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In line with the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) principles of being a committed, compassionate, caring and supportive University, the institution has launched its own COVID-19 Solidarity Fund.

The Fund which will provide relief to the University community, especially students who are most vulnerable and have been negatively affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic, is a proposal that was endorsed by the University’s Executive Management Committee (EMC) and the Executive Committee of Senate (SENEX). “Members of the committees, constituting the five top levels of Management (Peromnes 1 to 5) will make contributions from their monthly salaries,” said Alan Khan, DUT Senior Director: Corporate Affairs.

To kickstart the DUT COVID-19 Solidarity Fund, members of this group, constituting the five top levels of Management, will contribute, as a collective, a minimum amount of R282 619.00 per month, for the next three months. Given that this is just a minimum, some of the members in this category and in other categories, will be contributing more, depending on their personal and family circumstances. Given the minimum, it is estimated that this group of staff members will contribute close to R1 million over the next three months.

This Fund will be administered by the Advancement and Alumni Relations department. It will be used for care and support programmes, two of the aims specified in the national COVID-19 Solidarity Fund. DUT will also be setting aside funds towards the other two aims of the national Covid-19 Solidarity Funds; that is, prevention and detection. To date, the University has allocated R4.5 million towards these two aims. Prevention and detection programmes will be predominantly important to assure safety and health when lockdown ends and DUT staff and students eventually return to the University.

“Management urges other members of staff, students, alumni, external partners, service providers and friends of DUT to make their financial contributions, of whatever amounts, towards the DUT COVID-19 Solidarity Fund. In a small way, this institutional initiative demonstrates our collective commitment and compassion as we seek to care and support those in our midst whose lives will be disrupted considerably by COVID-19,” added Khan.

DUT’s Chief Financial Officer, Mrs Nthanyiseni Dhumazi and Senior Director: Human Resources, Dr Vuyo Mthethwa will be working closely with Professor Sibusiso Moyo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement to ensure that the DUT Covid-19 Solidarity Fund is in place before the end of the national lockdown on 30 April 2020.

The protocol for donating and pledging is as follow, DUT Management constituting the five (5) top levels of Management will make contributions from their monthly salaries for a period of three months, effective 1 May 2020. Staff may also make a once-off donation should they wish to do so. In order to facilitate this, a COVID-19 Solidarity Fund link/tab is available on the DUT website, which will take one directly to the online fund donation page, click on the staff pledge form donation option. The staff member needs to complete the fields on the online pledge form, indicating how much they wish to pledge and then finally clicking on submit. This will automatically send a notification with the relevant details of the donor to the Manager: Benefits and Compensation (Human Resources). Once the notification is received at HR, the pledge will be processed and the pledged amount will be deducted from the staff member’s salary for the referred duration. The deadline for staff pledge submission is 30 April 2020, this will allow HR sufficient time to process the pledge accordingly.

Electronic Funds Transfers (EFT) and deposits can also be done on the following details: Durban University of Technology, Account number 050007068, Business Current Account, Kingsmead branch, branch code 040026, electronic payments branch code 051001 and the reference is COVID19 with one’s contact number.

Noxolo Memela

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