Regulations and standards a key focus of Tjeka’s plumbing training

Tjeka Training Matters is working closely with the Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) to help to ensure that plumbing workmanship complies with the protocols and standards that regulate this industry.

Notably, Tjeka Training Matters is an IOPSA-approved private technical vocational education and training college, considering the very high quality of its plumbing training.

All plumbers need to have a thorough understanding of the compulsory South African National Standards (SANS) Codes of Practice; Building Regulations; and the Local Water Bylaws. These are intended to safeguard the health and safety of occupants of buildings and entire communities, as well as private and municipal property. Importantly, compliant plumbing workmanship also ensures the responsible use of scarce water and energy resources. This is especially important in a country such as South Africa which is grappling with a severe water, energy and sanitation crisis.

Tjeka Training Matters, therefore, incorporates these standards and regulations into its plumbing training programmes, including short courses, learnerships and skills paths. Representatives of IOPSA are often invited to undertake this aspect of the training on behalf of the company. This is considering the institute’s intricate knowledge of these standards and regulations as the official mouthpiece of the South African plumbing industry.

Gerrie Botha, Gauteng Technical Manager, recently provided a group of individuals who are completing an Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning (ARPL) programme at Tjeka Training Matters with an overview of the relevant SANS Codes of practice. Botha is a qualified and registered plumber who has also specialised in solar and heat pump installations. He also serves as a compliance auditor for IOPSA.

The training was undertaken at Tjeka Training Matters’ state-of-the-art training and trade test centre in Randfontein, Gauteng.

“Worryingly, there has been a notable increase in non-compliant plumbing in the country, according to research undertaken by IOPSA. Poor enforcement by the relevant authorities has enabled many unqualified ‘plumbers’ to operate without fear of repercussion. Because they have not completed plumbing training, they unknowingly make mistakes that could have serious ramifications. Plumbers who have completed our training have the necessary skills to install, maintain and repair plumbing systems correctly. Importantly, they also know why it is important to comply with standards and that doing so is not merely a formality. It is an essential component of plumbing,” Frans Toua, Chief Executive Officer of Tjeka Training Matters, says.

Botha provided a detailed explanation of all the SANS plumbing standards. They include SANS 10254:2017; SANS 10252-1:2018; SANS 10106:2014; SANS 1352:2012; SANS 1307:2014; and SANS 10400-A:2016.

These govern all aspects of plumbing. This includes the installation, maintenance, replacement and repair of fixed electric storage systems, as well as domestic solar water heating; air source water heating heat pumps; and storage solar water heating systems. They also deal with water supply and drainage systems for buildings and the general principles and requirements for the application of the National Building Regulations.

“To describe the SANS standards as the ‘bible of plumbing’ is not an overstatement. They guide everything that we do as plumbers who should, therefore, carry copies of the standards with them all the time so that you can refer to them when necessary. I personally have a hard copy of the standard, as well as digital versions on my mobile phone and laptop which I consult regularly, despite my more than 30 years of experience working in the plumbing industry,” Botha reminded the group of ARPL candidates.

They included eight employees of Randfontein Local Municipality. This is in addition to three Anglo American employees who, notably, were all women who have been working in the with many years of experience working in the plumbing industry.

Once these individuals have completed the ARPL process, they will be qualified plumbers who possess the skills and experience needed to install, maintain, repair and replace plumbing systems that comply with regulations and standards that govern the plumbing industry.