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Buy Franchises:

  • Excel Garage – Malamulele
  • Shell Garage – Giyani
  • Sasol Garage – Bosworth, Alberton
  • BP Garage – Soweto
  • Shell Garage – Soweto

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Become A Shareholders & Director In:

  • Xisaka Investment and Trading (Pty) Limited
  • Sindawonye Granulators (Pty) Ltd
  • Leopant 299 Properties (Pty) Ltd
  • Masingita Property Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd
  • Vlamin (Pty) Ltd
  • Illungile Consulting Services
  • AuctionInc (Pty) Ltd
  • Periscopic Masingita (Pty) Ltd
  • Mable Group which owns VW and Audi Centre in Polokwane


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