Story by Vusi Shabalala and pictures by Sane Mbhense
The KZN Public Works’ Corporate Services management organised a well-deserved farewell party on Monday 18 December 2017 for one of the ‘Service Delivery Unit’ nucleus, Mr Zolani Moosa, the Human Resource Management Practitioner for Change Management and Service Delivery Unit.
It is on record that to date, the Department counts two employees set to exit by end of December 2017. Recently, we bid farewell to Mr Edward Shozi from Midlands Region. It was a hard pillow to swallow for Messrs Duma and Sithole including Mrs Fikile Luthuli and the entire Corporate Services team, as they send well wishes to Zolani in the Auditorium at Head Office. On 2 January 2018, Zolani will be joining the Department of Labour as Assistant Director: UIF in Pretoria, Gauteng Province. The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) is a unit within the Department of Labour that gives short-term relief to employees when they become unemployed or are unable to work because of maternity, adoption leave, or illness. It also provides relief to the dependants of a deceased contributor.
In his opening remarks, Mr Mdunge, the Programme Director made it quite clear that it is no simple task to seek exact words of saying goodbye to a colleague leaving a department or office. He further elaborated, “It is painful that we tend to lose so many dedicated persons like him”. However, some of Mr Moosa’s closest colleagues managed to open up and extend their send-off messages on the day. Amongst them were Ms Prathna Kallicharan, an Organisational Development Practitioner, Ms Purity Matee, the Personnel Practitioner for HR Skills Development and Mr Mthinteni Nzuza, Assistant Director: Change Management and Service Delivery. Concisely, their messages were on ‘thanking Zolani for the good times and sweet memories they shared together, and sincere wishes for continued success.’
According to the programme line-up, was a delivery address by Mr Glen Sithole, the Director for Human Resource Management (HRM), who represented the Department. His address was brief but factual. According to Mr Sithole, there were very limited interactions that would make him know Mr Moosa more and better than the rest but occasions such official meetings and operational engagements have afforded Mr Sithole to gain more understanding about Zolani. “Losing someone like him, for the UIF – Department of Labour, is something. We hope you will inject changes within that department,” said Mr Sithole with cautious emphasis. Mr Sithole has also extended thoughtful advisory remarks that would seek to set a footprint for Zolani in his new employment adventure.
Mrs Fikile Luthuli, the Head of Section, had her fair share to express her solemn sentiment but also celebrate as her staff continue to climb the ladder. “For me, this is a big loss. We just lost Thobile Masondo and I now find it difficult to understand and take his departure.” “Zolani has been very respectful, assertive, proficient, dedicated and open to offer his service support towards two components, namely ‘Service Delivery and Human Rights’ singlehandedly,” confirmed Fikile. She further attested “Zolani will do work with all his energy and mind – not just doing it, but doing it right.” In her conclusion, Mrs Luthuli said, “I just wish you well and I know you are going to be a good image.”
It is therefore indicative that empowering employees means a management practice of sharing information, rewards and power with employees so that they can take initiatives and make positive and informed decisions to solve problems and improve service and performance.
It was a heartfelt moment when Mr Phiweyo Duma, the Chief Director for Corporate Services addressed the happy throng. In spite of his slight ill-health on the day, he made all means possible to advance gaiety among all attendees, especially Mr Moosa. His first remark was “These happenings of losing staff tends to be common.” Mr Duma further postulated, “When conducting an introspection, I realise that we are losing committed and dedicated officials. On the other hand, Public Works equally produces good and competitive staff.” Facing towards Zolani, Mr Duma said in emphasis, “One of the critical issues to know is the sense of obedience. You have shown an undefinable obedience and respect in all setups.” He advised Zolani to prove those that might have wrong ideas and senses about his appointment in his new job. “I am proud of you and feel proud that you will make us proud,” concluded Mr Duma.
In bidding his farewell, Zolani was not that shy as said but he was quite nervy but firm. “Firstly, I would like to thank the management for granting me the opportunity to celebrate my achievements. It has been a pleasure working under Corporate Services, I will miss it, and I take fond memories and valuable skills with me. I have learnt how to take direction, criticism and compliments. I have learnt to be open-minded, value other peoples’ opinions.” He confirmed in confidence. He further said “Special thank you to the Corporate Services management and colleagues for creating a safe and welcoming, warm working environment and also showcasing spirit of ‘Ubuntu’ at all times and for the good leadership styles displayed.”
“My special thanks to Mrs Luthuli for the leadership, guidance, motivation that you continued to showcase and there was still a lot to learn from your experience. Last but not least, special thanks to my former supervisor Thobile Masondo. I really enjoyed working under her supervision. What I valued the most about her was the belief and confidence she had in me. Her energy, drive and intelligence really contributed a lot in shaping me as an employee. Thank you for the farewell, happy holidays and Happy New Year,” concluded Zolani.
In closing, Ms Gugu Khuzwayo, an Accounts Practitioner for the Human Resource Employment Practices (HREP), extended a hand-shake, handed over a gift, as a token of appreciation, and softly whispered to Zolani “I wish you all the best”.
Whether we lose staff for greener pastures or otherwise, it is commendable that Public Works continues to advance employee empowerment which is significantly based on the idea of giving employees skills, resources, authority, opportunity, motivation, as well as holding them responsible and accountable for outcomes of their actions, that will contribute to their competence and satisfaction.
It is hard to part ways but we wish you well, Zolani.