n Historia - The burden of empathy
Sir David Pieter de Villiers Graaff : First Baronet of De Grendel, E. Dommisse : book review

Volume 57, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0018-229X



In this biography Ebbe Dommisse investigates the life of Sir David Graaff, a poor, barely educated Afrikaner who became one of South Africa's richest people and an influential politician. Graaff was the sixth of nine children, born on 30 March 1859 on a farm in the Overberg in the Cape Colony. At the age of eleven years he left his impoverished parental home when an affluent and childless great-uncle took him to Cape Town to work in his butchery. Within a few years Graaff was in charge of the butchery and developed into a dynamic businessman and entrepreneur, turning this small enterprise into a prosperous company. As a pioneer of cold storage in South Africa, he developed an extensive distribution network of frozen products, making himself a fortune.

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