Durban, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 17 March 2011 – Almost one third of the artisans, technicians and engineers employed by South African national utility Eskom Holdings Limited are approaching retirement age, presenting the distinct possibility of an imminent skills shortage.
Revealing this here, public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba said that to avert the approaching skills crisis, the state utility had invested R780 million in training over the last financial year.
“They have established 24 training centres while there are 244 on-job training sites. Presently
5 225 learners are registered, of which 3 780 are in engineering and technical skills,” he explained during a session with black professionals organised by Durban Invest. Gigaba said
5 000 more young people would be put into training in the near future.
The government’s nuclear energy build programme suggested that Eskom and its suppliers would require 3 000 scientists and engineers. It would also require 24 000 artisans.
Gigaba went on to say that his department would pay serious attention to transformation. “Many companies have paid lip-service to the transformation legislation, implementing it in a half-hearted manner, or selectively, or choosing to ignore it. Companies that are resisting investing in transformation are not just performing a social injustice, but are hindering the development of the economy as a whole,” he added.
He emphasised that state-owned companies needed to be exemplary where transformation was concerned. “If state-owned companies themselves do not comply, it will not inspire the private sector to transform,” Gigaba pointed out.