The City of Ekurhuleni is set implement an Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) that will train water stewards.

The programme will see 300 youth enter a three-year apprenticeship intended to create sustainable artisanal jobs and phase out dependency on external contractors who undertake the installation, repairs and maintenance of water meters in the City.

A two part programme

Through a partnership with Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges (TVET) and the City of Ekurhuleni, beneficiaries will exit the programme as qualified artisans; having obtained a trade test certificate and a vocational qualification simultaneously.

The programme has two components, mainly; a six months theoretical/practical plumbing apprenticeship training at an accredited TVET college integrated with twenty-four months experiential training within the City of Ekurhuleni Department of Water and Sanitation.

Addressing water use efficiency

The City of Ekurhuleni has identified water governance as an immediate remedy to improve water use efficiency, and reduce Non-Revenue Water in the municipality.

Non-Revenue Water in the City of Ekurhuleni is currently standing at 34.7% and the long-term target is to reduce this figure to 20% by 2023 in line with the City’s water demand management strategy.

Tackling revenue loss

Mayor Mzwandile Masina notes that city is continuously investigating ways to exploit the potential of the demographic dividend in the City.

“This initiative is a targeted programme aimed at rebuilding the plumbing skills base for water stewards whilst creating work opportunities for the youth. Such an effort is required in order for the city to decisively deal with metering and the resultant lost revenue for the Municipality.”