Director of Plate Glass Holdings (Pty) Ltd
At a Glance
Born: 11 March 1931 (Age 82)
Source of Wealth: Manufacturing
Residence: Johannesburg, South Africa
Country of Citizenship: South Africa and UK
Education: Bachelor of Commerce, University of the Witwatersrand
Marital Status: Married
Dr Bertram Lubner, coming from an entrepreneurial family, joined Plate Glass Group (his father, Morrie Lubner, was one of the founders of the Plate Glass Group), in 1951 as a trainee. In 1953 he moved to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) to develop the company’s interests in what was then the Central African Federation.
After 14 years, having developed the Group’s interest in seven different countries of the region, he returned to South Africa at the end of 1967. On his return, he assumed responsibility for expanding the Group’s interest in the wood industry and successfully launched this area of the business both nationally and internationally. The Group also became the single largest worldwide supplier of hard woods emanating mainly from the Far East and Africa and supplying to world markets.
By the early 1990’s the Group was operating in 19 countries, employing 23,000 people, with a turnover of over $1 billion. Bertie and his brother Ronnie were joint Chief Executives of the Group, and in 1982 Bertie was appointed as Chairman, a role he held for the next eight years. In 1992 the Lubner family sold control to SA Breweries; however the family bought back, together with Management, all its glass interests in South Africa, and continued with its investment in the international glass arena.
After 41 years with the Plate Glass Group, Bertie changed his focus to allow him to undertake a number of initiatives which were no longer related to creating his and his family’s own wealth, but to play an overall role in the national sphere, which included continuing involvement with major business organisations, government bodies, his family’s philanthropic initiatives. In particular he wanted to create organisations that would look after the future interests of the new generation of black children. Another vital issue was the time he needed to be involved with his now growing up children and wanted to spend more time with his loving and supporting wife.
Dr Bertie Lubner is a very compassionate who believes in giving back to the community. He founded and thereafter became a Chairman of a number of outreach programs such as:
- MaAfrika Tikkun – a Jewish led community organisation to assist the previously disadvantaged children. The former President, Nelson Mandela, is the Patron-in-Chief of this organisation.
- The Field Band Foundation – an organisation which, over the last few years, has developed 31 college style bands, bringing not only musical skills, but lifestyle skills to over 4000 children from the most deprived areas.
- Trustee for the Worcester Home for the Dear and Blind.
- Patron of the Lubner “Kibbutz” – a farming project in South Africa, incorporating people with Downs’ Syndrome.
He is involved directly and indirectly with many other community based organisations, locally and internationally.
In addition, Bertie has put his significant business experience and acumen to good use by advising and participating in organisations such as:
- Initiator and now member of a Public Private Partnership with DTI and the Ministry of Economic Development, which strategizes and implements priority programs to assist the development of the Manufacturing Sector in the ecomomy.
Director | Plate Glass Holdings (Pty) Ltd
Chair | Lubner Group of Companies
Chief Executive | Plate Glass & Shatterprufe Industries Ltd
Chair | Salid Investments
Vice-Chair | Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Director | South African Jewish Report
Social Development and Community Services
Executive Member | South African Jewish Board of Deputies
Member of the of Harvard/Kennedy School Dean’s Council
Honorary life member of the Jewish Board of Deputies
Vice President – Institute of Directors
President – South Africa Israel Chamber of Commerce
Member of Task Force, representing Business and Government at the World Ecomomic Forum.
Dr Bertie Lubner is also a Council member of Business Leadership – comprising of 80 top companies in South Africa, interacting with government on major challenges facing the country.
University of the Witwatersrand
Bachelor of Commerce
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Awarded in 1987
Honorary Doctor of Philosophy
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
Lifetime Achievement Award | World Entrepreneur Awards | 2010
State President’s Award for Meritorious Service
Order of Meritorious Service II – Second Class Silver (OMSS)
Bertie is also a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from the Ben-Gurion University in 1987. In 1990 received the highest South African Civil Award – O.M.S.S., which embraced his role in business, the interests of the country and his direct involvement in philanthropic and social community projects.