http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.49Change: -0.02
R/$ = 11.88Change: 0.20
Au 1214.08 $/ozChange: 19.92
Pt 1149.50 $/ozChange: 15.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Mar 15, 2012

'Scandalous' bungling leaves young electricians without proof of qualification

Back
South Africa’s Electrical Contractors Association President Mark Mfikoe and national director Chris Greager express their frustrations with electrician training in South Africa. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Darlene Creamer.
 
 
 
Cape Town|Construction|Engineering|Germiston|Africa|Education|Installation|System|Training|Water|Africa|South Africa|Energy|Services|Blade Nzimande|Chris Greager|Mark Mfikoe|Water|Maryland
Construction|Engineering||Africa|Education|Installation|System|Training|Water|Africa||Energy|Services|Water|
cape-town|construction|engineering|germiston|africa-company|education-company|installation|system|training|water-company|africa|south-africa|energy|services|blade-nzimande|chris-greager|mark-mfikoe|water|maryland
© Reuse this



South Africa’s Electrical Contractors Association, or ECA(SA), has made an impassioned plea for greater urgency to be given to dealing with what it describes as scandalous administration and training-payment delays at the troubled Construction Education and Training Authority (Ceta), which was placed under administration last year.

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
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Latest News
South Africa’s crude steel production dropped by a sizeable 17.2% year-on-year to an estimated 530 000 t in April, amplifying a global trend that saw world steel production decline by a comparatively marginal 1.7% to 135-million tons in the fourth month of the year....
The Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG) on Friday called on government to delay publishing final regulations and issuing rights for shale gas exploration in the Karoo, until a 24-month strategic environmental assessment (SEA) has been concluded. TKAG CEO Jonathan...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
While economic forecasts for the African continent are most favourable, African airlines may not be able to benefit from the expected growth in the region’s gross domestic product (GDP), International Air Transport Association VP: Africa Raphael Kuuchi has warned....
The Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP) will need to change substantially post 2020, says Metair Investments South African operations COO Ken Lello. “We must not make tweaks. We have to change. What we are doing is not sustainable.”
Banking group Absa’s forecast is for the rand to end the year at around R13 against the dollar, weakening further to R13.50 by 2016, says Absa sectoral analyst Jacques du Toit. He warns that possible interest rate hikes in the US may see capital being pulled from...
The Dispute Resolution Centre at the Bargaining Council for the Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI) is now open to handle party-to-party disputes. The BCCEI represents the interests of all level four to nine Construction Industry Development Board companies.
FREDRIK JEJDLING Sustainability becomes an important part of a business’ decision-making process
Communications technology firm Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa head Fredrik Jejdling says the company’s commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility has been integrated into all facets of its operations, which has provided it with sustainable revenue...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96