War on Leaks – artisans hard at work

Malefa Majara and Nthabiseng Salomane, flanked by other artisans from Quantum Combined Centre at the Ficksburg War on Leaks Centre.

Currently 7 000 unemployed youth trainees across the country are hard at work as part of the War on Leaks project, making the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) proud of their commitment and devotion in their adventure to become qualified artisans. The aim is to assist various municipalities with the eradication of water loss, a war that was declared by the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, in mitigating the high volume of water loss unaccounted for and caused by leakages in most municipalities.
The programme was first announced by President Jacob Zuma at the 2015 State of the Nation (Sona) address. This was followed by a launch in Port Elizabeth by the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, and supported by Zuma. With a record intake of 3000 trainees from across the country for 2015, 7000 for 2016 and an intended 5000 for 2017, the department’s pledge to train 15000 artisans and water agents is developing positively.
“I am studying to become an artisan in the field of water and sanitation and see myself lucky to be among the participants of the War on Leaks programme. We are currently at the implementation phase of water demand management. When we are done with the programme, I foresee possible water conservation in our community having a bright future,” said Malefa Majara from Quantum Combined Centre in Ficksburg.
“I am in the War on Leaks programme, studying to become an electrician. I see a bright future ahead of me. We are learning things that are real and easy to understand and can be put into practice. When I have completed the programme it will be easy for me to assist the community with the skills acquired in the programme on electricity and water-related issues. Personally, I would use the skills to my best advantage by registering a company specialising in electricity and plumbing with the aim of creating more jobs for the youth,” said Nthabiseng Salomane, another youth trainee from Quantum Combined Centre in Ficksburg.
According to Laurence Mashembe, facilitator at Quantum Combined Centre for War on Leaks in Ficksburg, so far the artisans and water agents are positively learning, eager to complete modules presented to them, and reciprocating by asking for clarity on issues not clearly understood. All in all, they will complete nine modules to instill a broader knowledge of the water sector. Artisans or plumbers will be deployed to work on projects reducing water loss, repairing, retrofitting and replacement whereas water agents will be responsible for visiting communities to investigate water leaks and teach people how to save water. – Marcus Monyakeni