Four Bay technical schools get boost as welding returns as a subject in 2016

NOVEMBER 2, 2015

The re-introduction of welding as a subject from 2016 got a major boost with funding, equipment and training from Afrox, merSETA and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University at four technical high schools in Nelson Mandela Bay.

NMMU, Afrox and merSETA agreed to, jointly improve welding in four technical high schools in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan area. The primary objective of this project is to assist the Eastern Cape’s Department of Education (EC DOE), NMMU and the merSETA to re-capitalise current Technical Schools in support of the re-introduction of welding as a subject from 2016.

The programme was launched today (Friday, 30 October, at Westview High School and was attended by various dignitaries from Afrox, NMMU, merSETA and the four High Schools.

The schools that benefit from the agreement is Westview High School, Kwezi Lomzo Comprehensive High School, Gelvandale High School and McCarthy Street Secondary School in Uitenhage.  Approximately R1,2 million was appropriated by Afrox Pty Ltd to the four schools which included the supply of Afrox welding equipment and products.

The welding equipment included Mig and MMA welding machines, gas welders and PortaPaks. In addition to the supply of hardware, the merSETA Chair in Engineering Development at NMMU, provided funding for accredited Afrox training for two teachers per school as well as a DOE representative.

“Welding is a specialised field under the subject Mechanical Technology in technical High Schools and re-capitalising these schools will go a long way in preparing learners for careers in welding,”said Christo Basson, merSETA Senior Manager ETQA and Partnerships.

Each of the schools was assisted by the merSETA, Afrox and NMMU to ensure that their laboratory facilities were adequately prepared in order to meet industry safety requirements.  Appropriate storage facilities, fume extraction, power supplies, welding bays and eye protection amenities were fitted at the schools that required it.

“Safety is an important aspect of welding and all teachers must attend the Afrox Safety Training before using the equipment. Learner training will be provided by educators that have been trained and certified as trainers,”said Johan Pieterse, Business Manager, Manufacturing Industries | MPG.

“Education in Engineering is an expensive excersise, but this collaboration has provided the four schools with equipment that can yield skills to prepare learners for tertiary studies,”said Karl du Preez, merSETA Chair in Engineering Development at NMMU.