Varsity upskills cleaners

Cleaners from the University of the Western Cape, from left; Ntomboxolo Oniwe, from New Crossroads; Nolitha Gece, from Harare; Nonkumbuzo Ndiki, from Gugulethu; and Nandipha Mgxilwa, from Kuyasa all benefited from the universitys empowerment programme.

A group of female cleaners from the University of the Western Cape (UWC) is adamant that their lives will change for good after graduating from the university’s 10 day training course, on Friday April 13.

The women attended the course as part of UWC Skills Development Programme which was launched towards the end of last month.

The group of 20 cleaners and groundsmen worked with the university’s B.Com Honours Management students.

They were trained on computer literacy, leadership, communication, financial awareness and management skills.

In an interview with Vukani, the workers praised UWC Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius.

They said things have changed since he took over as the head of the university.

Graduate Ntomboxolo Oniwe, from New Crossroads, said she felt different after she completed the course.

She said she jumped at the opportunity when they were advised to register. “It was news I could not say no to. I always wanted to do something like computer training,” she said. “What is important is that we can now budget our money effectively. This is one of the things I think we all needed, especially during these trying times.”

Ms Oniwe said the training had inspired her to do more.

“This has showed me that life is unpredictable. I could soon become something else. I will continue to empower myself,” she told Vukani.

Another excited graduate, Nonkumbuzo Ndiki, from Gugulethu, lauded the programme.

She said: “Had it not been for the leadership of Mr Pretorius we would remain ordinary cleaners.”

She showered Mr Pretorious with praises.

“That is a people’s man. He does not care about people’s colour. He does not undermine his workers at all. May he be blessed.

“In all my life, I never thought a cleaner like me would be taken care of and be empowered. Today I can use a computer. That is unbelievable,” she said.

Programme manager, Grandle Opperman, said the skills would help the cleaners to develop”their cognitive, behavioural and external environment.”

“We encourage the staff to broaden their world view and grant them an opportunity of learning to engage the world in line with the latest technology and decision making,” he said.