Parow. 2.9.21. Ziyanda Nqilo and Pamela Soka, adult learners at the REACT Training College for plumbing in Parow Industria show Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille how to instill a soil and vent system. Picture:Ian Landsberg/African News Agency ( ANA)
Parow. 2.9.21. Ziyanda Nqilo and Pamela Soka, adult learners at the REACT Training College for plumbing in Parow Industria show Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille how to instill a soil and vent system. Picture:Ian Landsberg/African News Agency ( ANA)

PICS: Plumbing college to plug gap of female artisans in South Africa

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Sep 3, 2021

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Cape Town - The React Training College, the first black women-owned plumbing and artisan college has all systems in place to bridge the current skills gap in the country.

The college in Parow is a construction, education and training authority (Ceta) accredited college.

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille visited the college on Thursday to see first-hand the work they have done in the short time of their existence.

She engaged the founders and students on their work and the importance of empowering more women to claim their space in the construction and related industries.

De Lille said the React Training college had provided competency-based modular training with new innovative plumbing techniques.

Adult learners Ziyanda Nqilo and Pamela Soka at the REACT Training College for plumbing in Parow Industria show Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille how to install a soil and vent system during her visit to the facility. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency ( ANA)
Adult learners Ziyanda Nqilo and Pamela Soka at the REACT Training College for plumbing in Parow Industria show Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille how to install a soil and vent system during her visit to the facility. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency ( ANA)
Adult learners Ziyanda Nqilo and Pamela Soka at the REACT Training College for plumbing in Parow Industria show Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille how to install a soil and vent system during her visit to the facility. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)

She said the founders Celeste le Roux, Charmaine Jampies and David Le Roux had since November 2019 tailored their courses to ensure that their artisans were trained for the South African water and infrastructure challenges.

"This focus in their work is so crucial as a large percentage of water is lost before it reaches customers due to water leaks. The South African water system requires qualified and skilled artisans to ensure that we protect and increase the efficiency of our infrastructure," said De Lille.

She said they trained students to equip them with the necessary skills to be trade-test ready within a few months.

Le Roux said their mission was to empower, develop and train superior plumbing artisans.

“As previously disadvantaged black women in the construction industry, it has been fundamentally crucial for us to develop and empower women,” said Le Roux.

Nwabisa Khonan and Chanelle Hanson busy with layout for underground drainage as the facilitator Freudian Daniels looks on. Picture:Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)
Vanessa Raphael-Tromp from Hanover Park Installing a hand Basin. Picture:Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)

One of the students, Nwabisa Konana, said she had been at the college for three months, and had managed to learn many things within the plumbing sector.

“ I can even do my own drainage, install geysers and chimneys by myself,” said Konana.

“(The) visit affirms that women have so much to offer in our country and in the built environment. There is no limit to what the women and girls in our country can achieve and React Training College is just one of many other women-owned businesses in South Africa which we can be proud of,” said De Lille.

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