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Atlas Copco pays homage to long service employees

Atlas Copco South Africa gave recognition to eleven employees for their long service with the company during an awards ceremony on 11th November 2016. It was an afternoon of catching up with colleagues and friends and for sharing good memories with sixteen employees recognised for their long service; five employees received certificates for 25 years’ service, six for 30 years, four for 35 years and Rashid Ismail was acknowledged for his remarkable 45 years of dedication.

Rashid, Sales and Product Specialist at Mining & Rock Excavation Technique, started his career as Production Planner at Secoroc in Springs on the 9th of February 1971. “Approximately twelve years ago I moved to Atlas Copco in Boksburg where I was given the opportunity to work in customer service. I hold Atlas Copco in high regard for embracing transformation and for giving me so many opportunities to better myself and to grow.” Rashid, who refers to himself as an all-rounder, confirms that he really enjoys his job and is at work by 6am every day. “I am never bored because every day is different and brings with it new challenges. If there is a supply or distribution problem Rashid will sort it,” laughs Rashid who is always ready and willing to help anyone who asks for it.

Richard Lotheringen, MRS Training Manager – Mining and Rock Excavation Service, who received a 35 year long service award, joined Atlas Copco in July 1981.

At the time Richard was working for Hubert Davies in training on underground load haul dump machines and dump trucks.

When Atlas Copco Sweden bought USA-based Wagner Mining Equipment, Atlas Copco South Africa acquired Hubert Davies as they were at that time the agents for Wagner Mining in South Africa. The addition of loaders and trucks expanded Atlas Copco’s solutions package to the local mining industry. Richard explains that Atlas Copco employed approximately fifteen technical people from Hubert Davies who brought their knowledge and expertise on these machines. “I continued with the training responsibility of the Loaders and Trucks and over the next few years took over the training responsibility of the underground drilling division, after some time later the surface division and not too long ago the ADS drilling division. I cannot believe that officially I only have about five years left. It feels like only yesterday when I joined the Atlas Copco team but you know what they say about time flying when you are having fun!”

Thomas Mthimunye, Regional Product Manager URE, started his long journey at Atlas Copco on 30 June 1986 as a Fitter and Turner Apprentice. “I remember this day very well as it was also the same day on which I met my wife Vera.” Thomas considers Atlas Copco as a very good company to work for and grow your carrier. “Atlas Copco was one of the first companies in South Africa to offer apprenticeships to black people.”

After completing his apprenticeship, Thomas was offered a permanent position at the then CMT Workshop, responsible for assembly, commissioning and PDI of both Underground and Surface Equipment and also responsible for all In 1997, while assigned on a Hydro Power Project in Malawi as a Product Support Specialist, looking after a variety of Atlas Copco machines, Thomas was inspired to learn more about Atlas Copco Compressors. He then, on his return from Malawi, joined Atlas Copco Compressor Technique as a Field Service Technician for 4 years and after acquiring the desired experience, went back to URE division as Product Support for 4 years and Area Sales Representative for another 4 years and then as a Regional Product Manager for Mining and Rock Excavation Technique till present.

Over the years, Thomas has achieved the following qualifications: Manager Development Diploma, Higher Diploma in Business Management with Damelin Management College, Management Development Programme Certificate with UNISA SBL and (IDP) International Development Programme in Sweden through Atlas Copco ACademy. Thomas, whose Mother Tongue is Ndebele, is a multi-linguist having mastered several languages. “While in Malawi I picked up Chichewa and after several visits to Sweden and interaction with Swedes, I even know a few words in Swedish,” jokes Thomas. “When I reach my retirement I would like to continue on a consultancy basis as I would like to share my knowledge and experience with young up-coming engineers.”

In line with the Atlas Copco Group’s commitment to providing employees with every opportunity to grow and succeed, Atlas Copco South Africa is an employee focused company that embraces innovation, diversity, individual responsibility, a caring culture and personal development opportunities.

 “We have a steadfast commitment to our employees who are the company’s most valuable assets and to our philosophy – employer of choice,” states Frans van Niekerk, Vice President Holdings – Atlas Copco Sub-Sahara region. “Good performance and exceptional customer service start with employees who enjoy their work and take pride in what they do within a caring and supportive environment. Dedicated employees are good for any business; it is affirmation of good relationships between the company and our valued employees and that the employee brand is working for us. Stemming from this is sustainable, profitable growth for Atlas Copco as well as for our customers which encapsulates our brand promise of providing solutions for sustainable productivity.

It is therefore always with great pride that we give special recognition to our employees through long-service awards. It affords us the opportunity to extend our thanks for their many years of dedication and commitment and for adding value through their knowledge and experience developed over the years.”

Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers with innovative compressors, vacuum solutions and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco develops products and service focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. In 2015, Atlas Copco had revenues of BSEK 102 (BEUR 11) and more than 43 000 employees. Learn more at


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