Cape Town - Eighty-five members of Independent Media staff in Cape Town who have 20 years and more service withthe company were rewarded for their loyalty and hard work on Thursday.
In total, 400 of the company’s staff, including those in Johannesburg and Durban, will be rewarded later this month.
On Thursday there were cheers, jubilation and smiles from journalists, drivers, technicians, photographers and sub-editors as they were handed long-service awards certificates by Independent Media chairman Dr Iqbal Survé.
The company would also pay each staff member R10 000.
Surve said he was inspired by the staff and that the awards were a way of showing appreciation to them.
“I don’t think this is enough, but a small way of thanking you. When we bought this company we thought we should find a way of thanking you for your loyalty. You are the foundation of the company and this company could have never been here without you,” he said.
Some of the beneficiaries had been at the company for more than 20 and 30 years. Cape Times staff included deputy editor Aneez Salie, environment reporter Melanie Gosling, Lesley Byram who is personal assistant to the editor and co-ordinator of “a library in every school” project, veteran photographer Brenton Geach, acting night news editor Aziz Hartley and sub-editor Dan Simon.
Geach a, lensman at the newspaper for 28 years, said: “I love newspaper photography because every day is different. I may be covering a riot in the morning and sports in the afternoon. That keeps me motivated. Photography is my passion.”
Hartley who started at the Cape Times in 1979, said: “I feel honoured. There have been ups and downs over the last 35 years.
“I have seen editors come and go and I have interacted with some amazing and talented journalists. For me it is all about learning and growing all the time. We all have to have a dream.”
He would use the money to pay a debt, give to family members and make a donation to a local charity, Hartley said.
Cape Times editor Gasant Abarder said. “I think there is a genuine acknowledging of the hard work that this group has put in throughout the years. They are the core foundation in building the title of this company for many years. We thank and congratulate them.”