Our Timeline


HL and Grace Hall settle and start farming at Riverside Farm (name changes to Mataffin Farm in 1923).

1890 to 1920

Overcoming many obstacles and setbacks a successful farming business is established at Mataffin.


HL Hall & Sons Ltd registered as a company.


Tomango Squash set up in separate company (it later moves to Durban and becomes Dickon Hall Products).

1921 to 1945

Farming operations thrive. Halls becomes household name throughout South Africa on back of COD mail-order fresh produce business. Resultant wealth deployed in acquisition of land.


Purchase of Ermelo Ranch, Gravelotte (which later becomes part of the Selati Game Reserve).


King George and Queen Elizabeth visit Halls at Mataffin Farm - one of the largest citrus estates in the Commonwealth.

1940s to 1960s

Employment at Halls runs between 2,000 and 3,000 people depending on seasonal requirements.

Halls gains a reputation for contributing substantially to the welfare of its employees through housing, schools and clinics, which persists until today.


Under threat of expropriation, many Bushveld farms are sold to government. Halls enters the timber industry.


Halls citrus exports exceed one million cartons.


Cyril Clarke High School opens at Mataffin (first black high school in South Africa on private land)


Halls establishes HL Hall International Ltd in the UK. Halls Projects (later to become Halls Properties) commences with development of Rocky Drift Industrial Township.

1960 to 1990

Halls navigates a difficult period: profitability of farming is undermined by inflation; Halls’ main business - citrus - is compromised by greening disease; political uncertainty and unrest escalates; business diversification does not result in successful scalable business outcomes.


HL Hall & Sons celebrates the centenary at Mataffin. Halls Projects develops “Halls Gateway to the Lowveld”.


Halls stops farming citrus and focuses on avocados.


Formation of the Selati Game Reserve.


Halls first to market with ripe and ready fruit into the UK. Nelspruit is named capital of Mpumalanga and HL Hall & Sons donates land for the new Provincial Offices and Legislature. Proclamation of Riverside Park phase 1, renewing the focus in property development for the business.


Halls exits the timber industry.


Halls concludes the largest land reform deal in South Africa with the sale of 6,000 ha to government for establishment of the Matsafeni Trust.


Halls Investments established on the back of the mandate given by the Halls Holdings’ shareholders at the 2004 AGM.


Halls Investments acquires shares in Animalia and Warburton (Multimin). Halls Projects changes its name to Halls Properties.


Halls Investments provides seed capital for the start-up, Lightstone, which goes on to secure its first major contract. Halls Investments invests into Comcorp (a mortgage originator) and Brighthead (a joint venture investment vehicle together with the Wessels family). Halls Investments invests in HG&H Pharmaceuticals and research commences on Sceletium for veterinary applications.


Halls Properties commences the development of Riverside Park phase 2. HG&H acquires the Sceletium patent for human applications (forming the basis of Zembrin). Brighthead makes its first investment into AllLife (focused on life insurance for HIV positive individuals) and Bridgehead (a student accommodation business). Halls Investments acquires first shares in Deltamune.


Halls and the Makgoba Trust form the Makgoba Halls Farming Company.


Halls establishes a marketing office in Rungis, France in heart of fresh produce market. Halls acquires Halls Limpopo Packers in Tzaneen, South Africa.


Comcorp adds the bank statement exchange to its mortgage switch business.


Animalia concludes sales of its South African Multimin business Lightstone acquires shares in RGT Smart and creates a start up in the auto space (later known as Lightstone Auto)


HG&H makes first sales of Zembrin into South Africa and US. Halls establishes a marketing office in Marseille, France. Warburton concludes sale of Multimin subsidiary in Australia and New Zealand.


Creation of Halls Technologies (subsequently renamed Lightstone Group) including Lightstone, Signio and RGT. RGT delisted from the AltX. Halls acquires packing and ripening facilities in Rungis, France.


Halls Investments acquires 100% interest in Deltamune. Halls establishes operations in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Acquisition of Wheels Web Group by Lightstone.

2014 to 2015

Halls significantly expands their fresh produce operations in Rungis, France with the development of state-of-the-art packing and ripening facilities.


HL Hall & Sons celebrates rare milestone of 125 years at Mataffin. HL Hall & Sons launches new brand identity to coincide with the 125-year anniversary. Halls Properties obtains township approvals for Riverside Park phase 3.


AllLife signs a deal to expand operations into the UK. Halls exports over 1.6m cartons of avocados from South Africa into Europe and markets 4.7m cartons of avocados in the European market. Halls Investments creates Halls Financial Services into which it consolidates the various general insurance operations in the group.


Halls acquires packing and ripening facilities in Marseille, France


Halls Investments invests in Kalibre, the Mauritian based business which will provide AllLife type products globally; and Step Advisory a management consulting firm helping business leaders grow their businesses.


Halls Fresh Produce opens commercial offices in Madrid and Frankfurt and commercial offices in Chongqing, China. 

Halls Investments makes minority investments into LifeQ, a biotechnology company; and KNF, a s12J VC fund. 


Lightstone increases its shareholding in Cowa-Bunga, a supply chain optimisation company based on advanced data analytics and insights, and through a cloud-based proprietary delivery management system.


Nector, the agritech arm of HL Halls & Sons, is established in October 2020

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