Our Team


Meet our founder, Lucas Van Der Merwe

Born in Sasolburg, raised in Rustenburg, Lucas matriculated in 1992 and completed his degree in Human Resources and Labour Law by 1995. Upon graduation, Lucas had managed to pay for his entire degree by being employed as a cleaner in a local hospital. While working for A company practicing Labour Law, Lucas met a man in the gym one day who gave him the idea that would forever change his business ideals. And so Ziphi Nkomo was born.

Beginning with six employees at a retail client, Lucas would arrive in Thembisa at 04h00 each morning to recruit under flashlight another suitable employee day by day. By night, Lucas would wade through admin, invoicing and management of the sites on his own, only to return to Thembisa by 4am.

By 2005, Ziphi had over 400 employees in 4 sites and by 2010, over 2500 employees in 8 sites. Today, 2017, Lucas has carefully handpicked and crafted a team that has enabled Ziphi Nkomo to grow to an astounding 7500 employees in over 35 sites, spanning 4 provinces. Over the years, Ziphi has branched into a Group of Companies  to provide services to the “Big 5 “Retailers and various other clients solely by the founding majority shareholder.

Lucas lives according to “the power of now” and has over the many years infiltrated this system into the ethical conduct of the business… ensuring that Ziphi Nkomo 1 Group Of Companies has maintained its exceptional standards of service excellence and productivity.

Meet Elizma, Ziphi’s CEO

Born in Thabazimbi, Elizma matriculated in 1997 in the North West, and spent 18 years in the Retail and Labour Industry as a Warehouse Manager and Labour Consultant. Her numerous responsibilities and extensive experience in Retail and Distribution Management have rewarded her countless awards over the years.

With Ziphi, Elizma has been the Director in the Western Cape for five years and oversees all aspects of the Ziphi Nkomo 1 Group of Companies ideals within this region; including all Operations and requirements thereof, Recruitment, Administrative and HR/IR and Payroll Functions as well as Customer Care.

After a successful career over the past 23 years in the Retail & Supply chain, Elizma now enjoys coaching and advising all employee’s as how to achieve the same goals and objectives that she so passionately has overcome. Constantly inspired to develop her employee’s objectives and own personal goals through team synergy, Elizma is a great supporter of staff wellbeing, client satisfaction and maintaining the standards that Ziphi ensures. A true asset to the team…

Craven photo

Meet our Human Resources Director & Managing Director, Craven Alexander – the family man!

Craven was born in the North West, and graduated from university in 1992 with an Industrial Psychology and Human Resources degree, and again in 1998 with a degree in Labour Relations.

Craven began his career as HR Officer in Training at Anglogold in 1992, and was responsible for the Human Resources and Labour Relations function until 2001. After spending a few months in the UK as part of an immigration necessity, he returned to South Africa and joined the Ziphi Nkomo team as an external Industrial Relations Consultant until 2015, where he was asked to join the team in a permanent appointment of HR Director; responsible for the HR and IR function for the Group Of Companies.

A joint venture between Ziphi, and Craven himself, has resulted in Craven leading the deliverance of leadership and sales training initiatives in the UAE and GCC countries worldwide. The training is focused to both junior and senior management roles, and encorporates a wide variety of clients to date.

Craven is also a registered soft skills and sales trainer with SETA, and is certified as an Assessor and Moderator in a wide variety of soft skills training programs.

Craven is also our first hand man in seeing to all our customers needs and requirements.

Meet Martin Pheiffer, our Financial Director

“A goal without a plan, is just a wish”… – Martin

Martin keeps us planning! Martin was born in Rustenburg and matriculated from Bergsig High. He was a champion athlete and cricket player and after school completed an International Diploma in COBAL programming and proceeded to open his own Computer School for 420 students which explains his superman skills on Excel today! His love for analysing figures and statistics is something we all lack, and Martin’s strongest point is ensuring these figures get relayed to the rest of us.

Martin has 14 years experience in Warehouse Operations and his passion for working with people ensures he gets the most out of his team to always reach targets and work at maximum productivity. Anyone can have a conversation with Martin’s picking team and know that he is the firm favourite outright.

One day we will tell Martin his main job is being a comedian…until then, he remains our Financial Director.


Meet Benni

Benni was born in Kuruman and matriculated in Kimberley before moving to Pretoria to complete his studies in Sports Science.

Benni began his own business shortly thereafter within the fitness world, and met Lucas in 2008. Sharing a common interest in fitness, Lucas and Benni quickly became friends, and Benni’s enthusiasm and interest in the corporate world presented him the opportunity of getting involved with Ziphi as a Non-Executive Director.

Benni has been a true asset to Ziphi with his eagerness to learn, and accepting new challenges daily.

Benni’s personal achievements in the fitness world have continued to soar, and it must be mentioned that Benni has won numerous titles, including the likes of WPF National Winner, Bodies For Africa, Gauteng North and HH Classic Champion as well as his most recent win of Gauteng North Welterweight Champion.

Ziphi is eager to get Benni more involved in exciting projects in the near future.


Meet our National Human Resource & Admin Manager – Annamarie Spencer.

There is never a dull day with Annamarie around, she is spontaneous, full of energy, tough when need be, yet still the kindest heart around, and just like her title, our precious Anna always has a mouthful of words. We have never met someone more willing to adapt to her role, and becomes friend and family to almost everyone she meets.

Annamarie was born in the small town of Paarl in the Western Cape. She matriculated from High School Labori in 2010 and excelled in both Academic and Sports throughout her school career.

Annamarie joined the Ziphi team in November 2014 as one of our VIP admins yet soon bowled us over as she progressed to HR Assistant and today National HR & Admin Manager. Annamarie ensures that each and every employee is handled with respect and is always leant a helping hand whether it is her responsibility or not.

Anna quotes “If you can put a smile on a persons face, do it… the world needs more of you!”

We think the world needs more Annamarie’s…


Midrand Office:


51 Douglas Road
Glen Austin


Tel: 011 025 3354
Fax: 086 616 6088
E-mail: hq@ziphi.co.za

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