MEET: Yolanda Bekeur, Head: Health and Safety: Department Facilities Management, Hatfield Campus

Posted on August 02, 2019

Who is Yolanda Bekeur

Yolanda Bekeur is a married mother of two young men. I grew up in the Western Cape and relocated to Namibia as a young health professional for a few years. I have been living in Gauteng for the past 23 years. I am a friendly person who loves interacting with people.


1. Tell us about your job here at UP?

My job as Head of Health and Safety at UP is to ensure that the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) section provides professional support to the faculties and departments, in order to ensure that the University functions within the prescriptions of the OHS Act, Act 85 of 1993 and associated legislation. The University must strive to maintain a healthy and safe work and academic environment for personnel, students and visitors at the University of Pretoria. We are a small team of six with staff trained in health and safety management, fire safety, radiation protection, and occupational health medical surveillance program.

2. What do you enjoy most about your job and why?

I enjoy working in a team that is as passionate about improving the health and safety culture within the academic environment as I am. My commitment as a manager is needed to steer us in the right direction. The team will continue to break barriers, change mind-sets and will be satisfied with their achievements in the long run.

3. What is your least favourite part about your job?

Sometimes there is not enough hours in the day to address the planned work activities, due to many ad-hoc / unplanned health and safety issues requiring our immediate attention.

4. What would be your top suggestion for making UP an even better place to work?

UP staff can work better as a collective, when communication between divisions and sections, within departments and faculties improves. There is a vast vessel at UP, filled with experience and knowledge that can be shared.

5. If you were not a Health and Safety manager, what else would you have liked to be?

I would continue in my field of specialisation as an allied health professional, but with focus on managing a department or auditing in a statutory compliance framework.

6. Tell us about who Yolanda is away from work?

I enjoy spending quality time with my family. On weekends I like to watch movies, listen to music and take walks in my neighbourhood.

7. What are your goals for next five years?

To focus on working hard to improve the University’s statutory compliance requirements in line with occupational health and safety legislation. To also facilitate a sense of ownership by individuals for the benefit of implementing health and safety rules within any organisation.

8. Is there a favourite piece of advice you have received in life that you would like to share with our colleagues?

“Success is making the people who believed in you look brilliant”. Thus when you have gained the success, ensure that you acknowledge those who supported you along the way.

- Author Xolani Mathibela

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