On 1 July, 964 service staff – gardeners, cleaners, security guards and caterers – officially became part of UCT. And they were joined by a further 267 workers from a residence catering supplier on 1 November. It's been a long journey for many of these new staff members, but now it's time to welcome them back. These are their stories.
Sheila Diwu is one of 267 C3 Food Services employees who were insourced on 1 November this year and are now officially part of the UCT community. Known to students as 'Mum Sheila', the newly insourced assistant catering manager at Leo Marquard Hall believes that food and care go hand-in-hand.
Thando Gxalaba had his sights set on becoming a lawyer, but opportunities were scarce for the young teen from Umtata. Previously working as a contract cleaner, he made the move to UCT three years ago. And now, as a newly insourced general assistant in the Tugwell Hall kitchens, he has the opportunity to rekindle his dreams of studying further.
Nopasika Eunice Mbinda
Having worked at UCT since 1999 as a casual, a cleaner and a contract supervisor, Nopasika Eunice Mbinda is ready to make practical use of her ongoing social work studies. She hopes to use her skills to improve the lives of her colleagues by lending a caring and professional ear as a permanent member of the university's staff.
Makhi Vincent Rala
Makhi Vincent Rala, who has been a contractor at UCT since March 2002, is now a permanent member of the university's staff. The Campus Protection Services officer is well known as the affable and generous personality that helps everyone entering the Bremner building, but he still dreams about maths and science and hasn't forgotten his ambition of becoming a mechanical engineer.
After 11 years behind the wheel of his Jammie Shuttle, Nazeem Mobarah is one of the many contract staff that have recently become permanent staff members at UCT. Putting a smile on the faces of the students and staff he transports on a daily basis will now be just that little bit easier.
Born and raised in the searing heat of Carnarvon in the Northern Cape, Riaan Witbooi has been working as a security officer at UCT since 2004. A talented marathon runner with aspirations of running professionally, Riaan is now a bona fide permanent staff member of the university.
Charmaine Kannemeyer joined UCT in March 2000 as a cleaner for the SuperCare team. Although she started working on upper campus, Charmaine moved down to Welgelegen on lower campus after a few months and has been based there for the past 16 years. This week, the mother of three will finally join the UCT family.
Jonathan Fritz, long-time custodian of the university's gardens, most recently the heritage gardens at Welgelegen and the Irma Stern Museum, has worked for UCT's estates maintenance team for over 31 years. (The story below was penned before UCT's decision to insource service staff.) Welcome back, Jonathan.
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