NAPTOSA Gauteng bids farewell to its Chief Executive Officer Louise Smit
On 31 December this year Miss Louise Smit will hand the reins of the administration of NAPTOSA Gauteng to her newly appointed successor Mrs Gaylin Bowles. Louise has held the position of CEO since 1 January 2015 and before that she served as Senior Executive Officer of Gauteng since the formation of NAPTOSA on 1 November 2006.
She served education with distinction first as a teacher and then as an official in the department of education before entering the world of the organized profession. Louise was appointed deputy director of SAUVSE (South African Union for Vocational and Specialised Education) before being appointed as Senior Executive Officer of the NUE (National Union of Educators) which amalgamated with other unions to form NAPTOSA. During the months leading up to the formation of NAPTOSA Louise worked tirelessly to help ensure that policies, contracts and the constitution were in place.
Louise leaves a legacy which few can or will match. Her knowledge of conditions of service, salary related matters and labour legislation is legendary. The PAM (Personnel Administrative Measures) has her stamp imprinted on so many of its chapters. An acknowledged expert in these matters she has been frequently consulted by colleagues in the Union (and other unions) as well as officials in the department of education. While her interest in all areas of education is acknowledged it must be said that special schools and TVET colleges held a special place in her heart.However the members of the Union, members of her staff and fellow union employees in the Head Office and other provinces will remember not only this knowledge set and her undoubted abilities as an administrator but also her humanity and concern for others. Louise always strives to find the good in those with whom she works. If there is one defining quality that stands out above all else is her firm belief that we should never stray from set policies and agreed principles. She always played the ball and never the man (or woman). When she presented an argument it was thought through, reasoned and researched and in an arena where sometimes people resort to personal attacks she would never stoop to that level.
The many long hours that Louise devoted to the Union and its members may perhaps never be fully realized or recognized. The leadership in our province, members and her staff wish her a full and healthy retirement. She has been a true and faithful servant of the Union and the profession.