Chapter Focus: Ikhala Chapter | EAPA-SA

Chairperson, Bridgette Cain-Noveve, provides interesting insights into EAPA-SA’s Ikhala Chapter which is located in East London.

The current Ikhala Executive Committee line-up includes:
Bridgette Cain- Noveve – Chairperson
Ntebaleng Masemola – Stakeholder Management
Prema Naidoo – Secretary
Ntobeko Mtetweni – Treasurer
Sivu Rexe and Zola Mxalisa – Additional Members

What makes your chapter unique?
Ikhala Chapter is not named after its geographic location but after an indigenous plant called the aloe. The chapter has been in operation for the past 12 years and most of its founder members are still involved in the chapter today. The chapter is vibrant and always pushes beyond boundaries to serve its members. Strong partnerships exist between Ikhala chapter and key stakeholders such as the Office of the Premier, Financial institutions and wellness service providers. The Ikhala Chapter brand is well recognised within the workplace arena around the Eastern Cape.

How does joining your chapter benefit your members?
Ikhala chapter offers its members great development opportunities. Every session for us is special and we seek quality presenters to serve our members. Sessions are CPD accredited as a way of giving members value for money whilst also meeting the requirements of various statutory bodies. For the past two years we’ve organised a special gala dinner event to recognise and award members and stakeholders for their dedication and participation in the chapter. Members get an opportunity to network and share best practises amongst themselves.

What has been the chapter highlight over the past 12 months?
The chapter functions according to an operational plan that is aligned to the EAPA SA operational plan. 2017 has been a very remarkable year for Ikhala Chapter especially in respect of stakeholder engagement. The chapter received incredible support from key stakeholders.
Some of the achievements for 2017 include:
• Developmental session on anger and relationship management
• Overview on the occupational health and safety legal framework
• A one-day annual seminar on bipolar and incapacity management
• A CSI Project that included visiting and training KWT Child Welfare staff on stress management techniques
• The introduction of a mentorship programme where young practitioners can draw support from more established EAPs
• 32 Ikhala Chapter delegates attended the National Conference in Gauteng and Ikhala Chapter Treasurer Ntombeko Mtetweni was awarded the practitioner of the year award
• The Annual Gala Dinner was again a “show stopper”. The event took place at the Osner Hotel in East London on the 8th December 2017. The theme for the keynote address was “Developing your personal brand”. The following awards were given:
1. Longstanding supporting Member: Thiloshni Govender
2. Trailblazer: Lulama Matu
3. 100% Attendance: Zandile Booi
4. Chairman’s awards: Prema Naidoo and Ntebaleng Masemola
5. Platinum Sponsor: Old Mutual
6. Sponsor of the Year: SANLAM
7. EAP Professional of the Year: Bridgette Cain-Noveve
8. All other stakeholders received certificates of appreciation for participation and support in 2017

What do you have in the pipeline for the following 12 months?
The Ikhala Executive Committee met on 12 Decemeber to plan for 2018. Whilst taking direction from the national theme that focuses on statutory status and financial stability, the aim is to have all Ikhala conference delegates become registered members with professional designations by 31 January 2018. Key stakeholders have been identified that are still unreached by the chapter. An exciting line-up of programs are planned for 2018. The schedule is available from the chapter secretary at 2018 also marks the end of term for the current executive committee and therefore Ikhala members are encouraged to avail themselves to serve on the next committee and lead the chapter to greater heights.

What developments in EAP practices and programmes have you seen come to the fore in your region the past 24 months?
The implementation of procedure on Incapacity Leave and Ill Health Retirement has been of great concern for the Eastern Cape government. This has led to more efforts to create synergy between the intervention of Labour Relations, Employee Wellness and Condition Soft Service in government departments. Ikhala Chapter has included the issue of Incapacity Leave Management in its operational plan for the past two years to strengthen the efforts made by the Office of the Premier for capacitating practitioners.

How do you see the EAP / Health & Wellness impacting the good of the workforce in your region?
As a chapter we are working towards the restoration of EAP professionalism. We ended the year with a powerful intervention developing personal and professional brands in the workplace and that’s what we will continue to pursue – EAP or EWP becoming valued and respected programmes in the workplace with positive management support.

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