MEET: Nomsa Nduli, general assistant in the Department of Facilities Management

Posted on February 19, 2021

“Research must be conducted on how to improve the level of education of general assistants – the results will benefit every general assistant by enriching us; it will also stimulate the institutional culture,” says Nomsa Nduli of Department of Facilities Management at UP. We learn more about her.

Nomsa Nduli, a general assistant in the Department of Facilities Management, tells Tukkievaria more about her life and which areas could do with improvement at UP.

Where did you work prior to joining UP?

I did not know that cleaning services could be regarded as a normal paying job. I noticed only when I was employed by a private company as a contract worker executing cleaning services on the University premises. During an insourcing process, I was one of the staff members that was absorbed by UP. Insourcing enabled us to have more control, allowed subordinates to have more ownership, and to have more customisation and flexibility for quick changes.

What attracted you to UP?

During the economic recession, many businesses cut back on cleaning services. But in recent years, the commercial and industrial cleaning industry bounced back. Our cleaning organisation was contracted to UP. With the presented opportunities and benefits came new challenges for the cleaning industry; this meant we had to continue to find ways to remain competitive. Also, to adapt to an institutional context meant I needed to address potential weaknesses and then take full advantage of new employment opportunities so I could grow and thrive. The rest is history, and I joined UP without hesitation.    

What does your day-to-day role entail?

My job is an essential service. If offices, lecture venues, labs or restroom surfaces aren't dusted and carpets aren't vacuumed on a regular basis, students and staff are more likely to experience allergies and illnesses. I clean all surfaces, including furniture, appliances, chair rails, blinds, window frames, fans, railings, pictures, mirrors and light fixtures. I also spot-clean switches, outlet covers, cabinets and doors. I vacuum carpets and rugs, and sweep or vacuum hard floor surfaces and mop them. Without proper cleaning, UP is prone to dangerous bacterial growth. Cleaning is of vital importance to avoid health hazards.  

What would you like to improve in your section/department and why?

UP is a repository and generator of knowledge. It transforms people's lives through education and through the wider impact of its research. Research must also be conducted on how to improve the level of education of general assistants. I believe that the results will benefit every general assistant by enriching us; it will also stimulate the institutional culture. 

What do you enjoy most about your job and why?

I attribute my enjoyment to the following:

Collaboration: I love my job because everyone shares the same vision and is dedicated to one mission of tidiness.
Work-life balance: I like the fact that I have a great degree of control and freedom within my job; that is, I’m permitted to prioritise according to my work schedule.
I like the autonomy I have because my supervisor allows me to be innovative. However, this is not yet at the expected levels, but there is always room for improvement.
I like some challenges and helping others – for example, to adhere to the instructions of newly introduced cleaning chemicals.

What is your least favourite part of the job?

We cannot work remotely or work from home. It is trying times, and some do not realise that our lives are in danger. We adhere to the COVID-19 protocols, and I am always vigilant. That is why I pay special attention to areas such as the kitchen and bathroom, as well as touch points such as door handles, push pads and telephones. I also use a good-quality antibacterial spray or wipe as well as soap.

Favourites – quick quiz:

Sport: Soccer  

Food: Basic food (meat and poultry, eggs, wholegrains, fish, beans and legumes, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds)

Movies: Romantic movies

Actors: Tyler Perry and Stapura (Irhonyonyo, net fo dai ding ntwana!)

Musicians: Dr Nothembi Mkhwebane, Kenny Rogers

- Author Jimmy Masombuka

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2024. All rights reserved.

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences