Institute set to open school in Middelburg

3rd September 2021 By: Khutso Maphatsoe - journalist

The Southern Africa Institute of Welding (SAIW) is set to open a satellite campus in Middelburg, Mpumalanga.

Middelburg falls under the Steve Tshwete local municipality, which is one of 27 of the country’s 257 municipalities to receive clean audits in the local government audit for the 2019/20 financial year.

The municipality is reported as the best-performing municipality in the implementation of local economic development, explains SAIW executive director John Tarboton.

“Since the early 2000s, the aim has been for the municipality to host a metals fabrication hub starting with the establishment of a ten-bay welding school .”

With the SAIW earmarked as the anchor tenant, the hub would encompass a manufacturing park, where the institute would build a school to manufacture metals.

The manufacturing park is a collaboration between the SAIW, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, and Steve Tshwete local municipality. The aim is to develop new businesses within stainless steel fabrication and gain the interest of companies and investors who may want to invest in the manufacturing hub.

The SAIW will establish a satellite welding school, with ten welders taking part in the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) Welder apprenticeship programme using SAIW equipment.

This will be based on the new dual system QCTO apprenticeship programme, which will combine technical education and simulated practical training at the SAIW with authentic work experience in a fabricator’s workshop. This means that the apprentices need to be recruited by an employer at the beginning to ensure that they can receive workplace experience, Tarboton concludes.