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Polity: 16 October 2023

Three hundred and forty six staff members and external candidates were honoured at a certification ceremony for the City’s Water and Sanitation Learnership and Apprenticeship Programme held earlier this week. The programme provided for transfer of skills in water-related trades, recognised in industry. The success of the programme increases the City’s talent pool and gives staff the necessary qualifications to progress in their careers.

The momentous certification ceremony was a celebration of a significant milestone for the Water and Sanitation Directorate in its journey to improve the quality of service delivery by investing in the development of staff.

Honoured guest Councillor Zahid Badroodien, Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation, presided over the ceremony, congratulating the graduates on their exceptional achievements.

The Apprenticeship and Learnership programme was initiated to address the skills shortage identified in the artisan and process controller streams. The objective was to develop ready-to-place talent, able to fill existing and future vacancies.

Multiple programmes were offered from 2019 - June 2023, with the certification ceremony held on Wednesday, 10 October 2023, at Wittebomme Civic Centre in Wynberg.

The mutually beneficial programmes provide staff with in-depth knowledge, skills, competencies and recognised industry qualifications. This enables them to do their work with confidence, knowing how to apply correct methods and techniques as required. It also helps to ensure that all service compliance standards are met.

For external candidates, the programme has been especially valuable in order to gain insight into the qualifications required to be employable in the water industry.

The opportunity also served as a means to motivate City staff and boost their morale, which aids in retaining skilled staff. As a direct result, the vacancy rate has reduced from 20% to 8,25%, to date.

‘We are delighted to share the news of more than 300 graduates, who achieved their goals by successfully completing accredited water and sanitation-related certification programmes. These dedicated individuals have demonstrated their commitment to continuous professional and personal growth. This has led to 47 apprentices being advanced into new roles as artisans and 73 staff members advancing to the next level of permanent positions within the directorate,’ said Councillor Badroodien.

The programmes were provided for through registered training institutions including Northlink College, False Bay College, Industry Education and Training Authority, Portable Water Institute, National Occupational Safety Association and College of Cape Town. Modules offered included:

Apprenticeship Programmes for 98 participants in the following trades:

  • Plumbing and electrical trades for internal staff

  • Millwrights and bricklaying for external candidates

Learnership Programmmes for 238 participants (including those with disabilities) towards the following qualifications:

  • National Certificate: Water and Wastewater Process Operations

  • National Certificate: Water and Wastewater Process Control

  • National Certificate: Water and Wastewater Reticulation Services

  • National Certificate: Professional Driving

  • National Certificate: Public Administration

‘The City’s investment in upskilling officials ensures a bright future for progressive service delivery. We are fostering a culture of continuous learning and development, to produce a skilled workforce, capable of maintaining infrastructure, as well as applying effective methods and processes needed in Water and Sanitation today and in the many years to come,’ said Councillor Badroodien.

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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