On Saturday 25th July 2020 members of the Executive Management Team (EMT) of CAAB braved the freezing morning weather and converged at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport. The purpose, to volunteer and join the institutional cleaners in keeping the SSKIA clean. Ordinarily the airport cleaning function is the responsibility of a combination of both permanent CAAB cleaners and those outsourced from the private sector contractually.
In March 2020, when most countries closed their boarders in order to manage the spread of COVID-19 epidemic, the outsourced cleaning services contract at the SSKIA had expired and due for renewal. With minimal aviation activity taking place during the Lockdown and state of emergency period, CAAB management found it prudent to hold in abeyance, the renewal of outsourced services. This left the role of airport cleaning to the CAAB employees. A mammoth task considering the size of the SSKIA buildings.
The Executive Team decided to roll up their sleeves and offer a helping hand to the 10 cleaners this past weekend in the spirit of volunteerism and in solidarity with their other colleagues in keeping the airport clean. The plan is to have this activity weekly and open to all CAAB employees wanting to volunteer their time in keeping the SSKIA clean.
After a brief word of welcome at the Airport by the Duty Officer in charge, Ms WaModimo Motlhalawapitse it was decided that the team would split into smaller groups with a cleaner leading each group to guide the cleaning process to different airport sections. Both the Acting Chief Executive Officer Mr Kabo Phutietsile who was deployed to the Fire station and Director Human Capital and Administration Mrs Ontibile Radira, the brain behind this initiative, that, it was important for them as “leaders to be at the forefront in promoting the value of collaboration and the need for different departments to strive to come together as one”.
It was important for management to fully appreciate the extend of the challenges facing other employees on the ground in the mists of the current situation of no income generation and resource constraints, they explained. The event was not floated to the rest of the staff, to avoid a situation where one felt like was coerced into helping. No one was pre-assigned a task, no shift schedules in place, one only had to show up and choose the activity.
Speaking at the end of service, Ms. Maria Mokaeya expressed gratitude and delight at the initiative that the EMT was taking. She explained that there were only 5 cleaners present that day and normally they would have to attend to the terminal building, technical block, fire station, all the gates and Cargo all by themselves. She further went on to say that she hoped that this initiative would remain in place until a more permanent solution could be found.