TIMELINE

Timeline

Sinovich – a family history

Beginning with the birth of Jure Sinovcić on 25 May 1868 (died 05 September 1945) and his subsequent move to South Africa where he began work as a labourer on President Kruger’s farm, Jure unknowingly began what would ultimately become the Sinovich Group; a collection of property development company, with it’s roots in farming.

  • 1868

THE BIRTH OF A FAMILY EMPIRE

Jure Sinovcić, initially a sailor and the first of the Sinovcić (later changed to Sinovich) family to come to South Africa, is born on 23 April on the island of Brac in Dalmatia – or New Croatia. At the time of his birth Croatia formed part of the Austrian Hungarian Empire.

  • 1891

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

At the age of 24 Jure arrives in Pretoria, South Africa and begins work as labourer on President Paul Kruger’s (President of the South African Republic [then Transvaal]) farm  located in what is now Eloffsdal (a suburb in Pretoria).

  • 1893

ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT

Jure hires a farm at the Daspoort Poort located alongside the Apies River approximately 3km from the centre of Pretoria and takes up vegetable farming, which was ultimately the beginning of what would become the Sinovich Group.

  • 1894

FAMILY FOUNDATION

He returns to Brac to Marry Ursula Franulic, who remained on the island until after the end of the Boer War in 1892 before joining her husband in Daspoort, Pretoria in 1904. The two, working together, continued farming.

  • 1904

BIRTH OF A BUSINESS FOUNDER

Jure and Ursula’s first child, George Anton, is born on 17 October – the first of five children. George would end up becoming a councillor in the Hercules municipality in Pretoria by the age of 21.

  • 1915

EARLY EXPANSION

Jure buys a portion of the farm Wonderboom 302 JR situated between the Apies River (eastern boundary) and the north bound railway line (located opposite the present day Pretoria North Railway Station approximately 8km from Pretoria’s CBD) (the western boundary).  The portion purchased is 45ha.

  • 1917

GAINING EXPERIENCE

Ursula, weakened by Malaria, passes away soon after giving birth to a child who died shortly after birth. At this time, Jure and Ursula’s eldest, George, although only 12 years old and still attending school, begins helping his father on the farm.

  • 1920

INCLUDING IN-LAWS

Jure’s step-brother Stiejpe Nizetich joins the family in farming. He and George continue farming the Daspoort farm while Jure moved to the Wonderboom Farm. A few years later, once George’s schooling is complete, he joins his father in full time farming and a partnership is formed.

  • 1927

EARLY HEADQUARTERS FOUNDED

The father and son partners purchase a portion of Daspoort 319 JR comprising approximately 50ha which is mostly marsh land. The marshland is drained and becomes home and life headquarters to George who leaves the Poort farm, subsequently taken over by his uncle Stiejpe.

  • 1929

THE NEXT GENERATION

George marries Mary Vukovich, daughter of Vicko and Luce who arrived in South Africa from Dalmatia in 1898 and 1904 respectively. George and Mary are the first South African born Croatian’s (Dalmatian’s at the time) to be married in South Africa.

The couple had four children – Ursula Mary (1930); George Vincent (1932); Anthony Jerome Bernadette (1944) and Vincent Noel (1945).

Over his life time George Anton Sinovich, who was well-known for his generosity and hospitality, created a family legacy having been extremely involved in both community and Catholic Church affairs. Because of his involvement in and dedication to community affairs he was a Hercules municipality councillor by age 21 and Mayor by 28. His business activities could be called ‘too far-sighted’ as two business ventures entered had astronomical growth potential, had they been entered into further into the future.

George became one of the biggest government contractors in supplying vegetables during the Second World War, and supplied this produce to many large mining companies too trading under the name G. Sinovich and Sons. In time he built a fruit and vegetable canning factory; bought a winery prior to beginning a chain of bottle stores in the Cape; and purchased numerous properties in the Pretoria area.

Envisaging expansion and growth of Pretoria to the north he purchased approximately 450ha of land on the northern slopes of Magaliesburg, now Wonderboom Agricultural Holdings and Sinoville, the latter comprising 1 450 erven. It took him 11 years to gain permission to lay out Sinoville, which was approved the day after his death.

  • 1933

SERVING THE COMMUNITY

George Anton Sinovich elected Mayor.

  • 1947

DAUGHTER INCLUDED

Daughter Ursula joins her father George Anton in business.

  • 1953

FAMILY PARTICIPATION GROWS

Son George (Jnr) joins George Anton and Ursula in the family business.

  • 1955

INCORPORATING EXPERTISE

Ursula Sinovich marries Oscar Eugenio (Aldo) Buffa, who leaves his position as Head of Delfos Atlas Corporation Research Division to join George (Jnr) in managing the Sinovich Farms and developing Sinoville Township. The same year they have a son, Charles George Buffa.

  • 1955

INCORPORATING EXPERTISE

Ursula Sinovich marries Oscar Eugenio (Aldo) Buffa, who leaves his position as Head of Delfos Atlas Corporation Research Division to join George (Jnr) in managing the Sinovich Farms and developing Sinoville Township. The same year they have a son, Charles George Buffa.

  • 1956

EXPANDING THE FAMILY

George (Jnr) marries Anastasia (Yvonne) Karras.

  • 1957 – 05 March

THE END OF AN ERA

George Anton passes away leaving behind his wife Mary and children Ursula, George (Jnr), Anthony and Vincent. He sold the majority of business enterprises because of ill health and retained only the farms and some residential properties before his death. His dependents inherited the latter which, under one business, came to be called: Sinovich Farms.  Mary passed away 28 years later in March 1985.

  • 1957 – 06 March

NEW BEGINNING

Municipal permission to lay out Sinoville granted. The township, being a large suburb of 1 450 erven was developed in phases and mainly by manual labour.

  • 1959

PROPERTY BUSINESS ESTABLISHED

Sale of erven, which was done under repayment instalment agreements over a seven year period, commences. Purchase price at the time was £400 for 10 000 square feet (R800 for 929m2). The first houses are built the same year and as Sinoville was located in a peri urban area, the Sinovich family purchased water from Pretoria and sold it to residents. The township founders were also responsible for refuse collection, road maintenance and all services.

  • 1961

BUILDING ‘THE FUTURE’

The first convenience shopping centre in Sinoville is built.

  • 1963

ADDITIONAL FAMILY INPUT

George Anton’s second son Anthony takes over bookkeeping duties of the Sinovich Farms.

  • 1965

GOING PLACES

Sinoville is incorporated into Pretoria

  • 1966

LEAVING THE NEST

George (Jnr) leaves the employment of the Sinovich Farms and his duties are assumed by brother Anthony on a part time basis.

  • 1970

GROUP ESTABLISHED

George (Jnr) exits the family business entirely, selling all his shares, which necessitated a complete reorganisation of the family business. This reorganisation resulted in Mary’s retirement and the set up and introduction of the present structure known as the Sinovich Group. Anthony’s played an instrumental role in the latter.  The same year, George Anton’s third son, Vincent, marries Pam Rudolph.

  • 1971

FUTURE IN-LAW ‘INVESTMENT’

Anthony joins the Sinovich Group in full-time employment. Future in-law, Warrick George Fulford, future husband to Vincent’s eldest daughter Lara, is born.

  • 1972

FAMILY AND BUSINESS GROW

Anthony marries Ilona Korunich and brother Vincent joins the Sinovich Group and Anthony’s eldest son, Anton George Sinovich, is born in 1973.

Over the next several years, brother-in-law Aldo Buffa, Anthony and Vincent began development of the high density erven and business erven in Sinoville. One of the first registrations of a sectional title unit in South Africa was one of the Group’s Duplex flats in Sinoville.

A community shopping centre was built on the previous shopping centre’s site and, over the years, additional shopping centres were built and purchased.  The Sinovich Group then moved into township development purchasing quantities of land and developing numerous townships in both the North and East of Pretoria.

  • 1984

ENTER THE FOURTH GENERATION

Charles George Buffa (Ursula and Aldo’s son) joins the Sinovich Group. He is the first of the fourth generation to join the family business – ensuring family continuity.

  • 1994

DIRECTORSHIP ENHANCED

Charles Buffa is made a Sinovich Group director.

  • 1996

ENLISTING EXTERNALLY

Aldo Buffa passes away.

  • 2008

DIRECTOR APPOINTMENTS

Warrick Fulford is appointed a director at the Sinovich Group and the first non-family member, Adriaan Potgieter, is also appointed a director.

2010

DIRECTOR APPOINTMENTS

Anton George Sinovich is appointed director at the Sinovich Group.

  • 2015

A NEW ERA

THE LAUNCH OF TWO AMBITIOUS NEW PROJECTS:

Rainbow Junction, a 140ha mixed use development, a joint venture development www.rainbowjunciton.co.za; and

ECO-ONE, a 35ha sustainable, light industrial development www.eco-one.co.za

The executive management team of The Sinovich Group comprises of:

Anthony Sinovich, Vincent Sinovich, Charles Buffa, Warrick Fulford, Adriaan Potgieter and Anton Sinovich.

Related Links

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ECO-ONE, a 35ha sustainable, light industrial development.

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Rainbow Junction year old business with over 50 years of property development and management experience

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