Plumbing Africa August 2018 - Page 37

BUSINESS AND TRAINING substantial plumbing companies and plumbers had closed, moved on in the industry, or moved out of South Africa. “Apprenticeships seemed to be non-existent. I was horrified at the amount of bad debt, quality of work, and lack of new blood in the industry. In order to grow our economy and our trades, we need to build new SMEs that are properly skilled, managed, and sustainable. There was an opportunity for job creation and closing the gap in employment equity,” says De Fine. In 2017, he resigned as MD at Independent Plumbing Suppliers to concentrate full time on skills and enterprise development. He says it was an easy decision to make, which led to meaningful change for the people, the country, and the economy. “Our industry required improvement and the trade of plumbing and sanitation was in need of becoming a desirable career choice. I believe we all need to do our part to improve our communities, our Umphakathi,” says De Fine. It has always been De Fine’s passion to try and help those who have the potential to succeed, but do not have the means. When this company was developed, this dream became a reality; however, this has not been done alone. “Umphakathi Development and Training has been fortunate enough to have very supportive partners in this process. The centre is also the official training partner for Geberit and Friatec,” says De Fine. The establishment opened its doors in 2015 above t