Powering through with Payne

Businessman and Sandton resident Nigel Payne pledges support for ride with purpose
Businessman and Sandton resident Nigel Payne pledges support for the Ride for MRP Foundation in 2017

Mr Price Group Chairman, Nigel Payne, (pictured centre) rides alongside brother Adrian Payne (right) and August Van Heerden (left) in the 2016 edition of the ride. Payne cycles for the third time as the cyclists join hearts and hands to break the cycle of poverty and inequality in South Africa when they ride from Johannesburg to Durban on December 3-4. PICTURE: TIM LUBBE / MRP FOUNDATION


“My Mom left school at 13 and my Dad at 14. They had to work very hard all their lives but managed to give my brother and I a good start, which means I understand the importance of education and the value of a job, particularly your first job. The MRP Foundation has a wonderful track record in both of these areas.”

For Sandton resident and distinguished businessmen, Nigel Payne, the Ride for MRP Foundation (3 – 4 December) isn’t just a 606 km testing ride from Johannesburg to Durban cycled in two days, it’s an opportunity to raise funds and awareness for our programmes that aim to break the cycle of poverty and inequality in South Africa. Over 300,000 learners have been positively impacted since the inception of MRP Foundation in 2005 and since 2008 over 22,188 unemployed youth have been upskilled through the MRP Foundation’s Jump Start work readiness programme with 10,278 job placements in retail and supply chain.

Payne is a family man (he’s been married for almost 30 years with two children) as well as the Chairman of the Mr Price Group and Bidvest Bank. He’s also a director of numerous companies:  The Bidvest Group, JSE, Bidcorp, Vukile Property Fund, BSi Steel, PPS, Strate and the SA SME Fund. Although Payne has never been a road cyclist he tackled marathons in his ‘20s, participated in multi-sport events in his ‘30s, was an avid canoeist in his 40s and took up mountain biking shortly before turning 50 (he’s now 57). Payne’s active nature – he averages 1000km per month on his mountain bike and has participated in three major mountain bike races this year – means he believes he’s ready to tackle the tough Ride for MRP Foundation for a third time.

He hopes to build the annual event to a place where it’s environmentally friendly, sustainable and can impact even more lives through MRP Foundation. His dream is to make the next ride carbon neutral by offsetting the vehicle emissions by planting fruit trees in the grounds of the schools supported by the MRP Foundation.

He sees business and corporates as having a big role to play in in the socio and economic impact of the country: “The past 200 years since the Industrial Revolution have seen greater advances than the rest of the history of our species combined – innovation, productivity, scientific discovery and exploration – also health, life expectancy, quality of life, people lifted out of poverty and the spread of democracy. This was all brought about by business, via capitalism. We need to expand these benefits to those who are still excluded – there is no other workable model. At the same time we need to reverse the damage we have done to the environment and to other species via sustainable, inclusive growth.”

For Payne, the ultimate badge of success isn’t measured by the ride itself, but rather by the amount funds raised that assist thousands of unemployed youth access the job market through the Foundation’s skills development programmes in the retail and supply chain space:

“The Ride for MRP Foundation is an incredible experience but ultimately it’s about creating a platform to increase the impact being made by the MRP Foundation. Every extra person educated and placed in a job impacts many more lives.”

Nigel is not the only Mr Price Group associate riding as he will also be joined by Natasja Ambrosio (Mr Price Group Sustainability Manager and MRP Foundation Director) and Dylan Cherry (MRP Sport Marketing Manager).

Ride for MRP Foundation Cyclists:

KZN/North Coast: Craig Jones (Ballito), Andrew Bateson (Ballito), Jonathan Morse (Simbithi)Quintus van der Berg (Umhlanga), John Smit (Durban North)

KZN/Upper Highway: Natasja Ambrosio (Hillcrest), Keagan Matthews (Hillcrest), Claire Matthews (Hillcrest), Bruce Macdonald (Hillcrest), Michael Rowland (Hillcrest), John Armstrong (Hillcrest), John Campbell (Hillcrest), Tiffany Keep (Hillcrest), Wayne Englund (Hillcrest), Paul Kraus (Hillcrest), Matthew Wickham (Kloof), Lauren Brown (Kloof), Dylan Cherry (Kloof), Dave Duke (Kloof), Greg Stedman (Kloof), Travis Stedman (Kloof), Kevin Bonner (Kloof), Tanner Quinn (Gillitts), Gary Raath (New Germany), Peter-John Paulson (New Germany), Bruce Titmuss (Pinetown), Clynt Lund (Winston Park), Mhlengi Gwala (Chesterville)

KZN/Durban: Brad Rowlett (Durban), Randy Walker (Durban), Mark Sterley (Durban), Fanele Mbuyazi (Durban), Jeremy Thomson (Durban), Mike Viljoen (Durban), Wayne Fyvie (Durban)

KZN/Pietermaritzburg and Surrounds: Mboneni Ngcobo (Cato Ridge), Tessa Hesse (Pietermaritzburg), Rob Alexander (Pietermaritzburg), Dion Ross (Ashburton)

GAUTENG/Johannesburg: Leon Crous (Ruimsig), Nolan Waldhausen (Craighall), Nigel Payne (Sandton), Matthew Lee (Fourways), Ryan Katz (Parkwood), Geoffrey Lee (Parkwood), George Oertel (Benoni), Gordon Weir (Bedfordview)

MPUMALANGA: Gary Watson (Secunda).

WESTERN CAPE: Taschyana Hurter (Green Point), Sarah Alexander (Cape Town)

The 2017 Ride for MRP Foundation edition partners are: Absa, SPAR, Futurelife, CMH Nissan Durban, Expand-a-Sign, Maxed, City Logistics, KTM South Africa, Traderplus,  Cyclesphere and Giant Bicycles.

Help us raise One Million Rand for programmes by donating here.

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