Busi The Water Academy water wastewater reticulation TWA STAFF MEMBER COMMITTED TO LIFELONG LEARNING Busisiwe Mningiswa, a member of the The Water Academy editing team, became competent at InDesign publishing programme while working at TWA and now assists with learning material editing and managing the flow of books from editing to printing. Her enthusiasm, ready smile and efficiency are hallmarks of her positive attitude towards her job. Not one to let the grass grow under her feet Busisiwe decided to further grow her skill set and ready herself for future opportunities.

She enrolled on a one-year Advanced Certificate in Project Management, NQF 6, at UNISA, at the beginning of 2018, as a part time student. With the first semester and the first six prescribed modules well behind her (gaining three distinctions) Busi now awaits the results of her second and final semester.

Fleur, the TWA education manager chatted to Busi about working, studying part time, and just what it is that drives her.

FH: What made you decide to do this course?
BM: I chose something that fitted with my work at TWA. I did agricultural management before but that was more specific. Project management gives you more options as it covers a wider range of management skills.

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Photo of Noma sorting RPL files

Nomawethu our RPL admin support checking the first submissions of evidence and capturing the data.

In 2015 LGSETA appointed PiCompany to conduct a year long RPL Advisors course for persons in the Water Sector. Marius Pretorius from The Water Academy was selected to do this training and out of 60 candidates was one of the few who qualified. Marius is now the RPL advisor for The Water Academy. RPL is included in South Africa’s National Qualifications Framework (NQF) as a strategic redress principle and is upheld in legislation as a step in Further and Higher Education qualifications. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is defined in the National Standards Bodies Regulations as follows: “Recognition of prior learning means the comparison of the previous learning and experience of a learner howsoever obtained against the learning outcomes required for a specified qualification, and the acceptance for purposes of qualification of that which meets the requirements.”

In February this year large boxes of files were loaded into vehicles and trained TWA staff took to the road to kickstart the brand new RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) project. Our RPL facilitators drove thousands of kilometres across the Western, Northern and Eastern Cape meeting candidates, explaining the RPL process and delivering the evidence files. RPL takes account of previous learning and experience. It involves measuring and assessing that learning and experience against the outcomes for a particular qualification, in our case, in the water services sector. Candidates meeting the requirements are awarded the qualification. The process requires collection of quality evidence and proof of requirements for the specific qualification.

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Water Dialogue Knysna MunicipalityFebruary 2018 - The Water Academy was invited to attend a meeting entitled “Water Dialogue” at Knysna Municipality on 26th January, 2018. The invitation was issued in order that local businesses could engage with government bodies on the issue of a collective response to the Western Cape’s current water security.

The province is facing its worst drought in living memory. With climate change projections, it is estimated that the region is facing a 30-40 year water security challenge. The forum aimed to open up and facilitate discussion about an effective collective response to the current water shortage situation as well as how we can adapt to a “new normal”. Speakers offered information about the the response actions taken by government and business to date, talked of the development of water service and technologies, support available to local businesses and the possibility of forming effective partnerships in order to facilitate a community response to the current situation.

Garvey and Noma represented The Water Academy and brought this important dialogue back to the team at the office. In-house discussions have since taken place in order to establish how TWA can partner with the municipality and other local groups in mutual support and forward planning.

Conserve WaterAccording to the UN, nearly one in three people worldwide live in a country facing a water crisis, and less than five percent of the world lives in a country that has more water today than it did 20 years ago. Lana Mazahreh grew up in Jordan, a state that has experienced absolute water scarcity since 1973. She learned how to conserve water as soon as she was old enough to learn how to write her name. In this practical TED talk, she shares three lessons from water-poor countries on how to save water and address what's fast becoming a global crisis. Click here to view the talk online.