By Tebogo Tabane
The Directorate of Building and Estates awarded certificates to all Soshanguve Landscape employees for their hard work and dedication in ensuring that the Soshanguve Campus is beautiful and welcoming; and is among the best at TUT. 

It was ululation and dance as staff members, dressed for the occasion received certificates and tokens of appreciation as recognition and acknowledgement for a job well done during the certification ceremony held on 28 November 2023, at the garden next to Building 5 at the Soshanguve South Campus.

Mr Isaac Mahapa, Head of Department of Landscaping at Soshanguve Campus indicated that the day was all about landscaping. “The beauty at both Soshanguve south and north campuses is all thanks to the rest of Landscape staff. We might be located in a township, but as the Soshanguve Campus we clearly lead in terms of creativity and innovation,” he said.

“Part of being here today, is to celebrate this event as it is the first of its kind especially in Landscaping section across all TUT campuses, and part of the awarding is mainly to increase moral and encourage those that are still lacking behind to pull up their socks and move along with the rest of the team. What we are doing today will also motivate other departments to take their jobs seriously and know the reasons of their existence at TUT,” he added. Mr. Mahapa also mentioned that landscape in Soshanguve campuses has turned out to be fashionable and interesting to almost every staff in the department.

“When I joined the Directorate, there were many issues at the department including shortage of staff, but through hard work, determination, and by the grace of God, we managed to hold hands together and worked hard to turn our Campus to what it is today. As Landscape department, staff and students will see more beautiful landscape across all our campuses, come 2024, said Mr Mahapa.

“The first impression that will excite our visitor, both internationally and locally will be the beauty of our hard work. You are not only contributing to the beauty of the Campus, but you are also improving the lives of our students because they stay in a clean environment,” he added.

Giving a word of encouragement and acknowledgement, the Soshanguve Campus Manager, Dr Teddy Setshedi, said he was very touched by the bond between Mr Mahapa and Mr Moses Peo and their team. “This clearly shows that Landscaping staff has bought into the vision to improve the Campus. And we are all proud of your efforts,” he said.

He said as we battle with climate change, we need to come up with innovative measures that will ensure the health safety of all our employees. “In the future as you continue to work under harsh conditions, with temperatures rising to 36/37 degree, there is going to be work change conditions. First and foremost, we as the University, need to provide wellness to all our staff members and create a conducive working environment,” he said.

“With constantly changing technologies, there will come a time when many things will be automated. For this reason, it is very important for us to keep on upskilling ourselves and be able to do many things that will assist us in doing our work. As University we encourage everyone to go to school to innovate and train yourselves in new things,” he added.

Praising Landscaping staff, Moses Peo, Deputy Director at Building and Estate, said as people we do have challenges – but others are totally unnecessary. “As we grow as people, we learn from one another. To be honest I have never been so happy in my whole career with TUT until Mr Mahapa joined our division.

“When he joined us, it was like tons of bricks were suddenly removed from my shoulders. And I can say explicitly that we make a dynamic team,” he said. As much as we are short staffed, our hard work has really transformed our Campus and I believe that had we been fully staffed, our efforts would have indeed been doubled over the year,” added Mr Peo.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the transformation you are making to our Campus,” he said in conclusion.

Before the awarding of certificates, Dr Setshedi also presented a trophy to all staff members as a token from management and said the trophy will be kept at the Landscaping Office.

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