“The Water sector urgently needs 4 000 artisans/technicians to overcome the crippling challenges of poor operation and maintenance of infrastructure in this country alone,” said Minister of Water Affairs, Edna Molewa, at the opening of the Rand Water Academy in Zuikerbosch, Vereeniging, on Friday 12 October.
The Rand Water Academy officially opened its doors to 130 young graduates in the fields of science, artisanship, engineering and process control. The course on offer is a three year course and graduates will train for 18 months at the Rand Water Zuikerbosch Water Purification and Pumping Station, before completing the remainder of the project with a recipient water services authority, namely a municipality.
As part of their objectives for the 2011/2012 financial year the Board of Rand Water articulated the establishment of a Rand Water Academy as a priority project for its Human Resources Portfolio. “We see this initiative not as a duplication of existing efforts, but as a programme that addresses amongst others the dire need for Work Integrated Learning,” said Molewa, adding that this would be provided by the two programmes on offer, namely the Graduate in Training Programme and the Process Controllers’ Development and Training Programme.
According to Molewa, the Academy programmes cover “key areas where the water sector is seriously under-capacitated,” including:
- Assessment of water resources and determination of quantities of water available for use;
- Natural water resource monitoring and modelling systems;
- Interpretation and use of this data in water licensing processes;
- Compulsory licensing processes;
- Water pricing reform; and
- Water effluent treatment, compliance, enforcement and management.
Looming water crises
The Minister again highlighted multi-faceted “looming water crises” as a dominant feature in the industry currently. According to Molewa there are three primary facets to the crises, namely water scarcity due to demographic and economic growth, a skills gap due to a recognised skills misalignment in the sector and a lack of good management of the available good and well-intentioned supportive policy.
“What I have just outlined is nothing new. I believe these are some of the reasons we have such academies that will ensure a smoother transition of particularly our youth and previously disadvantaged from just qualification to accreditation and expertise. We need these skills,” concluded Molewa.
Source Article from http://www.infrastructurene.ws/2012/10/17/water-sector-needs-4-000-artisans-molewa/
Water sector needs 4 000 artisans: Molewa
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