Coming home: New ED for human resources

21 July 2008

Going up: Charles Khotso Raphoto takes the helm as executive director of the Human Resources Department on 1 August, succeeding Dave van Eeden who has been redeployed in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor.

The director of Student Housing and Residence Life, Charles Khotso Raphoto, takes the reins as new executive director of the Human Resouces Department on 1 August.

He succeeds Dave van Eeden who joined UCT in August 2001. Van Eeden has been redeployed in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor.

Raphoto describes the move as "coming home". A human resources specialist, he took the helm of Student Housing and Residence Life at the beginning of May last year.

From where he now stands, this experience provided invaluable insights.

"It's not only the insights but the appreciation of the university as a place of growth and development."

Born in Soweto, Raphoto graduated (BSocSc) from Rhodes University in 1993. He returned to Johannesburg to complete the Management Advancement Programme at the Wits Business School in 1997. In 2001 he completed an MBA at the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria.

Before joining UCT, Raphoto was a human resources executive for NCP Chlorchem, and a human resources consultant. Previous positions include group HR director for Smollan Holdings, and HR executive for Barloworld and the South African Breweries.

He was a member of the governing board of the Chemical Studies Education and Training Authority.

The UCT HR department employs 62 people.

On his biggest challenges, Raphoto is reflective.

"I am reluctant to sound prescriptive, save to say that one needs to enhance the perception of a listening and responsive HR service."

Nonetheless he believes UCT faces challenges similar to those in higher education institutions worldwide.

"I think what may differentiate us will be how we deal with or resolve conflict. I think this is the biggest single challenge in higher education, and the institution that can manage this effectively will retain a competitive edge."

His most valuable tool?

"My absolute belief in human potential."

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