May 16, 2008
Aluminium extrusion company tackles the skills challengeBack
Engineering|Africa|Generator|PROJECT|Wispeco Aluminium|Africa|China|South Africa|Equipment|Fabrication And Installation Businesses And Products|Paint|Power Tools|Products|Steel|Ella Grobelaar|Fabrication|Herman Rolfes|Patricia Khumalo|Power|Operations
© Reuse this In an effort to alleviate the massive skills shortage in the alumi- nium fabrication sector, alumi-nium extrusion company Wispeco Aluminium has invested over R1,2-million in a project called the SpazaAL, aimed at developing young black entrepreneurs.
The SpazaAL project provides ready-made workshops for the young beneficiaries, in the form of containers, fitted with racks, shelving, special paint, ventilation and a safe, from which they can operate their business.
These containers are also complemented by power tools, specialised equipment, a generator, and marketing material. Six of the ten businesses have also been provided with vehicles to make their daily operations easier.
The project not only centres on black economic empowerment, but also on disabled people, with nine deaf students having entered into this year’s learnership.
Wispeco MD Herman Rolfes tells Engineering News that the project is aimed at developing aluminium in the rural areas, where steel has traditionally been the dominant window material. The project was inspired by visits to China and other countries in Africa, where similar businesses are in operation.
Rolfes says that the skills shortage in South Africa is hindering the growth of the aluminium fabrication industry.
“Our goal is to provide technical, aluminium fabrication and entrepreneurial training to young people in disadvantaged communities, and develop them into young entrepreneurs. We simply want this ‘brain drain’ to stop through the empower- ment of small business,” comments Rolfes.
He adds that the South African aluminium fabrication market has great potential.
“In South Africa, we have 1,2 kg of aluminium extrusions per capita, and in the developed countries it is averaging between 4 kg and 5 kg. We can achieve what developing countries are currently producing through the development of the downstream fabrication industry,” he says.
Nonprofit organisation Downstream Aluminium Centre for Technology (Dact) will focus on incubation and the mentoring and coaching of trainees, and help them to further develop their entrepreneurial skills, while Wispeco has been involved in providing the technical skills.
Dact CEO Ella Grobelaar says that the skills shortage is not only being felt in the aluminium fabrication sector, but also in the broader aluminium industry. She adds that government, together with the new venture leanership with Merseta, would address this challenge.
Patricia Khumalo, a member of the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality mayoral committee, tells Engineering News that much effort is being made by government to tackle the skills challenge. She says that local government welcomes initiatives such as that supported by Wispeco.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Construction News
Updated 3 hours ago Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi has established a task team comprising construction and property industry stakeholders to develop concrete, workable plans to accelerate transformation in the built environment and establish processes to monitor and evaluate its...
Updated 7 hours ago JSE-listed materials supplier Afrimat expects to report basic earnings per share (EPS) of between 59c and 64c, when it releases its interim results for the six months ended August 31. This would be between 20% and 30% higher than the EPS of 49.1c recorded in the...
Updated 1 hour 4 minutes ago The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) has outperformed its targets over the past financial year and contributed R3.1-billion to the gross domestic product in the 2013/14 financial year. CTICC CEO Julie-May Ellingson said the convention centre had been...
Updated 1 hour 43 minutes ago Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has released details of the remuneration of the chairpersons and nonexecutive directors of the various State-owned company boards falling under her Ministry. The remuneration figures, which are attached, are based on figures...
Updated 1 hour 59 minutes ago Installed wind power capacity could swell by 530% to 2,000 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, supplying up to 19% of global electricity, a report from a trade association and Greenpeace said on Tuesday. It said installed wind energy capacity totalled 318 GW at the end of last...
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
The broad-based black economic-empowerment (BBBEE) alignment process in the con-struction sector has begun, dur-ing which the sector codes of the Construction Sector Charter Council (CSCC) will be aligned with the revised Codes of Good Practice (CoGP), which come...
It is second time lucky for Toby Venter. Ten years ago he negotiated to buy the Kyalami racetrack, but “the deal did not materialise”.
Environmental solutions company I-Cat started construction work on its R22-million, 1 949 m2 environmentally sustainable office and warehouse facility, commissioned by I-CAT Environmental Solutions, at a launch event in October. The new sustainable I-CAT campus,...
Effective file synchronisation and sharing across an organisation’s structures can provide the basis for robust mobile-device and document management while maintaining proper backup, version control and content distribution. These are the lessons learned by complex...
Hotel group Carlson Rezidor currently holds the largest hotel pipeline in Africa with 30 hotels and 6 300 rooms under development. The hotel group develops and operates Radisson Blu in the upper upscale segment and Park Inn by Radisson in the mid-market segment. With...