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7 December 2018
Long Service Awards 2018: Honouring The People Who Fuel UWC

“What fuels an organisation? Creativity, energy and courage - and that can’t be found in one person, or in a building. At the University of the Western Cape, It can only be found in the collective of people who are proud to call UWC their place of work.”

So said Professor Tyrone Pretorius, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Western Cape (UWC), speaking at the University’s 2018 Long Service Awards ceremony on 27 November 2018.

The annual event, attended in large numbers by Senior Management, was organised by the Human Resources and Institutional Advancement departments. It was held to honour the 164 academic and support staff members who have completed 10, 15, 20, 30 and 35 years of service for UWC. Together, these individuals, have dedicated a collective (and astounding) 2835 years to building the University up to its present glory.

“The Long Service Awards event is where you meet old friends you haven’t seen for a while. There are so many familiar faces from all over campus,” said Prof Tyrone Pretorius.

Among those familiar faces was Mrs Shanaaz van der Schyff from the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, who has spent 35 years on campus, starting way back in 1983 as an assistant to the hostel dietician. As personal assistant to the Dean of EMS, Shanaaz has worked for four deans, including the current dean, Prof Michelle Esau.

“My job is to ensure that the Deans can do their jobs - and at UWC, you aren’t treated as a number.” she says. “I’ve gotten to interact with interesting people and form strong personal relationships with my colleagues, and have had many enriching experiences.”

She calls UWC her second home - she even met her husband many years ago on the UWC squash courts.

Ten other staff members reached the 35 year milestone, including Deputy Dean of Dentistry Prof Vivienne Wilson, Esau Klaaste from Campus Protection Services, and Prof Rob Lindsay from the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Prof Pretorius also made special mention of several other individuals who deserved recognition for their years of commitment to UWC. People like:

  • Mr Manie Regal (15 years), the executive director of Finance and Services, who ensures that as the University expands, it has financial stability;
  • Prof Umesh Bawa (30 years), who has brought his many years of experience as a Psychology lecturer to his new position as Director of International Relations; and,
  • Mr Larry Pokpas (30 years), UWC’s Institutional Planner, who began his time at UWC as an Afrikaans lecturer with the late former Rector, Prof Jakes Gerwel.

“This University owes you all an enormous debt of gratitude for your endeavours on behalf of the UWC community. You are part of the glue that holds the institution together”

UWC’s commitment to making the University a place that develops talent and values its people isn’t limited to the Long Service Awards - this year also marked the release of the UWC Culture Survey 2018, inviting staff to make their voices heard... and help build an even better University.

“I know there have been difficult times, but you’ve still turned up at work and given it your all. Sometimes you think that what you do is small and insignificant, and that no-one sees the value in what you do,” Prof Pretorius shared with all LSA attendees.

“But let me reassure you: we see you and we appreciate you. It’s through your contributions that UWC has truly become an employer of choice - and a place to grow, from hope to action, through knowledge.”

Want to know who’s been serving UWC for many a year? Check out the full list of Long Service Awards recipients here.