Frontline staff series: safe campus transport

31/08/2020

Transport Services staff members Luthando Rafani, Thanduxolo Booi and Thanduxolo Rasi organise the safe transport of staff and students.

Always ready for a challenge

Shuttle Services Manager Luthando Rafani, 46, likes his job, “it challenges me”, he says.  He has to monitor and manage 67 taxis and 20 busses to provide safe, on time, reliable and professional shuttle services from campus to campus and off-accredited residences along five routes in and around Nelson Mandela Bay.

 “I have to provide solutions on a daily basis, as no two days are the same”, he says.

“I am happy to be back at work, although it is quiet and a bit frustrating, but I have to be on campus to monitor external service providers and ensure that the job is done well”, he says.

Luthando also enjoys building a good relationship between students and transport providers.  He has been at the University since 2018 after being a Transport Officer and a Project Manager for the National Department of Public Works previously. 

Transporting with safety and care

Ensuring COVID-19 protocols are followed and that social distancing, hand sanitising and wearing of masks are adhered to on the University’s transport services has been an important task for Thanduxolo Booi who inspects more than 300 shuttles regularly.

The 44-year-old transport inspector has been working for the University since 2016 and has never looked back.  

He says it is not easy to be a frontline worker during this time as one may be easily infected by the Coronavirus, however he loves his work and wants to provide for his family.

“It is very scary to work under the circumstances we are facing as the country, however, we have to adhere to COVID-19 regulations to stay safe and provide for our families.  I also encourage my colleagues and the students using the transport services to adhere to the rules of social distancing and wearing of masks at all times,” said Thanduxolo.

Thanduxolo is husband to Nokuzola, 39, and father to three children, Likuye, Lwahluma and Inganathi.  He says he hasn’t really spent so much time with his family as he has worked through the lockdown period.  

From library to transport

Ensuring the safety of staff and students while travelling to and from the University’s Port Elizabeth campuses with the institution’s Transport Services, is Thanduxolo Rasi.

The 30-year-old transport coordinator had been working as a library assistant at Missionvale Campus from 2014 and later at the North Campus Library, before successfully applying for the new post in 2019. 

As a frontline worker he says he and his two colleagues have been working tirelessly since April to help implement a new transport system for staff and students with the University’s external transport service providers.

“This also means we need to ensure that all COVID-19 protocols – the wearing of masks, sanitising and social distancing - are in place and followed.”

Thanduxolo’s “customers” are mainly essential services staff from Protection Services, Cleaning, Madibaz Sport, Technical Services, Horticulture and Catering Services, and more recently, those students notified to return to campus under the lockdown level 3 restrictions.