Naphie Maleke of Kagiso in Mogale City near Krugersdorp is the South African Breweries’ (SAB) longest serving employee. He started at the brewery 42 years ago in 1973. Sadly, the time has come for Maleke to bid the company farewell following his decision to retire at the end of this year.
Growing up in Munsieville, Krugerdorp, Maleke says that he had just finished his schooling when he embarked on his search for employment and it was with SAB that he found it.
“In 1973 I was fresh out of school and looking for any work. I found a position at SAB as what was then known as a ‘tea boy’. The following year I worked as a messenger, delivering letters to different departments because those were the days before email, ” says Maleke.
Later in 1975 Maleke worked as a Filing Clerk in the company’s Finance department and then took up a position in Packaging Administration, working as a Clerk counting stock.
His career at SAB has also seen him working as a Timekeeper and Payroll Clerk in the Personnel department.
It was in 1979 that he again joined SAB’s Finance department where today he holds the position of Senior Personnel Clerk. “This was the highlight of my career as I have enjoyed doing the job with many changes to the payroll system over the years.”
Maleke said that it is SAB’s value system which had retained his loyalty year after year. “SAB believes that performance counts and they select and develop people for the long term, which was very true in my case. I appreciate the company values, which make SAB in my opinion the best company to work for.”
He says that being an SAB employee has taught him the value of loyalty, honesty, and respect for his fellow colleagues and others outside of the business.
“It’s important to do your job with an open heart and make no mistakes, or rather, as few as possible. I’ve learnt how important customer service and communication are to a successful business.”
SAB’s company benefits such as a provident and medical aid fund also enticed Maleke to remain at SAB. “I knew these benefits would be valuable for my future so it made sense to me to stay rather than change companies every few years.”
But leaving his SAB family following more than four decades has not been an entirely easy decision for Maleke. He says that the most memorable time of his career at SAB has been the moments shared with colleagues. “I am going to miss the relationships I have with the incredible people that I work with. I value their dedication, passion, trust and friendships.”
The time he will spend with his family, a loving wife and four grown children is what he looks forward to most and he’s already thinking about how he will keep himself busy. “I plan to stay home but I have yet to decide what I will do to keep my mind active. It’s important to keep going after such a lengthy career.”
And he has some advice for South Africa’s youth and their working careers. “Grab every opportunity that comes your way because you never know where it might take you. I did, and don’t regret any of the choices that I’ve made.”
We thank Naphie for his years of commitment to SAB, and we wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement!