‘Public Works equipment could give skills to youth’

2014-10-10 00:00

A FORMER Public Works Department employee says the government could save millions of rands in repairs if equipment gathering dust in the department’s workshops was used.

The man, who asked not to be named as he still visits the workshops, said the equipment, which he claims is still functional, could also be used to train young people and give them skills.

However, Public Works spokesperson Mbulelo Baloyi disagreed. He said most of the original equipment was disposed of and that which remains is “static and old”. He added that a large portion of the workshops has been converted to office space.

Baloyi disputed that the decrease in the work done in-house had affected the department negatively, either in turnaround time or financially.

“A portion of the workshop had been considered for the training of disabled persons, but nothing has come of it,” he said.

The workshops in Prince Alfred Street were previously used by salaried government employees who were responsible for fixing and maintaining government buildings.

The ex-employee told The Witness that more than 20 people had been employed there.

From a once vibrant centre with lots of artisans, it had regressed to become almost a ghost centre, he said.

“In those workshops, we built doors, prepared our own timber. There were artisans, plumbers and painters. If there was a leak in a government building, we would be sent there and fix it within a short time,” he said.

“If the ceiling in the building had collapsed, we would be sent there and prepare our own timber to fix it.”

He said now almost every repair job is sent out to tender and most of the work is being done by contractors.

It was a shame that the workshops were allowed to go to ruin despite all the good work that could be done, he said.

“The machines are old, but they are still in full working condition. Employees took pride in looking after them.

“These machines could be used to deal with the skills shortage in the country. We have no artisans, and youngsters could be taken to those workshops and learn a trade,” he said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.