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.

Leo photo

Meet Leo Stoop, Ziphi’s Chief Operating Officer

Leo was born in 1986 and matriculated in 2004 in Piet Retief.

He began with Ziphi in August of 2006 as a Cleaning Supervisor, placed at the Shoprite DC in Centurion.

With all Leo’s skills, passion for his job and eagerness to learn, he rapidly moved up the rankings to Contracts Manager, AARDA Controller and then to C shift Manager (KAM). Very shortly after this he was promoted to KAM of all the Johannesburg sites, all the while maintaining his duties as C Shift Manager, then to Regional Manager of Gauteng, and soon the Operations Director of Gauteng. Finally, in 2013, Leo advanced to the role of Managing Director, and has done Ziphi extremely proud in flying the flag high at all times.

Leo feels strongly that in his eleven years of service to Ziphi, he has learnt more than any university degree could have taught him in a lifetime. Leo specializes in his client liason, client satisfaction, and going the extra mile to learn what the client needs before they ask for it. “It’s like being married…” he jokes. “Be faithful to your brand, and loyal to your staff. Assist, guide and teach wherever possible, and be the ‘father’ to your team. This will do Ziphi proud at every occasion, every time, without fault.”

Elizma Photo

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…

Pieter photo

Meet Pieter our Operations Director of Kwa-Zulu Natal

Pieter matriculated in 1999 from Wonderfontein High School, and studied his Bcom Accounting degree at the Potchefstroom University having been awarded a lifetime membership to the Golden Key International Honour Society for grading in the top 15% of students in his degree.

Pieter’s passion for working with people led him to being co-owner of a team building company servicing clients such as Red Bull, Vodacom, Pioneerfoods, Adcock Ingram and CTI to name a few. Pieter followed this passion to involving himself in charitable work guiding and coaching children ages 14-18, and has consistently continued to make a difference in the lives of people surrounding him.

As a change in course, Pieter got involved in the FMCG industry, which soon led him to joining the Ziphi team in 2012 as GM of the Shoprite Centurion Warehouse. Pieter excelled in this position, and after many months of travelling to and from KZN and Gauteng, managing both the Gauteng and KZN districts, he was offered the position as Operations Director of Kwa-Zulu Natal in 2014, which saw him relocating to Durban.

Pieter’s positivity and enthusiasm for growing the future, not only for Ziphi, but as being a major role-player in providing an entry point for first-time job seekers as well as part time students looking to build their career and develop themselves is what gives Pieter the daily drive to raise Ziphi’s flag high.

“It’s definitely the most rewarding feeling seeing and being part of human growth and development as well as being an integral part of this countries economy and having a positive contribution to it.”

Pieter is proud that 2017 has been the most fruitful year yet for the KZN region in placing the most assignees to date, and he cannot wait to push the limits further…

Craven photo

Meet our Human Resources 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.

Adelein photo

Meet Adelein Stoop, Financial Group Director

Born in Pretoria, Adelein matriculated in Centurion in 2005. She worked in small businesses as a production assistant, and sales representative. Adelein joined the Ziphi team in 2011 as a sales representative, and excelled so quickly up the ranks to divisional manager, also leading and managing both the Ziphi Plumbing Division as well as the Ziphi Training Division. Being chosen and trained over the years as a successor to Ziphi’s CFO position, 2017 has seen Adelein accepting the promotion to become the new Financial Group Director.

Adelein lives by the moto of “treat all people with dignity and respect, and you will be respected in return.”

Elain photo

Meet Elain, Group Administration Director

Due to Elain’s 7 years of experience in the restaurant industry, and passion for service excellence, she began her life journey at Ziphi Nkomo 1 Labour Hire in 2007 as Canteen Manager and Profit share holder. She soon realized that she had the urge for bigger challenges and success, and shortly thereafter undertook the exclusive, and major responsibility of becoming the Personal Assistant to our CEO, Lucas Van Der Merwe.

Elain learnt from a young age in the restaurant business that customers always come first, but she soon realized the enormous reality of the demands of the corporate world, the daily challenges of the Warehouse industry and most importantly staying on top of your game at all times.

Her greatest focus throughout all the years was to be the (in her words) “gate keeper’ to Lucas Van Der Merwe. “A great leader always needs great support, and I believe this is why our team has evolved into a family… Here, you are never just a number. We learn together, grow together, and work through challenges together. A golden team!”

Elain has recently accepted the promotion to Group Administration Director, and is so excited to grow the Group of Companies in many positive journeys in the future.

Over the years, she has learned many a mantra from Lucas Van Der Merwe, with her favourite being the following:

  • Never take more than you give;
  • Greatness can only persist in the presence of perseverance and continuity;
  • And most importantly to always thank God for your blessings!
  • “Great lessons have been learned, but great friends and family will always remain”


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.


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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