Cleaning services staff have been hard at work cleansing and sanitising all UKZN campuses to ensure the properties are “safe” for use by the University’s community.

Campus Management Services (CMS) shifted into top gear after the announcement on 1 June that South Africa was moving forward into Level 3 of the national lockdown which eased some of the restrictions in force previously.

On the Higher Education front, Level 3 allowed a maximum of 33% of the student population to return to campuses, delivery sites and residences provided they could be safely accommodated and supported in line with health and safety protocols.

Those who returned to UKZN campuses included students on track to complete their degrees this year, those on selected clinically-based programmes, individuals with disabilities, SRC executives, student residence assistants, student life officers, residence assistant officers, undergraduate students unable to access Moodle, postgraduate students requiring laboratory equipment, honours and postgraduate diploma students needing access to laboratory equipment and students appointed as laboratory demonstrators.

Measures introduced by UKZN in the fight against the virus include mandatory screening of everyone entering campuses as well as increased vigilance by CMS staff.

Returning staff members were given a Zoom orientation on COVID-19 Safety Measures.

Cleaning services staff have proven to be among the unsung heroes of the struggle against the coronavirus at UKZN, placing themselves at the forefront to ensure campuses are “safe”. Staff have been trained in Standard Operation Procedures (SOP), which involve using more sanitiser to cleanse touch points, including desks, chairs and common areas.

The frequency and intensity of cleansing will be adjusted according to the needs of the specific departments as more staff and students return. Lans will be open from Monday to Friday from 08h00 until 16h30, closing between 13h00 and 14h00 for cleaning and sanitation.

‘We appreciate our staff’s dedication under the circumstances. We hope for co-operation from our students with their return,’ said Sifiso Cele, Manager: Cleaning and Cartage division.

Staff have been very impressed with CMS staff efforts. ‘I was impressed with the dedication of the cleaning department during lockdown especially in providing a big team armed with Personal Protective Equipment,’ said a member of staff from the Vibration Research Testing Centre.

It is through the efforts of the community that we can beat this virus, together yet apart.

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Words: Samantha Ngcongo

Photograph: Supplied