SPARGS GROUP

We are a family-owned retail group spread throughout the former Transkei region, the Border region of the Eastern Cape and the Eastern fringe of Kwazulu Natal. We pride ourselves in having strong ties in the communities we serve and thanks to our dedicated Spargs family of more than three thousand colleagues, a culture of caring is felt from head office to the shop floor.

Unique to Spargs is our assortment of shopping experiences, which ranges from groceries to clothing, from fuel courts, to liquor, hardware to furniture, appliances, 24-hour convenience, tyre fitment and eatery outlets. While each of our stores caters to the specific needs of their community, it is our company-wide motto to offer value through our products, and customer service.

OUR HISTORY IN BRIEF

The R.N.E Group is a family business with a strong presence in retail commerce in the Transkei and adjacent areas, such as Kokstad, Queenstown and Beacon Bay in East London. The group owns 14 supermarkets, of which 11 are SUPERSPARS, a household name in South Africa. The R.N.E group has an annual turnover exceeding R2.5 billion and it employs over 3,000 people who, in turn, are able to see to the livelihood of their families and participate in their communities with dignity. It is thus a significant part of the social fabric of the Transkei and surrounding areas.

The company is named after Rayner, Neville (Rayner’s son) and Eric Sparg and its origins and history are intimately connected with these individuals, who are descendants of Hugo Sparg.

Years of Trading
Since 1945
Staff members
Branches

HISTORY OF THE SPARGS GROUP

The Spargs Group story is a story of humility and survival. The Spargs Group has outlived many harsh political developments that then, clouded the future of this Transkei gem which now continues to flourish, and expand on its one core value: FAMILY.

  • Hugo Sparg was born in Hanover, in the Eastern Cape, on 16 July 1885 and at the age of 13 moved with his family to Idutywa, where he received his first formal schooling. He was at school for only two years before joining his father in F. Sparg & Sons.
  • He married Lillian Rosetta Goetsch in 1910 and continued working for his father until 1915.
  • Hugo and Lillian left Idutywa in 1915 and bought Baziya Trading Station on the road between Umtata and Engcobo.
  • In 1923, when their children reached school-going age, they sold Baziya and bought a business in Libode where the children could attend school.
  • From this single store in Libode, the Spargs Group expanded, first to Umtata (1949), where the R.N.E. company was formed, then to Mt Frere (1964), Qumbu (1965), Butterworth (1966), Matatiele (1969), Idutywa (1972), Beacon Bay, in East London (1976), Richmond (1979), Kokstad (1982), Queenstown (1983), Engcobo (1990/1), back to Libode (2010) and finally to Ikwezi, on the outskirts of Umtata, on the road to the Ngangelizwe township (2015).
  • Rayner Sparg joined his father, Hugo, in the Libode store, straight from school in 1930 and traded there until 1940, when Hugo retired to Port St Johns. Rayner then traded alone until the end of the War in 1945, when Eric returned and joined him and they traded together until 1950. The Libode store was then exchanged for the Qokolweni store owned by D.M. Clarke.
  • Rayner and Eric decided to build a wholesale store in Libode but, after the foundations were laid, they decided that Umtata would be a better place for this business, as it was the railhead, and schooling was more readily available.  They rented premises in King Edward Road, Umtata, behind Spence’s Retreading Works, and it was here that the first wholesale was opened in 1949, with Eric Sparg as manager.
  • When the new wholesale was opened, Eric continued living in Libode and would commute to work, until his house was built in Umtata.  After a while the premises in King Edward Road were found to be unsuitable, so a new wholesale was built in 1951 on the corner of Sprigg and Sutherland Streets.
  • New administration offices were built across the road from the Wholesale, on the corner of Chatham and Sutherland Streets in 1967.
  • The first supermarket was built in Mount Frere in 1964.
  • Neville joined the company as a salesman in 1959 and gradually took over the buying from his father.  Rayner and Eric (Managing Director) were the joint managers from 1967 to 1971, when Eric retired from the business and Reg Quin filled his position.
  • Reg and Neville then managed the administration from 1971 to 1979, when Reg moved to Beacon Bay, followed by Neville in 1980. Bernard Schultz took over from them and was there from 1978 until he retired in 1993.
  • The Umtata offices closed in 1993 as all administration had by then been moved to Beacon Bay.
  • The Head Office was opened in 1979/1980.
  • Reg Quin and Neville Sparg were the joint managers from 1980 to 1992, when Reg Quin retired and W.O. Kretschmer (WOK) took over his position.
  • WOK and Neville Sparg managed the administration from 1992 to 2006, when WOK retired and Brian Sparg filled his position.
  • Neville semi-retired in 2006 and Brian and Shane Sparg took over as the managers and continue in these positions.

MEET THE TEAM

Rowan Krull.resized

Rowan Krull

FINANCE MANAGER

Tel: 0437117500

Email: accounts@spargs.co.za

Pam Johnson

Pam Johnson

GENERAL ENQUIRIES

Tel: 043 7117500

Email: enquiries@spargs.co.za

SpargsLogo

Dirk van der Bank

SALES & MARKETING

Tel: 043 711 7500

Email: marketing@spargs.co.za

Get in touch to find out more about our team