http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.22Change: -0.23
R/$ = 11.16Change: -0.09
Au 1240.10 $/ozChange: -4.17
Pt 1243.50 $/ozChange: -18.70
 
 
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 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|System|Water|Africa|South Africa|Energy|Services|Blade Nzimande|Chris Greager|Mark Mfikoe|Water|Maryland
Construction|Engineering||Africa|Education|System|Water|Africa||Energy|Services|Water|
cape-town|construction|engineering|germiston|africa-company|education-company|system|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)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Electricity News
The relationship between economic growth and development and stable and affordable electricity supply is not only strong, but also indisputable. The link is reaffirmed in the Africa Energy Outlook publication, which was released by the International Energy Agency...
State-owned power utility Eskom’s renewable energy projects will contribute significantly to minimising power cuts as they have the ability to contribute positively to grid stability.
Article contains comments
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene confirmed a further direct allocation to power utility Eskom of at least R20-billion. But he also stressed on Wednesday that the injection would have no impact on the Budget deficit as the capital would be raised through the sale of...
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Swedish Ambassador to South Africa Christian Meuwly will next week inaugurate the final roll-out of the new vertical shaft brick kiln (VSBK) at clay brick manufacturer Langkloof Bricks’ facility in Jeffrey’s Bay. The VSBK formed a part of economic, social and...
Hot on the heels of the launch of Rustenburg’s rapid transport system’s brand name and logo last week, a negotiation framework agreement (NFA) has been formally agreed to and signed by the Rustenburg Local Municipality (RLM) and taxi and bus operators affected by the...
The runway at the George Airport, in the Western Cape, has been rehabilitated to improve safety, in terms of run-off and storm water drainage, and the structural capacity of the pavement surface. The scope of work comprised the extension of Runway 11/29, the...
More
 
 
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
Integrated energy and chemical company Sasol has partnered with Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL) professor and founder and CEO of PanAvest Partnership Dr Douglas Boateng to publish a series of books on executive supply chain management aimed at...
MORNÉ DU PLESSIS Increased urgency and burgeoning awareness of the importance of these issues are beginning to change political risks and, thus, State responses to environmental concerns
The World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF’s) 2014 Living Planet Index (LPI) indicates that there has been a 52% decline in vertebrate species since 1970. The Index tracked the trends of 10 000 discrete populations of over 3000 vertebrate species between 1970 and 2010.
Rwanda has joined a number of East African countries seeking to import electricity from Ethiopia as its demand grows. After it became apparent several generation project it is implementing will not come on stream early enough, now plans to import 400 MW from Ethiopia...
Metrorail’s first new passenger train will arrive in November next year, says Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) CEO Lucky Montana. “Next year we will be able to put our hands around the infrastructure and equipment we have been talking about for so long.”
The Competition Commission has launched an investigation into what it says are “price fixing, market division and collusive tendering in the market for the manufacture and supply of automotive components to original equipment manufacturers” (OEMs, or vehicle...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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