Mar 15, 2012
'Scandalous' bungling leaves young electricians without proof of qualificationBack
Cape Town|Construction|Germiston|Africa|Education|Engineering|Installation|System|Training|Water|Africa|South Africa|Energy|Services|Blade Nzimande|Chris Greager|Mark Mfikoe|Maryland
The bungling has left some young artisans, who passed their trade test over two years ago, without the certificate proving that they are qualified electricians.
President Mark Mfikoe has also expressed deep frustration with the Department of Higher Education and Training’s (DHET’s) handling of the “crisis”, indicating that commitments made during several meetings, which took place between April 2010 and December 2011, have not yet been honoured.
ECA(SA) is particularly exasperated by a failure of the Ceta to renew training accreditation licences for its centres in Germiston and Cape Town, as well as the body’s failure to issue trade-test certificates for more than 100 candidates who have already passed their courses at registered training centres. In the absence of such certificates the individuals are unable to register as certified electricians.
Mfikoe, who is also MD of Tlhabollo Electrical, says at his company alone, three people are affected by the administrative “scandal”, which is also harming the image of an occupation that is already struggling to attract young talent – the average age of practitioners has now breached 58 years.
“All N6 electrical engineering graduates passed the installation rules examination, passed their trade test and the qualifying module, where they tested five installations and were judged to be competent. [But] they cannot get their licences as registered electricians because the Ceta will not issue the trade test certificate,” he laments.
National director Chris Greager reports that ECS(SA) has submitted 100 apprenticeship contracts to the Ceta for registration. But only 15 have been returned, with the balance having been "sitting there for months", despite the fact that they are supposed to be processed within 21 days.
"We have another 100 people who have passed their trade tests still waiting for their trade test certificates, some of them for in excess of two years," an exasperated Greager reports. "They cannot work as electricians without that certificate, that is their diploma."
The issue has been raised directly, as well as through written correspondence, with the Ceta, the DHET and with Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande. However, “absolutely nothing” has been done to address the administrative backlogs.
“Millions have been raised from companies via the skills development levy and millions are stashed away. But very little training is happening,” Mfikoe laments, noting that after the energy and water sector education and training authority was placed into administration, ECA(SA) members were transferred to the equally dysfunctional Ceta.
Members have also become increasingly reluctant to support training, with hundreds of thousands of rands owing from Ceta’s discretionary grants having never been disbursed.
The absence of such training incentives became so acute that demand for ECA(SA) courses fell to a level where it became uneconomical to continue with its Durban training centre, which it closed last year. “This at a time when we are becoming increasingly worried about the lack of electricians.”
Greager says ECS(SA), which is an employer body representing 3 000 members, many of which are small or micro businesses, is also concerned that the lack of accreditation licence renewals at its two remaining centres could have implications for those currently pursuing their artisan training at the facilities.
It had, therefore, secured the services of an attorney to seek to force the Ceta to expedite the licensing process.
But Ceta's acting CEO Sonja Pilusa has denied the accusations.
She says it is not true that the Ceta has failed to renew training accreditation licences for ECA(SA) training centres in Germiston and Cape Town and that it is also untrue that a number of trade test certificates are still outstanding. However, she did not offer a detailed rebuttal in emailed responses to questions sent to her by Engineering News Online. It is understood that a number of the Ceta executives, including Pilusa, are currently on a strategic breakaway session.
At the time of publication, the DHET had not responded to Engineering News Online questions directed to them on the issues canvassed by ECA(SA). However, speaking in Parliament earlier in the month, Nzimande said there was little to show for the R37.5-billion that had been directed into the Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta) system since 2000. He even went so far as to say that some board members and Seta executives were simply enriching themselves.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
To subscribe email email@example.com or click here
To advertise email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here
Other Video News
Updated 1 hour 19 minutes ago Transnet announced on Monday the implementation of a series of governance, control and monitoring measures to ensure the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) meet the company’s stringent localisation obligations and supplier development commitments. Transnet...
Updated 1 hour 31 minutes ago South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) on Sunday said it had lifted the suspension of SA Express’ Air Operator Certificate (AOC). “This means that the airline may, with immediate effect, resume operating their fleet of 26 aircraft,” said SACAA in a statement.
Updated 3 hours ago US Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton begins a two-day tour on Monday through rural, traditionally coal-reliant parts of the eastern Appalachian region where Republican rival Donald Trump's pro-coal, anti-trade message has resonated with...
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2016: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Automotive 2016 Report provides an overview of South Africa’s automotive industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into local demand and production, vehicle imports and exports, investment and competitiveness in the sector, as well...
Energy Roundup – April 2016 (PDF Report)
The April 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for March 2016 and includes details of a North Gauteng High Court Judge’s dismissal of a court application to postpone the 9.4% electricity tariff increase, which the National Energy Regulator of South...
Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Energy Roundup – March 2016 (PDF Report)
The March 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for February 2016 and includes details of the Department of Energy’s plans to announce the preferred bidders for the first tranche of the coal independent power producer procurement programme; the Council...
Steel 2016: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2016 Report examines South Africa’s steel industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the global steel market and and particularly into South South Africa’s steel sector, including production and consumption, main...
Construction 2016: A review of South Africa's construction industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2016 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; key participants; local demand; geographic diversification; corporate activity; black economic...
This Week's Magazine
The two spent-fuel pools at Eskom’s 1 800 MW Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, will be full by 2018, increasing the urgency on the State-owned utility to begin pursuing alternative storage options. Koeberg has, over the past 32 years, accumulated a...
South Africa lacks the skills necessary to implement the government’s plan to build 9.6 GWe of new nuclear energy capacity, warns nuclear-qualified Quality Strategies International CEO David Crawford. “Apart from the concern about the affordability of the programme,...
Cybersecurity multinational Check Point has released its latest 700-series cybersecurity systems for small businesses, which draw on its international threat intelligence to provide up-to-date cybersecurity, says Check Point South Africa country manager Doros...
Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) saw a marked slip in new-vehicle sales in 2015 compared with 2014, with sales dropping from 5 897 units to 5 300 units. The decline came as the South African new truck and bus market declined from 31 558 units in 2014...
Group of 20 (G-20) economies threatened to penalise havens that don’t share information on their banking clients after the leak of the Panama Papers provoked a global uproar over tax evasion. The G-20 will consider “defensive measures” against financial centers and...