EAPA-SA Limpopo Chapter was founded on the 8th August 2006 under the leadership of President Bob Marara. The first elected chairperson of the Chapter was Nadine Bell Nadine, public servant from Limpopo Department of Public Works who handed over the baton to Vice Chairperson, Conny Raphahlelo. From 2010 the Chapter was run by an interim committee under chairperson, Nthabiseng Mokubedi.
At an AGM in June 2014, committee elections were formally conducted to elect the current serving committee members, who are:
- Lebogi Gladys Chuene– Chairperson
- Christopher Kanama – Vice Chairperson
- Mokgadi Ramogobedi – Treasury
- Gloria Makungo – Secretary
- Johanna Mamanyuha – Vice Secretary
- Winnie Nakana – Additional Member (Stakeholder Relations Portfolio)
- Johanna Phasha – Additional Member ( Membership Portfolio)
- Charlotte Mabusela– Additional Member (Marketing Portfolio)
- Portia Meso – Additional Member (Education Portfolio)
- Ouma Marishane – Additional Member ( Events and Conference Portfolio)
- Marata Komana– Additional Member
- Basani Baadjie – Additional Member
Additional members have been recruited onto the committee to ensure the committee’s continuity in understanding the operational needs of the Association and for the purpose of succession planning.
The Chapter’s total membership stands at 34 with only 9 members who have applied for SAQA designation and who are in good standing. The majority of members have a challenge in meeting the terms of annual membership renewal with the main challenge being payment of membership fees. Membership is made up primarily by EAP Practitioners from the Public Sector as well as a few from the Private Sector, and some who are service providers.
The Chapter’s special events aim, mainly, to capacitate and empower members to fulfil their EAP functions. There are various Continuous Professional Development (CPD) initiatives including seminars and post conferences which are organised based on relevant topics identified by the members. The presenters are made up of professionals within the field of Employee Health and Wellness who are Social Workers, Private Clinical Psychologists, Professional Nurses, Medical Doctors and our stakeholders from private organisations. The following seminar topics were presented in the past three years:
- Substance Abuse management in the workplace.
- Team Building facilitation.
- Bereavement Counselling.
- Mental Health Assessment.
- EAP Standardised Practice Workplace Solutions
- Financial Wellness
- Care of the caregiver.
- Relapse Prevention on Addiction Management (The journey continues, Recovery and After Care)
- Financial planning
- EAP Standards and Code of Ethics
- EAP Modelling Strategy in the 21st Century
As part of Limpopo Chapter’s Care of the Caregiver initiative, members get the opportunity to experience the services they themselves offer in the form of free health screenings, team building and game drive activities. These activities allow our members to network and consult with their peers, share best practices and remain effective and efficient in offering professional services to their clients. Our next Chapter seminar is on 9 June 2017 and will be focusing on Bereavement Programmes in the workplace. We hereby invite our members to join us in examining this topical issue in order to gain more insight and skills from a presenter with an international experience.
What makes Limpopo Chapter unique?
The current President – Chabalala Tinyiko Godfrey – is the product of this Chapter. He served in various portfolios such as treasurer before he joined the National Office in 2007. The Limpopo Chapter operates in a predominantly rural province characterised by a high rate of illiteracy, great distances between workplaces and compliance to cultural diversity. Our members travel long distances to attend Chapter activities in the capital city, Polokwane. Despite the vastness of the Province, we have members who are committed to attend Chapter activities. As an intervention, the committee has a goal to establish at least two Sub-Chapters at District level in order to increase accessibility of our services to our members in distant locations.
EAP Services Model
The model of EAP services adopted in the Province is mainly mixed, with both internal and external services used in the majority of government departments, and in mainly outsourced service providers used in the Private Sector. The nature of Limpopo Province, in terms of its geographic location and it economic character, impacts negatively on making EAP services easily accessible to employees due to the following reasons:
- EAP professionals are typically centrally based at head offices with only a few at district level where they are easily accessible to branch-based employees. As a result EAP professionals are required to travel long distances to service a referred employee.
- The majority of employees are semi-literate and illiterate. They prefer, and are more comfortable with, a face-to-face interview.
- EAP professionals are required to tailor their services to accommodate various cultural protocols within the Province. This poses a challenge in meeting EAP standards, for example, in terms of the delivery of crisis intervention during bereavement where a family mourning period must be observed before outsiders can offer assistance to the person grieving.
In the light of the above mentioned hurdles EAP professionals in Limpopo Province find themselves being asked to give assistance outside of the professional scope of EAP services. Clients regularly expect assistance in issues that involve family dynamics such as conflict regarding estates distribution, divorce in cases of polygamy marriage and custody of children when there is death in the family. EAP Practitioners play an important role of a caring face to the employee’s family on behalf of the employer especially during the time of employee’s death.
Concluding words from Chairperson, Lebogi Chuene
“Just like any other organisation, the Limpopo Chapter has experienced times of growth, of being stagnant, and times of great development. The Chapter is currently alive and running and the contributions of the following stakeholders are gratefully acknowledged:
- The past chairpersons for their strategic leadership and direction.
- The past committee members for their knowledge and time, and support to the chairpersons.
- The sponsors for their partnership and investment in terms of resources and information.
- The EAPA –SA Board for their capacity building, leadership and support.
- The members of EAPA-SA Limpopo Chapter who made it possible for the Chapter to exist.
- Lastly, the current committee and President for steering the Chapter’s growth and development.
In conclusion, the EAPA-SA’s Limpopo Chapter is destined to be a leading professional Association in Limpopo Province – one that is set to grow financially, in memberships, in professional standing and ultimately to be self-sustaining in the near future.”
Compiled by: Chuene L.G
Chairperson of EAPA-SA Limpopo Chapter
To visit the chapter or contact the Chapter Chairperson, please visit their page https://www.eapasa.co.za/chapter-limpopo/