Friday, February 18, 2011

Affirmative action (BEE) is at last showing results.


It is with great despair that I read articles like this.

I am not an artisan, never have been one, but I grew up in a time when many of my friends went to Olifantsfontein, and am well aware of how difficult it sometimes were for them.

The reasons in the article are a BIG lie and I am adding a comment from HendrikAfrika, that gives a very clear synopsis of what really the problems are.


SA artisan shortage.

Cape Town - The extent to which South Africa has slipped backwards in the training of artisans was made clear by Deputy Economic Development Minister Enoch Godongwana on Wednesday.

Briefing members of parliament's water and environmental affairs portfolio committee on the government's new growth path, he said lack of skills was a major obstacle on the road to economic prosperity.

"Lack of skills is a major challenge. Unless we change skills formation, we're not likely to make a huge impact.

"(What is) shocking is that in 1975, there were 33 000 registered apprentices, largely white, with a few coloured and Indian (apprentices), because Africans (blacks) were not allowed to be artisans at the time," he said.

"Now if you take a picture in 2000, there were 10% of (this figure), 3 000 artisans of all races. What this means is we're not training people at all in this economy. Clearly this is a major challenge."

The government intended to "ramp up" these figures, with particular focus on artisan training in state-owned enterprises.

"Why did they have 33 000 in 1975, and 3 000 in 2000? It's because the people who were training these artisans in those years were... Iscor before privatisation, Telkom before privatisation, Transnet before corporatisation, Eskom before corporatisation, you can count a lot.

"But what happened when this restructuring took place? Profit became the determining factor, and the first target in terms of cost-cutting was training.

"So, we're beginning to say some of the state-owned enterprises are playing a critical role in skills formation in this economy and therefore we've got to ramp up," he said.

Among the government's key skills targets is the training of 30 000 engineers and 50 000 artisans by 2014/15.


HendrikAfrika Feb 16 2011 15:34


At last somebody has noted it.

Artisans, we need qualified artisans.

The numbers are down from 30000 in 1975 to some 3000 in 2007.

Enoch Godonsy ask why?

I will tell you why.

It is because like most other things that were worth something your government has brought the standard and quality down. FAST TRACKING is what it is called. Nobody wants to be an artisan anymore, at least not a South African qualified artisan.

Whereas before 1994 our artisans were the backbone of our industry and recognized worldwide.

With the advent of the change in Government in 1994 it was quickly recognized that they needed to increase the number black (previously excluded people) artisans in this well sought after category of skilled workers.

The problem was that this skill was not easily achieved; it took three to four years of being trained as an apprentice and attending an appropriate Technical College course for a boilermaker, fitter and turner etc. Then, the main thing, you had to PASS a proper practical trade test at a center specializing in trade test e.g. the old Olifantsfontein trade test center.

The government quickly recognized that the population groups previously excluded from this route of qualification were not up to the quality required to pass these trade tests.

Anyway their better students were rather sending to university which is surely the correct thing to do.

For the non-graduate artisan discipline (surely these guys do not need four years or good quality people) the period required for working as an apprentice was reduced to something like six months with no proper testing at the end only proof that they were employed in the appropriate position for the required period. They were then 'qualified' as artisans. The result was a product that could not do the job and nobody wanted to hire them.

They themselves quickly noticed that this was a 'career' with no future and any worthwhile candidate avoided this route of training. That is what is called FAST TRACKING.

How many artisans from all races could have been trained (PROPERLY) from 1994 and you know what, proper artisans create employment opportunities around them. They start up successful small businesses that grow employing more and more people.

THIS fast tracking, that has been the creation of the current government, is the MAIN reason why millions of job opportunities are lost.

Your voters should crucify you.

By now we would have had thousands and thousands of proper trained artisans with a successful industry and many successful small businesses with entrepreneurs that would have been welcomed by existing industry as BEE partners.

Overall we would have had an increase in employment figures not a decrease as it stands at the moment.

South Africa's government has completely derailed a well organised and efficient training of practical engineers.

Parents, unemployed youngsters, it is not to late to turn it around.

With the subsidies that our president, Jacob Zuma, had announced (in his state of the nation address) the system could be brought back on track - but forget about the fast tracking - do it properly.

One of the problems with the decisions since 1994 is that it was made by people that had no idea of what the actual situation was and what effect their uninformed decisions would have.

INSIST that government apply and adjust the training of artisans correctly.

You can do it, you overcame apartheid, now overcome the short sightedness of your representatives in government. Tell them to do the right thing; you have the vote, look at the long term.

We have a new opportunity. Get people that know what is required for the system to work to sit with the government departments involved and let us look back in ten years time at a success story.

REMEMBER the four years proper training and proper TESTING and forget the short cuts.


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