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The road that led to KwaZulu Natal

There’s something to be said about face-to-face interactions between the PIRB and plumbers during Roadshows. After months of meticulous planning, the PIRB goes across the country to connect with plumbers in different corners of South Africa. In the month of June, we visited KwaZulu-Natal. We were greeted by cold weather, but the warmth was brought by the ever dedicated and inquisitive plumbers.

One of the many benefits of coming to the Roadshows is getting first-hand information from the PIRB. Over the years of doing provincial visits, plumbers have gained more insight on the inner workings of CPD points, the goals of the PIRB, and the resources offered by the PIRB, to name a few.

Plumbers spend a lot of time doing what they do best: ensuring that our water systems are efficient and safe to use. Having to split time between work, family and doing CPD activities is something they do not look forward to. What they did not know is that a lot of the CPD activities form part of their day-to-day actions, and did not need separate hours to fulfil them. Activities such as helping aspiring plumbers, which a lot of the plumbers do already could earn them at least 10 points per cycle. Additionally, doing charity work/any unpaid work has 4 CPD points. Another day-to-day activity by plumbers who selflessly uplift their communities. Accumulating CPD points is easy once plumbers get a face-to-face explanation of the CPD menu.

Other benefits for attending Roadshows are the relationships formed. Plumbers exchanged information about the seminars, webinars and training programs they did to advance themselves. From the IOPSA training workshops to the online webinars, there are endless ways to keep up to date with the evolving methods of plumbing.

Nokubonga Ngema, an Amazimtoti plumber shared her experience as a female artisan. Apart from her goal to break gender-boundaries, she enjoyed clients’ astonishment at her being a practicing plumber. “People are always surprised upon my arrival at their houses or companies. Because I am a woman, they anticipate that I will make their bathrooms, kitchens and plumbing systems look neat and tidy, and I always do,” she said excitedly. “It’s the feminine touch,” she added almost blushing.

The outcomes and experiences from attending Roadshows can never be premeditated. But they are always positive. Some come and go, but others make it worthwhile by obtaining clarity on the problems they face. One needs to meet these Roadshows with great curiosity and open-mindedness. Because ultimately, the relationship of learning is reciprocal between the PIRB and the plumbers.

Thank you to the generosity of Simply Bathrooms and Build-It for providing space for informative connections between plumbers and the registration board. As we continue to uplift the plumbing industry, we hope to be met with the enthusiasm to learn as much as we are.

Next stop, Eastern Cape here we come!

Written by Naomi Bango

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