Message to staff regarding returning to the office

12 November 2021

Dear UP colleagues

I trust you are all well and keeping safe.

I’m pleased to say that I’m noticing more of you returning to the office and it is good to see our campuses slowly coming to life again. With summer now in full swing and after all the lovely rain we’ve had in and around the city in the past few weeks, our campuses are looking beautiful, ready to welcome more people back.

The country continues to open up again, and as more businesses are inviting staff back, I believe it is important for us as a University to also assume some sense of normality. While we are not yet rid of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a marked decrease in the number of positive cases and an increase in the number of people who are vaccinated, which means the virus is less of a threat than it was a year ago. At the same time, we are now used to observing the necessary COVID-19 protocols that create a safer environment for us all to work in.  

To this end, you are advised to return to the office for a minimum of four days in the week, starting from the week of 15 November 2021. I believe it is important that we prepare ourselves to be ready to serve our most important stakeholders, our students. It is also important to improve the efficiency of services that underpin teaching, learning and research. We are currently looking at plans to re-open contact classes and activities in 2022 and returning to the office for four days now, will make it much easier for you to resume your duties fulltime in the office next year.

Only in exceptional circumstances and after making arrangements with your dean or director will you be allowed to continue to work from home.

Back in the office, it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that we all comply with the necessary health and safety protocols. Much has already been done to put the necessary safety measures in place, including providing hand sanitizers in strategic places and making it easier to social distance by marking the capacity of the different venues across campus.

I also want to take this opportunity to again encourage you to be vaccinated. Vaccinations are safe, and scientists across the world are in agreement that they will protect you from serious illness and something far worse, dying. Please click here to make a booking for your vaccination at our Prinshof Campus.

I look forward to seeing you on campus.

Please continue to comply with all the COVID-19 protocols and stay safe.

 

Best regards,

Prof Tawana Kupe

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Published by Hlengiwe Mnguni

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