Celebrating Our Vehicle Operators
In light of National Transport Month which celebrates the “heartbeat” of South Africa’s economy, we are celebrating the heartbeat of our MST Group family – our vehicle operators. Thanks to their hard work and dedication we have managed to provide essential health, education and administrative services to 302 000 people across South Africa in just five years.
Referred to as vehicle operators, not drivers, for the fact they are the core of the services we provide. Apart from driving to the most far flung areas in South Africa to take much needed services to the people, a typical day in the life of an MST operator includes a number of responsibilities – and can take some exciting turns.
The operators arrive on site about an hour before operations begin to set up and get equipment ready. This can be a lengthy process and may consist of connecting satellites, calibrating medical equipment for the medical staff, setting up computers and software, ensuring generators are running, setting TV screens up which are used to educate communities, connecting cameras to back office support to carrying out routine quality and maintenance checks.
But an operator’s duties only begin after set-up. For the operators operating Mobile Schools Health mobile clinics, this means fetching children from classrooms and capturing their data on the MST Healthpoint software so that medical staff onboard can conveniently carry out assessments with minimal time wasted on admin. For the operators operating Mobile Student Future mobile education units, this means setting up all educational software programmes and ensuring teachers and/or students are registered online before training commences. For the operators on the Mobile Processing Solutions’ mobile offices, managing a queue of hundreds of people waiting to register on public employment services, to register a business in an informal settlement, to lodge a land claim, or to check their traffic fines.
Operating complex, high-tech mobile solutions are not always an easy task, and the roads to deliver these services can be long, lonely and dusty. But our operators agree that they are happiest when out in the field and driving change. “All you see is hope brought back to the underprivileged. Serving people who are really in need of the services,” as stated by two of our operators.
This month we are honouring our MST operators through a series of social media posts, sharing their stories, their special moments and their challenges, in promoting an inclusive South Africa. We salute you all!