MASERU — A Mosotho woman micro-biologist was on Friday last week rewarded for her outstanding performance in ensuring quality beverages at a function in Gauteng, South Africa.
’Mabataung Likate, the quality assurance manager at Lesotho Brewing Company (LBC), is the first African woman to receive a Brewery Legend Award among laboratory workers in firms owned by Africa’s brewing giant South African Brewery (SAB Miller).
SAB Miller has controlling shares in LBC, which also owns Lesotho’s Maluti Mountain Brewery and Marotholi Beverages.
SAB Miller is Africa’s biggest producer of several brands of beer and soft drinks.
In addition to beers such as Castle Larger, Castle Milk Stout, Hansa Pilsner, Carling Black Label and many others the LBC’s latest alcoholic drink is Maluti Premium Larger which is so far brewed and distributed in Lesotho only.
SAB Miller gave the award to Likate at a function to hand over awards to workers for their outstanding contributions in various companies.
Likate told the Lesotho Times on Tuesday that she was not expecting any award for the work she has been doing especially because she resigned from the company in 2006 to join her husband, Mokhele Likate, when he was appointed Lesotho’s ambassador to Germany.
When her husband was recalled last year, the LBC asked Likate to continue with her work of leading the beverages quality and safety assurance department.
“I am humbled, I do not know what to say,” Likate said.
“When I was asked to come back to continue with my work I did not think of anything other than my normal duty. I did not think of any honour that was waiting for me,” she said.
Likate is tasked with ensuring that the quality of Lesotho’s beer and soft drinks is in line with the international standards as required by a programme called ISO 22 000 that was established in 2005 by the worldwide bureau of standards.
Lesotho’s standards surveillance is covered by the South African Bureau of Standards.
“I must satisfy myself that our beer and soft drinks are good for human consumption and that they meet all international requirements,” she said.
When the Lesotho Times visited the plant on Tuesday, the ISO 22 000 investigators were monitoring work at the company laboratories.
The LBC technical laboratory director, Likhetho Mokhatla, said Likate’s award was based on merit.
“Her contribution in the development of our laboratory work is worth the honour,” Mokhatla said.
“It is true that we are working as a team and our production cannot be credited to an individual person but it is worth mentioning that Mrs Likate’s work in all the years she worked in our labs helped a lot in ensuring the quality of our drinks,” he said.
Mokhatla said Likate used to sacrifice her time to come to the LBC labs to train the staff even after her resignation.
He said Lesotho beer was judged to be of high quality by a taste panel.