Yesterday, I paid a visit to the Tshwane Leadership and Management Academy (TLMA) in Pretoria West where the City runs a long-established apprenticeship and artisan training programme with an annual intake of 120 students. The programme is fully accredited and offers various artisan trades, namely electrical, vehicle mechanic (diesel and petrol), welding, fitting and turning, boiler making and plumbing.
Part of my visit was to monitor the progress being made in the work to expand the training capacity for plumbing and water-related skills.
The City has identified an urgent need to increase plumbing skills training in order for the City to have a pool of skilled labour that can be used to address the challenge of water losses caused by water leaks due to aged infrastructure.
The City has invested about R18 million to upgrade and capacitate the plumbing workshop. Upon full operation, the new plumbing workshop will allow for a trebling of the training capacity from an annual intake of 15 plumbing apprentices to 45. Other benefits include the introduction of water services practitioner qualifications, the opportunity to train and upskill existing City employees and providing training in new water conservation technologies.
I want to thank MMCs Kingsley Wakelin and Dikeledi Selowa who accompanied me during the oversight visit. TLMA is doing good work and I would like to encourage the entire team to continue with their efforts to upskill Tshwane’s workforce.
Developing artisan skills is critical, especially during this time when our country is battling constant load-shedding and water supply outages. Undoubtedly, we need more trained plumbers and electricians to help us address this crisis.
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