Catering Services Chef Nyaniso Tshiki, cashier Linda Cikido and driver Barcelona Mvinjelwa are working hard on campus. Here are their stories.

Transport Services staff members Luthando Rafani, Thanduxolo Booi and Thanduxolo Rasi organise the safe transport of staff and students.
Occupational Health Centre staff members Sister Zubrina Baartman, Inga Gule and Fiona Magnus share their stories about doing the work they love.

A total of 44 residents and 26 staff members of Cheshire Home in Cleary Park recently received much needed PPEs from the #MaskupMandela team.

“I have learned that one must live healthy and take responsibility, life is short.  A healthy body has good immunity, so now I eat my veggies, which I did not do before.  Also stress makes one sick, one has to breathe and stay calm.

COVID-19 hit Nelson Mandela University Events Manager Allison Olivier hard in July, as treatment for the illness was further complicated, due to an ongoing blood-clotting disorder. 

Computing Sciences frontline staff have been working hard to ensure student access, man stations and step up for one another if somebody is ill.  They have all also taken on extra responsibilities since the beginning of lockdown. They share their stories. 

“If Ubuntu could be given a location, it would have to be the small community of Zone 7 eThembalethu in George.”

The scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the poor, in particular, has once again highlighted the need for intervention in the country’s most vulnerable communities.

Occupational Health Centre staff members Zilla Shaw, Natalie Meyer and Keenan Magielies form part of those going the extra mile on campus.

The Coronavirus pandemic has touched lives across the globe. Here at home, in South Africa, case numbers are rising and have reached Nelson Mandela University.

Gaining experience

Lulama Zweni, 59, is very happy working at the University’s Occupational Health Services as she feels that she is gaining lots of experience, especially in this time of the pandemic.

Kobus Magielies has been at the University’s Occupational Health Services (OCH) since 2007 and calls himself a “jack of all trades” as he captures official staff health statistics, especially those needed for the VC’s Office, Communication and Marketing, HR and ICT Services.

Ensuring that Nelson Mandela University’s campuses are safe and functioning while striving to complete the academic year, in the midst of a global pandemic takes a team.

“I always wanted to make a difference, no matter how small, says third-year Social Work student Alicia Daniels, who stays in Tiryville, a township within Uitenhage, where there is lots of poverty.

After calling for student and staff volunteers to assist in packing food parcels for communities and organisations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nelson Mandela University’s Convergence Fund Deployment Committee (CFDC) recently managed the delivery of 220 food parcels.

A number of community-based organisations, NGOs and a clinic, recently received a total of 750 litres (in 5 litre containers) of hand sanitiser as part of Nelson Mandela University’s ongoing support to communities.

Nelson Mandela University staff and students have been working hard to support the country’s fight against Covid-19 with many people volunteering, designing & making masks, assisting with designing/making other protective equipment and designing & implementing technology-based apps & programmes.

Mandela University Professor in Philosophy, Andre Hurst, really has gone above and beyond to embrace the University’s #MaskUp Mandela campaign philosophy of “…each one of us doing something ordinary to ensure an extraordinary impact – that of protecting ourselves and protecting others by simply (making and) wearing masks.”

Be it engineering or entrepreneurial skills, an ability to network, educate or simply to remind us of the positives in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, Nelson Mandela University alumni are doing their bit.

After heeding the call to the institutional MaskUp campaign, the George campus volunteer team have managed to produce over 100 masks in just over a week. Campus staff and students sharpened their sewing skills, oiled their machines and vowed that no George campus community member will be maskless, during the Covid19 pandemic.

Our cleaning teams are leading the way so that other University staff and students can return to campus in a phased approach when given the go-ahead.

Alumnus Vanessa Mhlom, a business analyst at the Nybble financial technology company in Johannesburg, came up with the idea to develop the LockdownLevels app, to give users detailed updated information about their district’s lockdown level, by using a smartphone GPS-tracking capability. 

As the #MaskUpMandela movement gains momentum as part of a collective national drive to change behaviour and save lives, the University is seeking material donations to make masks.

The Mechatronics Department at Mandela University is playing its part in the fight against COVID-19 by donating face shields.

George Campus staff get behind the mask making project and assist the George Hospital.

Ranita Orie from Student Housing and her husband own a catering business and a coffee shop, which due to lockdown restrictions, has been closed for the past seven weeks.

Digital technology has taken centrestage and so too has the work of the University’s Centre for Community Technologies (CCT).

Can you sew? Do you have material? Are you available to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus by making masks

Visual Arts senior lecturer Andrieta Wentzel walks the talk of leading by example during difficult times. 

Student entrepreneurs Vuyo Tutu and Lonwabo Myoli certainly are serving the community and proving that Together We Can – particularly during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

Bulk SMS provider SMSPortal, run by Mandela University Alumni, have stepped up to the plate and donated 100 000 SMS’s to the university to enable effective communication with students and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Seeing the need for devices to assist people suffering from Covid-19 and other diseases, a multi-disciplinary team of innovative young engineers based at the Propella Business Incubator in Port Elizabeth have dropped all their other projects to develop a low-cost bag mask ventilator.

On or off campus, ICT Services continues to offer a top-flight service to staff. That’s the general take of staff members who have benefitted from the support they have received from ICT Services, and more especially in the lead-up to lockdown and thereafter.

With the Covid-19 pandemic hitting South Africa and starting to take root in the Eastern Cape, medical staff at the local Livingstone Hospital are under enormous strain.

Our faculties and academics at Nelson Mandela University have combined forces with hospitals, businesses and communities in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro to help fight Covid-19 at a time when society needs us the most.
In doing its part to combat Covid-19, Nelson Mandela University has already donated more than 100 3D-printed visors to Livingstone Hospital.
Do you have sewing skills and want to play your part in the broader societal fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic? 
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed society to re-imagine space, community, life and engagement. With Online Reading with the Author on Fridays at 13:00 to 14:15 on Microsoft Teams, Nelson Mandela University’s Centre for Women and Gender Studies (CWGS) seeks to create a space to ask questions, make meaning and develop new tools of understanding the current crisis.

As the number of (COVID-19) novel Coronavirus cases escalates in South Africa and the Eastern Cape, efforts to curb the spread of the virus are being intensified, with Nelson Mandela University availing its suite of skills and expertise to support local and provincial government’s efforts in the fight against the unfolding pandemic.


Due to the COVID-19 virus and its effects, certain medical supplies are very difficult to obtain. As a result, many 3D printed solutions are already being produced.

Two Mandela University alumni and service providers to our University, James Pearce and Charles Stretch, who run SMSPortal have pledged R100 000 to the Solidarity Response Fund, providing funds to the most vulnerable in this dire circumstance.

Nelson Mandela University’s efforts in the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), particularly the institution’s move to manufacture its own hand sanitiser in response to the national shortage, grabbed the attention of the Eastern Cape provincial government.

For the majority of Nelson Mandela University’s Protection Services staff, it is “business as usual” as they continue their critical role in ensuring the safety and security of personnel and property across all seven campuses throughout the 21-day lockdown period.