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College of Cape Town’s Plumbing Apprentices participate in a World Plumbing Day CSI initiative to refurbish the Holy Cross Children’s Home


Sharmila Cloete, who is currently an apprentice plumber at the College of Cape Town, Thornton Campus, was the only female who formed part of a team that took part in the Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiative to refurbish the Holy Cross Children’s home in Parow Valley. Sharmila Cloete worked along with her fellow apprentice plumber students and professional plumbers. The areas that needed attention in the Children’s Home were identified and groups were formed to focus on the different areas identified.

The plumbing initiative included the replacement of sinks, taps, showers, cleaning pipes and maintenance in the main buildings in the old age home. South Africa is faced with a shortage of skills, and those skills include plumbing.  

plumbing3“Most people tend to think that plumbing is a male’s job. I am working so hard to change that mindset.  Whatever a person desires to be, he/she can be. In my community (Bishop Lavis), we have a lot of dropouts and I want to be an inspiration to my community, make those dropouts and gangsters see that they can still change their lives. It is not about where a person comes from but it is about where a person is going. I love sharing my knowledge” Said Shamiela

Plumbing is recognised as one of the scarce skills in South Africa. The Department of Higher Education and Training is developing a strategy to support the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery plan. Plumbing is one of the skills needed in infrastructure investment and delivery. The department has also made funds available to fund the plumbing apprentice as a means of addressing the shortage of skills.

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