Diederik Erasmus was born in 1980 in Bloemfontein and grew up in a small farming town in the southern Free State, called Petrusburg. Here Diederik completed his schooling and matriculated from the AJC Jooste High School in 1998. Diederik matriculated with distinction and chose to further his studies in computer and information technology (IT) and completed his Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE) certification within six months. After receiving his MCSE, he started working immediately as an IT specialist and within a year he opened his own business, CPS Computers in Bloemfontein.
Diederik wanted to realise his longtime dream to become a Chartered Accountant and in 2007 he enrolled for his first year at the University of the Free State. In 2009 he completed his bachelor’s in accounting and his student training record (STR), KE1 and KE2 in the subsequent three years. In 2011 Diederik began his articles at The CORE Group, previously known as Havenga Rossouw Viljoen Consultation Services. After completing his three-year SAICA articles and board exams in 2014, The CORE Group expanded and offered him the position as director of the CORE Business Development division. Here Diederik was responsible for business planning and managing, valuations and analysis within the division. During his clerkship, Diederik made his first acquaintance with the agricultural company, Sernick Group that was at that stage one of their clients.
Diederik soon realised that his heart was not in auditing, but he saw a future for himself in financial planning and management, so when the opportunity arose, he accepted the position of Financial Manager in 2014 at Sernick in Kroonstad and two years later he was promoted to Group Financial Director. Diederik currently sits on the Sernick Group’s board along with five other directors.
During his time at Sernick, Diederik has been able to implement valuable systems that have added to the company’s stability, financial viability and allowed the Sernick Group to be resilient when necessary. Though Diederik describes himself as a numbers guy, he has been responsible for putting together a reliable and diligent financial team that allows the company to forge ahead under the guidance of Nick Serfontein. His logical and strategic manner of doing things has made him invaluable to the future of the Sernick Group. Diederik also manages the financials of the group’s Emerging Farmers Jobs Fund Project which has been responsible for delivering promising new farmers to the agricultural sector and serves as a successful model of empowering emerging farmers in South Africa.
Diederik believes that for any company to be successful it cannot only be financially strong, it must also add value to its immediate community, environment and the country. He believes that the Sernick Group is setting the example for many South African companies by ensuring food security through sustainable practices, strategic programs and partnerships that empower the immediate and larger community of South Africa.