Sweet-Orr is one of the world’s oldest workwear and personal protective equipment brands and has been operating in Cape Town since 1931.
John Jacobs wanted to give back to his alma mater where in 2005 he completed a BCom Honours degree.
“I’ve always wanted to give something back to those individuals who helped me with my secondary studies. Just to say thank you,” said Jacobs.
Last year Sweet-Orr celebrated 90 years of doing business in South Africa and 150 years since it was established in the United States of America.
Jacobs also celebrated a milestone last year as he marked 50 years of employment at Sweet-Orr. In 1971, he went to the Labour Department in search of a job and he was sent to Sweet-Orr where he was soon employed as a junior clerk.
Jacobs said: “Celebrating my 50 year milestone in the industry last year, this is important for me. I haven’t had the formal opportunity to come back to the university, and I believe we must always come back.”
He added: “We are involved with social community projects and ironically those are also in close proximity to UWC.”
Jacobs credits UWC as having empowered him to climb the corporate ladder.
“Taking over the business eight years ago as a family, we needed to embark on funding. Obtaining funding from the banks requires certain securities and I think the achievement was the strategy - the quantitative analysis, the finance part and the communication part played a meaningful role.”
“My visit is in part to say thank you. From those lessons learnt with all the modules and programmes I attended and went through. It was a major contribution to my career,” said Jacobs.
All images: Jesi Townsend (Institutional Advancement)