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Wits remains an attractive employer

- Wits University

Wits University is a competitive employer in the higher education sector and beyond, says Senior Director of Human Resources.

Wits staff outside the Great Hall

The 1st  of May marks International Workers' Day, where millions around the world celebrate the victories gained in the fight for fair employment practices and improved working conditions.

In South Africa, 1 May is officially recognised as a celebration of workers' rights, and a reminder of the critical role played by the country's workforce in the struggle against apartheid and inequality.

The University of the Witwatersrand has through the decades embraced and supported the rights of workers, balancing the tight rope of meeting the needs of academic staff as well as professional and administrative staff. In today’s environment, organisations are constantly evaluated by their stakeholders and prospective employees for their attractiveness as an employer, the Top Employers Institute uses an evaluation process based on 20 factors, including people strategy, work environment, talent acquisition, learning, diversity, inclusion, and wellbeing to rank workplaces globally.

Wits Communications spoke to the University’s Senior Director for Human Resources, Dr Kgomotso Kasonkola on how the University fares on these factors.

On talent acquisition Kasonkola says: “The University uses a rigorous, phased approach to attract and appoint the best candidates that industry has to offer.”

Once an employee joins the University, they tend to make Wits their home. The University enjoys a relatively low turnover rate with the average Wits employee spending more than 20 years at the University. “When benchmarking the University’s study support programme with other institutions in the country Wits is second to none” said Kasonkola.

“Wits staff enjoy generous leave conditions, taken either  annual leave or time away to focus on their studies or family responsibilities. Not a lot of institutions offer study benefits to their staff as well as their dependents to the extent that the University does” he adds. Staff and their dependents are not only supported to attain their qualifications, but the University also supports trade-related training and upskilling of employees in response to global trends and trade requirements.

Employee wellness key for employees

Studies show that a significant number of the workforce is unhealthy and unhappy due to the fast-paced work environments and other socioeconomic factors. In an effort to promote wellness, the University introduced a staff wellness programme in 2019. 

Staff and their dependents have access to Life Health Solutions, a third-party provider offering a range of wellness services in English and all South African official languages, as well as South African Sign Language. Staff and their dependents have access to unlimited counselling services by onsite therapists, unlimited telephonic life management services including legal and financial advice, as well as trauma support. All these services are available to Wits employees free of charge.

Additionally, Life Health Solutions will provide occupational health assessments, facilitate a travel clinic service, and establish a staff clinic on campus on the bases of departments, users paying and on appointment, respectively. Employees also enjoy an annual staff wellness week, where staff’s mental, emotional, and physical needs are catered for.

Corporate governance creates career stability.

Wits boasts a favourable and reputable brand as a leading institution that prides itself for its academic and research excellence. The University’s strong culture and commitment to ethical governance practices as well as a supportive Council sets it a step amongst the rest as an employer of choice in the South African higher education.

To help safeguard the University’s governance structures staff and students are encouraged to disclose any concerns and information about irregular conduct which are related to the business of the University (the Disclosure) via the Wits Integrity Hotline. This is an independent unit within the University which works to protect the University from improper, unethical, or illegal conduct. Call or WhatsApp the team on 072 874 2984 or