After 45 years of service at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Ms Lalitha Singh will be retiring and officially leaving the University on 31 May 2019, to enter a new phase in her life.
“In life everything has a beginning and an end. I have reached the end of my career and will start the next chapter of my life with excitement. My 45 years of service at this institution has been an amazing experience. I am really looking forward to being a woman of leisure and do the things that I really did not have time to do,” said Singh.
She began her career in August 1974 when she was appointed as a typist/clerk at the then ML Sultan Technical College. She worked in various administrative departments and subsequently was promoted to Executive Secretary, a designation she now holds until her retirement.
“I have seen many changes to the institution since 1974, from ML Sultan Technical College to ML Sultan Technikon, which subsequently changed to the Durban Institute of Technology (DIT) and now Durban University of Technology (DUT). Whilst at DUT, I studied for the National Secretarial Certificate and was awarded a distinction in Typewriting III. I also attended various part-time classes and fondly remember my Saturday sewing classes which were very exciting as I learnt to make my own outfits,” she chuckled.
During her career she served as the executive secretary to Rector (Dr Alec Solomon), Rector (Mr Appalsamy Ramsamy), Vice – Chancellor: Professor Ramanlal Soni, Deputy Vice – Chancellor: Professor Anthony Arkin, Deputy Vice – Chancellor: Professor Anshu Padayachee and Deputy Vice – Chancellor: Dr Phila Ndlovu.
“Working with all of the senior members of staff was very fulfilling and rewarding. I thoroughly enjoyed my responsibilities whilst in this position. In comparison it was different from one person to the other as they had different personalities and ways of working. Also, each portfolio was different from one to the other. Whist working here, the staff complement was very small as compared to after the merger,” she said.
In October 2008 she joined the DUT International Office and is proud to be retiring from her last place of work. She added that working in the International Office with Dr Lavern Samuels has been great. Whilst with the Vice – Chancellors and Deputy Vice – Chancellors, she was mainly in contact with staff but in the International Office its more exposure to students. Singh had the privilege of working with DUT’s international partners on an ongoing basis. She has attended many IEASA conferences at different universities in South Africa and had the honour of meeting staff from different International Offices.
“No doubt, I will definitely miss my working life and my daily routine. I have to make some adjustments to myself by taking life a little easier. I will travel a lot and spend more time with my two grandsons. To all of the wonderful people whom I have had the opportunity to work with in the past, Thank you. I wish the DUT community every success for the future,” she said.
Pictured: Lalitha Singh.