Northlink keeps busy during lockdown

Deidre Jacobs, a lecturer at Northlink College's Protea campus, makes masks.

Northlink College has welcomed the government’s decision to keep universities and colleges closed for now.

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr Blade Nzimande said late last month that campuses would stay closed for the easing of lockdown to level 4, and the 2020 academic calendar for universities and colleges would likely extend into 2021.

Northlink’s CEO Leon Beech says this will give them time to plan for the future.

During lockdown, online teaching has continued at the college’s Belhar, Bellville, Goodwood, Parow, Protea, Tygerberg and Wingfield campuses. Staff have  also been giving students exercise tips and other advice on how to deal with the Covid-19 crisis. One lecturer entertained students with a song he composed and performed on guitar.  

Mr Beech said campus kitchens were being used to make meals for destitute families. In the first week of lockdown, a team headed by Parow campus manager Raymond Smal  helped pack and distribute food for about 500 people. During the second week, they delivered about 600 warm meals to people in Mitchell’s Plain, Beacon Valley, Eastridge and farms in Philippi. 

On Thursday April 23, they provided more warm meals to Tehillah House and Magda’s House, NGOs that have been providing care services in the Leonsdale area for more than 20 years.

Elsies River resident Georgina Felix was grateful for the aid, saying: “Thank you very much for the outreach to the community. Give my best wishes to the management of Northlink College.”

Staff from the Wingfield campus’s clothing-production department are making face masks in preparation for the return of students and lecturers after lockdown. 

Hans Albers, Clint Prinsloo and Ronald Murray of the Tygerberg campus used Northlink’s 3D printer to produce and deliver 10 masks to the Stellenbosch municipality and 65  to the Disaster Management Centre at the Tygerberg Hospital.

Northlink College was established in 2002, following the merger of Wingfield Technical College, Tygerberg College and Bellville Technical College. In 2005 Northlink bought Belhar College, a private institution.