Patrick Prins Process ControllerNovember, 2017 - Patrick Prins, a process controller at Witzenberg Municipality, and a learner at The Water Academy, reflects on the changing image of a sewerage worker:

“My life as a sewerage worker commenced nine years ago when I was appointed as a machine operator at Wolseley Waste Water Treatment Works. It also saw the start of a career in an unknown field but has proved to be one of the most significant career moves I ever made. The year 2008 saw the implementation of the Green and Blue Drop award structures, by the Department of Water Affairs, for all municipalities in South Africa. The main objective of this was to make sure all municipalities comply with the national standards set by Water Affairs. As a result the focus point and image of a sewerage worker changed forever. The most beautiful thing of the implementation of the Blue and Green drop structures is that it started opening career opportunities where workers could improve their knowledge and skills through learning activities to boost their careers. 

Not only the image of a sewerage worker has changed but also the name has changed to what is now known as a process controller. What started as a job people turned their noses up at has developed into a career full of opportunities and possibilities. It is a job that brings pride and dignity into the lives of process controllers.

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nqf logoThe South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) is a statutory body, regulated in terms of the National Qualifications Framework Act No. 67 of 2008. It is made up of 29 members appointed by the Minister of Education in consultation with the Minister of Labour. SAQA is mandated by legislation to oversee the development and implementation of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

The functions of SAQA are essentially twofold :

1) To oversee the development of the NQF by formulating and publishing policies and criteria for registration of bodies responsible for establishing education and training standards or qualifications and for accreditation of bodies responsible for monitoring and auditing achievements in terms of such standards and qualifications. 

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Clean water for allOctober 2017 - The Water Academy is currently engaged in extensive educational courses throughout South Africa. We construct our courses to meet the specific needs of our partners and clients, who include local municipalities, water boards and water providers. Our courses all meet required standards for NQF qualifications. We engage with industry experts on an ongoing basis to ensure our course content is current, in a format that is accessible to learners and relevant to water industry needs. The Water Academy offers a full service to include assessment of requirements, course facilitation, workbooks and documentation, moderation of students and follow up. Our team is made up of dedicated individuals who have the knowledge and experience to assess our clients’ needs and respond accordingly. We look forward to commencing with 4 brand new projects in the near future, continuing to advance the Water Academy’s goal of clean water for all.

TWA Soup KitchenAugust,  2017 - The Water Academy is delighted to be supporting Nolene Calvert and her Community Soup Kitchen initiative in Hornlee, Knysna. Several years ago Nolene identified a need in her neighbourhood for a place that kids could visit after school to receive a nourishing meal and connect. Nolene’s Soup Kitchen now feeds up to 100 kids every Tuesday and Thursday without fail. If donations are insufficient, Nolene, her family and those who help her in the Soup Kitchen fund the meals out of their own pockets. The kids clearly look forward to this bi-weekly interaction with Nolene. They start to arrive shortly after school is out with containers for their lunch and gather outside Nolene’s home in Talousie Street where she has set up a kitchen in a container. A slow trickle of kids soon turns into a large crowd of excited, hungry children. 

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Team Building29 July, 2017 - The Water Academy staff enjoyed the first of a series of team building workshops at our head office in Knysna. The entire team gathered together, travelling from around the country. The session was facilitated by Linden Booth, an experienced team and leadership coach who executed a well-structured and professionally run workshop. The main objective of the session was to build on The Water Academy’s great team spirit and to give each member of staff the opportunity to be heard and to make suggestions on how we can improve on what we do as a team.

Linden created a safe space for the sharing thoughts and ideas as well as allowing the team to get to know each other better and have some fun. The exercises and processes offered valuable tools to enhance professional procedures and bring a sense of cohesion to our team. Several processes were identified for improvement and these are already being discussed.

During the workshop session, the team co-created a constructive plan for targeted areas in which to improve business and personal growth.

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