CityLife Arts

Up Close and Personal with Perpetua Mathsa

Human Resource Manager at the Market Theatre Foundation

In Today’s edition of the series marking Women/s Month, focusing on women leaders at the Market Theatre Foundation, CITYLIFE/ARTS editor EDWARD TSUMELE (ET) speaks to PERPETUA MATHSA (PM), Human Resource Manager of the Market Theatre Foundation.

ET: The human resource department in any company plays an important role in different areas of the organisation. However young people looking for career opportunities are not quite sure what the human resource professional does in an organisation beyond of course organising interviews for jobs and managing disciplinary processes. Can you briefly explain your role at the Market Theatre Foundation in particular and what a human resource professional does in general?

 PM: Human resource professionals, by virtue of their knowledge of human performance, are well positioned to exercise strategic leadership and contribute significantly to the organisation’s competitive advantage. Although human resources have been part of organisations for generations, the role that human resource professionals play in an organisation varies from organisation to organisation.

The responsibilities of a human resource manager fall into three major areas: staffing, employee compensation and benefits, and defining/designing work.

Essentially, the purpose of HRM is to maximize the productivity of an organization by optimizing the effectiveness of its employees. Human resource department responsibilities can be subdivided into three areas: individual, organizational, and career. Individual management entails helping employees identify their strengths and weaknesses; correct their shortcomings; and make their best contribution to the enterprise.

These duties are carried out through a variety of activities such as performance reviews, training, and testing. Organizational development, meanwhile, focuses on fostering a successful system that maximizes human (and other) resources as part of larger business strategies.

This important duty also includes the creation and maintenance of a change program, which allows the organization to respond to evolving outside and internal influences. Finally, there is the responsibility of managing career development. This entails matching individuals with the most suitable jobs and career paths within the organization.

 ET: What attracted you to the Market Theatre instead of say, joining the corporate sector as one would expect somebody with your experience and qualifications?

 PM: What attracted me is the fact that the Market Theatre challenged the apartheid regime , armed with little more than the conviction that culture can change society, The strength and truth of that conviction was acknowledged when the theatre received the American Jujamcyn Award. In providing the voice to the voiceless .

 ET: What do you especially enjoy at the Market Theatre?

PM: The Market remains in the forefront of producing and presenting cutting

edge work that has an authentic African artistic voice.

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