In January 1990 Rosina Court, now a University of Cape Town (UCT) Properties and Services (P&S) staff member, applied for five jobs at UCT. And on a sunny afternoon of that same year, and much to Court’s delight, UCT made contact – one of her job applications was successful.
“I couldn’t believe it. I [had forgotten] all about my applications. They said [that] one of the jobs I applied for was still available and asked if I was still interested,” Court said.
Her first day at the office was on 3 January 1991 – the day after the last official tweede nuwe jaar (second new year) public holiday, which government abolished that same year.
The position she was appointed to was in the university’s then Personnel Department, now the Human Resources (HR) department. Over the years she worked in several different roles in HR before transferring to P&S.
UCT News caught up with her for a trip down memory lane.
Niémah Davids (ND): In which departments have you worked at UCT, other than HR?
Rosina Court (RC): After a good few years in HR, which included time in the remuneration office and the office of employment, I moved on to P&S. I spent a few years in finance administration before moving to residence maintenance – and this is where I stayed.
ND: What does your job at residence maintenance entail?
RC: I am responsible for creating purchase requisitions for purchase orders for all student accommodation repairs; every job is always treated as a priority.
ND: What in your view is a good work ethic?
“Always be willing to go the extra mile. You’d be surprised at how much you can learn and grow.”
RC: Always be willing to go the extra mile. You’d be surprised at how much you can learn and grow just by doing that. I’m pleased to say that I’ve learned this over the years. It’s also a very good reflection on you as an employee.
ND: What have you enjoyed most about working at UCT?
RC: The learnings and the opportunities to learn. No day is the same either and that challenges me to always do better in my work. The fact that I find myself at a completely different place to all those years ago is such an achievement for me. I’ve grown on so many levels.
ND: What were some of the challenges you encountered when you first started at UCT?
RC: As with anything new, there are always a few challenges. I believe it’s how you deal with them that counts. It was difficult in the beginning – getting used to this massive institution and how it operates. Before I joined UCT, I worked for a small business, so the transition was difficult. At UCT I also struggled with the fact that I couldn’t always speak up if I didn’t agree with something. That has changed now. We’ve come a long way … during this time UCT taught me resilience. Today our input is considered, provided it’s done with dignity and respect and that’s what I strive to do at all times.
ND: What’s been most significant about your time at UCT?
“It has to be the relationships I’ve made – they’ve been invaluable and [have] carried me through those early years.”
RC: It has to be the relationships I’ve made – they’ve been invaluable and [have] carried me through those early years when I first started. Looking back now, many of the friends I made have left the university and are scattered all over the world. But we maintain that bond. UCT brought us together for life and keeps us together. I treasure these relationships.
ND: How do you maintain a good work-life balance?
RC: I play softball, which I’ve enjoyed thoroughly in the past few years. I joined South Africa’s Masters Team, an international tournament that incorporates most sporting codes, and participants are ... 45 years old and older. I’ve been fortunate to participate in Masters tournaments for softball and to represent my country. These tournaments take place all over the world.
ND: You have a few short years left before hanging up your boots. What are your plans for your retirement?
RC: I am not 100% [sure] about what I will do, but I am thinking about it and need to start making active plans. What I know is that I’ll probably spend my time between Hermanus, where my mother-in-law currently lives, and my home in Lansdowne. I look forward to spending more time with my grandchildren and getting involved with some more community outreach programmes to keep me busy and on my toes.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Please view the republishing articles page for more information.