MBSA appoints Cape property industry leader John Matthews as new national President
John Matthews, Group CEO of the Cape’s oldest and largest suburban development company, Garden Cities, has been appointed President of the Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) to succeed the former President, Bafikile Bonke Simelane.
Previously Vice-President of MBSA, Matthews has also held office as President of the Master Builders Association Western Cape, and he brings a personal and professional life of dedicated service and experience in the building industry to his new position.
On his appointment, Matthews says he resolves to promote the MBSA’s long-term vision to be true to the building industry’s principles, and the philosophy of helping people, as a primary concern – an objective shared by Garden Cities, which celebrates its centenary in 2019.
Headquartered in Cape Town, the company provides homes and essential infrastructural elements that include medical, sporting and leisure facilities, retail centres, and schools. Twelve years ago it also established the Archway Foundation which provides halls for under-resourced schools in the Western Cape.
Speaking of the wider industry, and his company, he says: ‘the need for survival can sometimes take one’s focus from core objectives, but the drive to serve your stated goals – in our case, to make a better life for all – must never be abandoned.’
After joining Garden Cities as a 25-year-old UCT B.Com graduate he was appointed CEO in 2002 and eventually took the reins as Group CEO – encompassing both Garden Cities and its construction arm, Pinelands Development Company.
Like his predecessor Similane, Matthews is determined, as MBSA president, to help sharpen the body’s focus on transformation, and he shares a vision of a new, inclusive, just, and more equal dispensation, not only for the organisation but the entire country. Another mission close to Matthews’ heart is the association’s concentration on skills development to ensure the Industry’s transformation.
Born in Kensington, on the Cape Flats, in 1964, Matthews matriculated at Wittebome High School, Wynberg. He graduated from UCT with a B.Com degree in 1985 and began an accounting career at Pinelands Development Company, the sister company to Garden Cities.
He joined Garden Cities in 1990 and rose through the organization to the position of CEO, and subsequently Group CEO, in 2003.
His MBA from UCT, obtained in 1997, specialised in Strategic Management. His areas of interest include the provision of housing and other social services to uplift the people of South Africa in a sustainable manner.
Other positions he has held: CEO of the Archway Foundation, Council Member of the Building Industry Bargaining Council – Cape of Good Hope; and independent member of the Audit and Risk Committee of the University of the Western Cape.
He shares his life with Dr Brenda Matthews, who holds a Ph.D in Psychology, specialising in Bullying in Schools. They have two children aged 27 and 25.
For fun, he reads and loves to travel anywhere.