Three-hundred youths are to be trained by the City of Ekurhuleni to install, repair and maintain water meters in the City.
The executive mayor of the City of Ekurhuleni, Clr Mzwandile Masina, on Wednesday announced a new Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) which will see these youths enter a three-year apprenticeship.
This is intended to create sustainable artisanal jobs and phase out dependency on external contractors who undertake the installation, repairs and maintenance of water meters in the City.
Through a partnership with Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges (TVET) and the City of Ekurhuleni, beneficiaries will exit the programme as qualified artisans, having obtained a trade test certificate and a vocational qualification simultaneously.
The programme has two components, a six-month theoretical/practical plumbing apprenticeship training at an accredited TVET college, integrated with 24 months experiential training within the City of Ekurhuleni Department of Water and Sanitation.
The City of Ekurhuleni has identified water governance as an immediate remedy to improve water use efficiency and reduce non-revenue water in the municipality. Non-revenue water is currently standing at 34,7 per cent and the long-term target is to reduce this figure to 20 per cent by 2023.
Masina said: “We are continuously investigating ways on how we can exploit the potential of the demographic dividend in our City. This initiative is a targeted programme aimed at rebuilding the plumbing skills base for water stewards while creating work opportunities for the youth.
“Such an effort is required in order for the City to decisively deal with metering and the resultant lost revenue for the municipality.”