The Communication and Marketing Department (CMD) remains one of the smaller professional administrative support services (PASS) departments at the university. As at 31 December 2021, we had 46 permanent and contract staff, with five vacancies to fill. Seventy two percent of staff at CMD are permanent staff members, with the balance being on short- (one year) to medium-term (three year) contracts.
The Human Resources (HR) function at CMD is supported by one UCT HR business practitioner and one UCT HR recruitment advisor. This means that a significant amount of HR work resides within the department, and this is supported by the executive director’s (ED) executive assistant, the deputy director, the Executive Support Unit (ESU), line and unit managers. HR-related work includes responsibilities such as staff development and support, ensuring staff are onboarded well, encouraging mental wellness, completing the annual Development Dialogues (DD), selection and recruitment processes, supporting and signing off on training requests, supporting line managers when staff leave CMD or the university etc.
In 2021 we said farewell to Pete van der Woude (Head: Newsroom and Publications) and Carla Bernardo (a writer). We again thank them for their contributions to CMD’s successes in the years they were with the department. We warmly welcomed Pretty Notshokovu (Campus TV Coordinator), Rozanne Engel (Production Coordinator & Researcher), and Ruairi Abrahams (Senior Videographer). We are excited to see how each of them grows in confidence in their roles, and also as our CMD colleagues bringing their experience and expertise to bear on our work outputs. We also successfully requested and processed an Appointment Without Advertisement (AWA) of one staff member, Lerato Maduna (Senior Photographer), thereby changing the post from a contract to permanent one.
Post the May 2020 to June 2021 DD process, 17 individuals were awarded either an Exceed or Discretionary award within the department, this is five more than in the previous DD cycle. These awards are made to staff who have consistently shown an extraordinary commitment to their work and CMD, as well as to UCT’s values and who have attained their objectives, and/or contributed something innovative and/or impactful in the way the department delivers its outputs for the institution. We are extremely proud of these colleagues, and thank them, once more, for their excellent service to the department and university.
In 2021, we only spent 15% of our training and development budget, this is due in part to: the impact of crises on our work, the number of vacancies in some units, meaning work outputs had to be prioritised, and to the ongoing impact of various lockdown levels and COVID-19. This percentage spend is 15% lower than what was spent in 2020. We remain committed to investing in and supporting the training and development needs of all our staff, in line with UCT HR and other applicable finance policies.
CMD colleagues also continue to actively work to academically develop themselves. Eight staff were engaged in tertiary courses and have qualified or are completing degrees – with one of the eight having completed a massive open online course (MOOC) with FutureLearn. We also had three of our colleagues graduate with either a postgraduate diploma or master’s degree in this regard, warm congratulations once more to Jolene Steenkamp, Aamirah Sonday and Omphitlhetse Mooki.
As the CMD executive we are thankful to all of our colleagues for the professionalism and perseverance they demonstrated during 2021. The commitment of our team to the department and the institution is remarkable, something we do not take for granted and for which we are truly grateful.