TOGETHER their time at Independent Media adds up to more than 2 500 years of unbroken service and yesterday the 105 long-serving Gauteng staffers were awarded for their hard work.
Independent Media executive chairman Dr Iqbal Survé handed over certificates to employees who have been with the company for more than 20 years.
Prize-giving ceremonies have also been held in Cape Town and Durban and, together with the Gauteng offices, more than 450 employees received certificates and a stake in the R5 million that was paid out to them as a token of appreciation.
The longest-serving staffers in the Gauteng region were Independent Media deputy chairman Tony Howard and Henson Khumalo, the messengers’ supervisor, who have both been with the company for 44 years.
“The number of years we’re honouring here is a real achievement… it’s significant,” Howard said. “You can be very proud of it and I can tell you that the company is very thankful for it.”
He said that the accumulated years of service were “an impressive achievement” and that the longest-serving person who had worked in the company had 55 years of service.
“People that talk about the ink getting into your blood. Well, this is that type of industry.”
Survé, who handed over the certificates, said even though the company was gearing up to move with the digital era, long-serving staff members should not think they had nothing new or creative to offer to the company.
“Just a word to our competitors… no amount of writing nonsense about myself, about Independent, about our company is going to distract us from our strategic direction of doing the right thing for this business,” he said.
“We know where we’re going, we know what we’re doing, we’re extremely determined to be a highly competitive modern media company that we can be proud of in the marketplace.”
To the employees, the Independent Media owner, added: “Let them write what they want to write, that’s the business of competitors… We must not allow ourselves to be distracted or be confused by all of that nonsense.”