Dr SJ Jacobs, Assistant Dean and Director of the TSE.
This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the Gauteng Province Department of Economic Development (GDED), TUT and the Vaal University of Technology late in 2018. Aimed at addressing the skills need in the market, the GDED partnered with the TSE and the Innovation Hub to provide technical training and mentoring for candidates enrolled in the GDED Business Skills Development and e-waste reduction programme.
Dr SJ Jacobs, Assistant Dean and Director of the TSE, explained that there is a lot of room in the South African market for more people specialising in appliance repairs and general handy man jobs.
“This project has endless benefits for communities and the economy. Upon conclusion of the training, the candidates divided into four groups and registered their own formal businesses with the assistance of the Innovation Hub. Through the technical training, we empowered candidates to repair and refurbish broken and unused small and major home appliances like microwaves and washing machines, after which these could be sold at a profit through their respective small businesses. By mentoring and consulting with candidates, we can connect them with successful private sector businesses, with whom we have a good working relationship,” he said.
He added that they encouraged the candidates to bring their own broken appliances and repair them under supervision at TSE. “This gives them self-confidence and they acquire much-needed skills to become self-sustainable and create job opportunities in their own communities.”
Dr Jacobs explained that repairing appliances also had other benefits. It could reduce electronic wastage, support the growth of the green economy and give hope to the unemployed. We encourage individuals and communities to repair their broken, unused appliances to extend the life-span. Once repaired they could be resold at a profit. This project will go a long way in changing the mind-set of communities towards job creation and have a positive impact on economic growth in the province,” he concluded.