It’s been almost six months since the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to change our way of doing and of being. Things we thought were a necessity have suddenly become a nice-to-have and vice versa, and things we thought were impossible have become a reality. Our way of working has changed forever.
Our values, too, have been affected. Many people have been directly affected by the global health pandemic through the loss of loved ones. Others have been affected by loss of income, homes, and businesses. What this time has shown is how resilient and adaptable we as human beings can be, and how we can come together to help and support one another during times of uncertainty.
As the executive, we want to thank you all for rising to the challenge and ensuring that as a university we can continue with our operations. Thank you for continuing to contribute meaningfully. Thank you for adapting your work. Thank you for braving the risky conditions brought about by the pandemic by being on campus regularly for work. Thank you for creating a space in your home for our work. Thank you for being understanding even when we do not have the answers at times.
Most importantly, thank you for just supporting one another during this time and being considerate to your colleagues. We know that it is not always easy to work in the manner we have had to and many of us are putting in more hours than never before. I want to remind you to take care of yourselves both physically and mentally.
I encourage you to access support services available for staff during this period when you or any of your close family members need to. Please make yourselves, your families and loved ones a priority.
As we celebrate Administrative Professionals’ Day today, we know that without the support of our administrative staff we would not be able to do what we do. Thank you specifically for being part of the backbone of this university. You are the reason we have students to teach, we meet our deadlines and are able to celebrate many of our achievements as a university. You make an invaluable contribution to the success of the academic project.
I hope that as members of the UCT community you know that you are all valued and appreciated.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
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