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The Early Years

I was born in Oporto, Portugal on the 3rd of September 1960. The country was caught in the grip of military rule and all were suffering. My father Antonio had a barber shop in our village and my mother Aurelina worked at the local cannery.

At the age of 5 my parents made a decision to emmigrate to South Africa. My father came out to South Africa first, on his own to find work. Once he found a job my mother, two sisters and myself flew out to South Africa to start our new life. We settled in Springs in the province of the Transvaal. My father worked as a barber for a Greek called George. His starting salary was R27.00 per week. Mom stayed home to look after us. I started school in 1966 at Springs West Primary and a year later moved to Selection Park Primary School. The early years were challenging as apartheid was felt by immigrants as much as by the black population.

In 1973 high school awaited and I selected an Afrikaans school, Springs Tegnies Hoër Skool. The reason for the selection was that I wanted to study electronics and no English school in Springs offered technical fields of study.

Whilst at high school I honed my business skills by managing and operating a fun/gambling arcade part time. That period in my life taught me all I needed to know to empower me to go forward and one day start my own business. I completed my matrix, (grade 12) in 1978 and joined TEMSA (later Marconi) as an apprentice tool & die maker the following year.

By 1983 I completed my N6 Diploma at Springs College and was promoted to Tool design draughtsman and then a research and development engineer.

I met my future wife Johanna at the company in 1985 and in 1988 we jointly decided to leave the company and start own own business, Prosafe Protection Products CC was born in 1989.

We have never looked back and life has been good to us.

Antonio da Cruz

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