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  • 16 Feb 2022 10:59 AM | Anonymous

    89% of the 3955 enrolments on IOPSA’s e-learning platform were free CPD accredited courses. The top 10 CPD accredited courses offered are for free.

    “CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. It refers to the process of tracking and documenting the skills, knowledge and experience that you gain both formally and informally as you work, beyond any initial training. It’s a record of what you experience, learn and then apply”.  ( In other words, CPD is the continuing life-long learning that you do after your qualification.

    But why is it necessary? In the modern world, the only constant is change. New technology, methods and products emerge on an almost daily basis. Likewise, new or revised laws, regulations and standards are introduced regularly. This all means that, more than ever before, it is important for plumbers to stay abreast of the changes. CPD is a method to do this and more importantly, a method to prove to the market that you are up to date. CPD is fairly new to the South African plumbing industry but for many other industries it has been a normal requirement for many years.

    We often hear comments like “CPD is just a money-making racket” from certain sectors of the industry. The Institute of Plumbing, IOPSA ( has provided an e-learning platform to the industry. Having completed its first full year of operation (Feb 2021-Jan 2022) we decided to take a close look at the facts and you may be interested to see what we found;

    • 1.    There were 3955 enrolments for the year.
    • 2.    43 courses are available on the e-learning platform, of these 40% are completely free.
    • 3.    89% of enrolments were for Free CPD accredited courses.
    • 4.    The top 10 most popular courses are all for free.
    • 5.    81% of users are repeat customers.
    • 6.    5 Training providers have listed courses for sale.
    • 7.    The average cost of a paid for CPD course is R1 226.71
    • 8.    Total sales for the year between all 5 training providers amounted to R460 000, an average of R92 000 per training provider per year or R7 600 per month.
    • 9.    IOPSA earned around R45 000 for the year, about R3 750 per month from the e-learning platform which does not come close to covering the running costs.
    • 10.  The Top 3 free topics were: General plumbing technical, Health & safety and business acumen.
    • 11.  The top 3 paid for topics were: Point of use geysers, earthing & bonding, debtor management.
    • 12.  Audiences in 9 different countries use the e-learning platform.
    • 13.  The PIRB’s CPD requirement is 20 points per year, the free courses on offer on IOPSA’s e-learning platform amount to 34 points per year (yes, you read that correctly! And that excludes other free CPD activities like meetings and community work).
    • 14.  During the year IOPSA has placed 140 free CPD training courses on YouTube ( where we have 1841 subscribers and growing.
    • 15.  Youtube advertising revenue amounted to a whopping R892 for the year.

    Admittedly, some plumbers may spend thousands of Rands on CPD courses, but this is their choice, there are plenty of opportunities available to achieve all the CPD points needed at absolutely no cost. Plumbers who leave their CPD to the last minute, often end up scrambling to participate in any course available to make up their points, with some planning, that is completely unnecessary.  It is interesting to note that of all the industries we have looked at, the plumbing industry is the only one which has such options available. Most industries require a minimum spend of around R20 000 per year in order to achieve their points. The plumber does need to invest some time and for small businesses that can be a challenge but in the end, they are gaining valuable knowledge which will ultimately benefit them massively.

    I have heard people say that “they are making millions on CPD” and “its just a money-making scheme” and various other similar comments. The truth is vastly different, there is NO other industry which makes its CPD more affordable or accessible to its stakeholders. CPD is by no means a cash cow for any of those involved. What it is, is an opportunity for plumbers to uplift and improve themselves. Knowledge is the one thing that can never be taken away from you, embrace it!!

  • 01 Feb 2022 10:03 AM | Anonymous

    A week’s work for a team of Nelson Mandela Bay plumbers helped restore dignity and basic sanitary conditions to a destitute community living on a plot of land on the outskirts of Gqeberha.

    Now, the dozens of residents at Place of Hope in Greenbushes do not have to worry about raw sewage running down their streets, and their children’s health will improve along with their cleaner living conditions. Each year, the Eastern Cape branch of the Institute of Plumbers of SA identifies a project where its members band together to help the less f o r t u n at e. The initiative usually coincides with World Plumbing Day on March 11, but the institute’s regional chair, Adriaan Myburgh, said Covid-19 had forced them to delay their project last year, to the benefit of Place of Hope residents.

    The team is now looking for a new project to tackle on March 11. “We couldn’t do our project in March [2021], but we refused to skip a year and started asking among our members if they had any suggestions where we could help the less f o r t u n at e. “Pieter Rademeyer [of Pieter Rademeyer Plumbers] took us to Place of Hope and within days we knew what had to be done and work began.” The owner of Place of Hope, who asked not to be named, started the shelter decades ago with her husband on a piece of land adjacent to Cape Road. They opened their gates to a handful of destitute people looking for a safe place to start over, and when they sold their land in 2007 they provided shelter for five families. They relocated the shelter to the piece of land it now occupies, and the community has grown to 26 families, comprising about 90 people.

    Myburgh said when the plumbing team arrived at the property early last month, raw sewage was running down the streets between the makeshift houses on the smallholding. Children were playing in the dirty water, not realising the dangers and possible health risks involved. It turned out that the existing French drain system on the plot was inadequate for the number of people using it, and it was not emptied and treated as regularly as it should have been. Within days, more than 15 companies, consisting of members and non-members of the plumbers’ institute, volunteered materials and services to alleviate the problems at Place of Hope and contributed to building a longer-lasting solution for the community.

    “We often underestimate people’s willingness to become involved in a worthy cause and we were blown away by the support this project received from the local business community,” Myb u r g h said. “Some people gave equipment, others brought materials, and then there were teams giving their time to oversee the project.” Within a week, the plumbers had cleaned out the existing drainage systems, increased their capacity and installed plumbing that would allow the shelter’s residents to expand their homes.

    Myburgh said there was still a lot of work to be done to improve the community’s conditions and that it would be an ongoing project. However, the residents’ quality of life had already improved immeasurably. Rademeyer said he came across Place of Hope 10 years ago and had assisted with smaller projects at the property from time to time, but when he heard the institute was looking for a bigger project to tackle, he immediately knew the plumbers could make a real difference. “What the landowners have created here is a chance for people to start over and improve their lives, and that needs to be applauded and supported . “I am happy we could make an impact on these people’s lives , ” Rademeyer said. Resident and community leader Judith Benzies said they were grateful and humbled by the generosity.

    “We would like to thank everyone involved in co-ordinating the project, including the managers, supervisors, workers and suppliers, for their selfless act to improve the lives of those in need. “We do not have the words to fully express our gratitude,” she said. Myburgh said the regional branch of the institute wanted to challenge its counterparts in other regions, as well as the broader business community, to identify projects where they could make a difference in people’s lives. “We don’t do this for the publicity, ” he said. “We do it to make a difference. “Why can’t others do the same?

  • 07 Dec 2021 1:17 PM | Anonymous

    The Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) and the Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB) conducts the Plumbing National Survey annually.

    This analysis is an initial review of the responses and some preliminary findings from the Plumbing National Survey 2021. According to 2020 data, there are approximately 95 626 people who self -identify as plumbers (including apprentices) in South Africa, down from previously 113 232 in 2019 (StatsSA, 2020), and 125 000 in 2018 (TIPS/SD4GE 2019) an approximate decrease of 15,5 percentage points and 9.4 percentage points respectively. The 2021 survey received a total of 1074 responses. The respondents represent only approximately 1,1% of those who self-identify as plumbers in the industry. In comparison to 2020, there were 50 more responses to the 2021 survey, however, a handful of participants failed to respond to two questions.

    Click here to download the full report

  • 07 Sep 2021 9:04 AM | Anonymous

    We are excited to announce that we have subscribed to the PrivySeal Digital Accreditation Service to provide you with real-time digital credentials, to showcase your IOPSA membership.  We believe this will benefit IOPSA and our members by helping us to protect our Brand, Membership and Intellectual Property.

    More importantly, it will help you as a member showcase your membership with us to consumers with just the click of a button. Your PrivySeal and linked digital Certificate can be displayed in your invoices, email footers, vans, marketing materials, social media profiles, websites, basically everywhere you can! This will help promote consumer confidence in your company!

    PrivySeal makes key information visible, showcasing your expertise and building trust.

    PrivySeals are already being used by Architects, Quantity Surveyors, Mechanical Engineers, Landscape Architects and many other SAQA recognised Professional and Regulatory bodies.  It’s all about promoting people with genuine and current skills by making them visible.

    Key Benefits

    • Your IOPSA PrivySeal helps your clients spot the difference between a genuine IOPSA member who meets our requirements and can be trusted and potentially risky service providers, at a glance.  It builds trust in your expertise and professionalism, helping you get and retain clients.
    • All IOPSA PrivySeal and linked digital Certificate are automatically revoked and do not appear if a member is not currently in good standing. So, the days of pretending to be a paid-up IOPSA member, when they are not, are over!


    • Assists plumbing professionals to be recognised as accredited, adding a competitive advantage.
    • Distinguish between different levels of membership.
    • Rewards the trade knowledge and regulatory compliance.
    • Avoid the time consuming delays associated with the receipt via post of physical certificates as well as the related inconvenience of having to obtain and deliver certified copies.

    The Public

    • Assists the Public to identify compliant professionals at a glance.
    • Assists the Public to make informed decisions in choosing a service provider.

    Click here to find out how to register for your FREE IOPSA Membership PrivySeal

    Please find Membership PrivySeal & Certificate Examples below.

    We really hope that all the IOPSA PrivySeals are widely used and seen everywhere and help you build upon your already professional reputation by assisting you to prove you are a trusted Service Provider and Professional.

    Should you require any assistance in claiming your PrivySeal please feel free to contact us on 011 454 0025 or

    Copyright © 2021 IOPSA.
    All rights reserved.
    Contact email:

  • 15 Jul 2021 10:42 AM | Anonymous

    The primary focus National Development Plan (NDP) of South is to eliminate income poverty and inequality, as well as to increase employment.

    The NDP accordingly calls for the annual entry of 30 000 qualified artisans into the industry. The plumbing industry is however characterised by far more informal activity than formal, with the number of formal enterprises declining every year and the number of informal operators increasing.

    It is estimated that there are more than 125 000 self-identified plumbers in South Africa. In this dataset that is produced by Statistics South Africa, 10 359 employed one or more people and 12 860 are own-account workers.

    An analysis by race of the owners shows that there are increasing numbers of formal black, Indian and coloured plumbers. Most plumbing business, whether formal or informal, are dominated by men. Female business owners are most likely to be operating in the informal sector.

    Click here to download the formal report

  • 13 Jul 2021 12:25 PM | Anonymous

    It is with great sadness that we, at IOPSA, have observed the outbreaks of social unrest, rioting and looting over the past few days. These actions have seriously affected the ability of plumbers and plumbing suppliers in KZN and Gauteng to provide services to their communities. Plumbing is an essential service and these actions mean that not only are many plumbers unable to earn a living but communities are being left without water and adequate sanitation – a serious health concern. In a water scarce country, we can ill afford to lose vital water to leaks which are now going unrepaired. Material supplies are also being severely constrained and if the situation continues this will lead to further delays in the future.

    We condemn the wanton destruction of property and the threat posed to innocent civilians by riotous mobs, in the strongest possible terms. Several plumbing suppliers’ stores have been looted and at least 1 plumbers’ vehicle was torched. In these difficult times these illegal actions could very well lead to further job losses.

    The National government has commissioned the South African Police Services and the South African National Defence Force to calm the situation, to urgently quell the unrest, and to return law and order to our affected cities, towns, and communities.

    Our immediate focus is on ensuring the safety of all those in the plumbing industry, while working with law enforcement agencies to ensure that everything is being done to restore calm and order in the affected areas. It must be noted that service delivery continues without disruption in most other areas of the country.

    We appreciate the anxiety and stress that this causes, and the extreme disruption to clients. We implore all those working in the industry to take extra precautions in protecting themselves and their staff and call on the affected communities for calm. Whatever the grievances, violence and criminality are not the answer.

    To all IOPSA members, the plumbing community, and the public, please remain calm and allow law enforcement to do their work. Look after yourselves and your families, we will get through this!

  • 07 Jul 2021 11:44 AM | Anonymous



    In keeping with our transformation policy IOPSA have done an exercise to update our constitution to remove all gender specific wording. 

    Please view the proposed changes here

    Should you have any concerns in regards to these changes or would like to object to any of them please contact us directly on

  • 05 Jul 2021 3:38 PM | Anonymous

    05 July 2021


    COVID-19 arrived in South Africa in March 2020 to devastating effect. We are currently experiencing the 3rd wave which is once again impacting the country severely. SA has been in various stages of lockdown for nearly 16 months now and the impact on businesses has been severe. The plumbing industry has not been immune, but the impacts have been mixed. Plumbing businesses which operate in the construction/new build industry were extremely hard hit by hard lockdown, since then there has been a slow but steady recovery, it will take some time before these businesses get back to pre-COVID levels, but there is movement. Plumbers who focused mainly on commercial and industrial maintenance have arguably faired the worst, business closures, work-from-home and lockdowns have seen their business dwindle. It remains to be seen what the long-term impacts will be but for now these businesses are struggling to survive. Conversely plumbing businesses which focus on domestic maintenance and renovations have been doing quite well, this is largely due to two factors, firstly more people are working from home and wanting to renovate or upgrade their homes, secondly with more people at home for longer periods, plumbing equipment tends to get used more often which leads to higher maintenance. Essentially a lot of the commercial/industrial maintenance market has shifted to the domestic market due to people working from home.

    On average IOPSA membership has grown by around 10% per year for the past 7 years, however over the last 3 years membership has grown by 12-14%. This year looks set to be even better. This is not necessarily an indicator of market growth but more, we believe, due to renewed confidence in the services that IOPSA offers its members. Whilst cancellations have been relatively low, around 5% for the years leading up to 2020, we have seen an increase to around 7% since March 2020. Since March 2020, IOPSA has been carefully monitoring the reasons for cancellations of memberships to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on the industry. The below graph illustrates the reasons given by members for cancellations from March 2020 to June 2021.

    COVID                           Financial difficulties due to COVID-19    

    Closed                           Business closure – no reason given.

    Unpaid                         unpaid fees – no reasons given.

    Unwanted                   No longer want to be IOPSA members.

    Restructure                Cancellation due to business restructure/no longer do plumbing work.

    Liquidation                 Business currently in liquidation

    Emigrate                      Business owner emigrated.

    Retire                            Business owner retired.

    Sold                               Business sold

    PIRB                               1 member cancelled due to IOPSA’s association with PIRB.

    Deceased                     Business owner deceased.

    Prior to 2019 IOPSA did not capture data on reasons for cancellations therefore accurate comparisons against previous years is difficult. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that in the period 2017-2019 the main reasons for cancellations were;

    • 1.      Unpaid fees
    • 2.      Emigration
    • 3.      No longer want to be members.
    • 4.      Business closure
    • 5.      Retirement

    A full quarter of cancellations were directly attributable to financial difficulties experienced due to COVID-19, many of these members have indicated that they would like to continue as IOPSA members if their financial position improves. It is also reasonable to assume that many of the businesses that closed without providing reasons or went into liquidation may very well have been due to the effects of COVID-19. IOPSA staff have also reported that several older members decided to bring their retirement dates forward due to the health risks posed by COVID-19. Of interest, is the reduction in emigrations. South African plumbers are still in demand internationally but due to travel restrictions emigration has been difficult. From these statistics there is little doubt that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on plumbing businesses. The extent to which it has and is affecting current members will be assessed in the annual industry survey in August 2021.  

    The below graph indicates cancellations by region. The graph closely tracks IOPSA’s membership per region, with one exception. The Western Cape makes up roughly 13% of IOPSA’s total membership, however this region only accounted for 7% of cancellations since March 2020. This was arguably the most surprising finding from the report since IOPSA has faced some stiff opposition in the province. We are not sure if the reason for this anomaly is due to plumbers in the Western Cape weathering the COVID-19 storm better than other provinces or for some other reason, but it makes for an interesting anomaly. We are currently trying to source other data sets to compare this to and hope to find more answers during the upcoming annual industry survey.

    As the 3rd wave reaches its peak we are once again receiving more reports from members who are finding trading conditions increasingly challenging especially in the new build and commercial/industrial maintenance markets. Many of these businesses are now pivoting into domestic maintenance, the effects of this change are yet to be seen but it will likely create stiff competition for those already in the domestic market. Whilst plumbing, being an essential service, is certainly more resilient than many other sectors, the impacts are definitely being felt. There is a distinct lack of larger construction projects and government tenders, releasing projects that are currently on hold would go a long way in stimulating the sector and creating much needed employment opportunities.

    IOPSA would like to remind its members and everyone in the plumbing industry to wear masks at all times, regularly wash or sanitise hands and practice social distancing. We encourage everyone who is eligible to receive the vaccine to do so as soon as possible. Together we can overcome this pandemic.

    Should you have any queries on this or any other matters, please do not hesitate to contact us on 011 454 0025.

  • 05 Jul 2021 12:10 PM | Anonymous


    July 2021 - Plumbing sector leads a new approach to apprenticeships, increasing youth employment and enhancing the sector

    When a sector organises itself into an engine of inclusive growth, it can focus on the mutual interests of all stakeholders, including industry bodies, employers and educators. Working together enables them to identify sector needs, create jobs, and fill those jobs with young people who would otherwise be locked out of the economy. Setting these young people up for success with transformative training enables them to play a vital role in enhancing the sector and the economy. 

    Brendan Reynolds, Executive Director of IOPSA (Institute of Plumbing South Africa), says the realisation that construction and plumbing companies had stopped taking on apprentices was a wake-up call. 

    “Plumbing offers great opportunities. It features on the 2020 National List of Occupations in High Demand and is part of the government’s target to have 30,000 trained artisans in place annually to fulfil strategic infrastructure projects and Covid recovery plans,” he says. “If we can change employers’ perceptions of apprentices, we will see significant growth in apprenticeships and new employment opportunities to meet the government’s target.”

    According to Reynolds, many young people arbitrarily choose trade jobs because they offer a faster route to earning a stipend. However, if a young person is not suited to the work, they will not succeed regardless of how desperate they are to make a living.

    “A poor match between a young person and their chosen vocation is one of the reasons that our TVET colleges show low pass rates and aren’t producing the candidates our industry wants.” 

    Through collaboration and an enabling partnership between Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and IOPSA, the plumbing sector has identified its challenges in appropriately sourcing and skilling young people as artisans, ready to tackle their apprenticeships with willing and supportive employers. In response, it has now introduced two game-changing education models for plumbing.

    BluLever Education - an apprenticeship that takes itself seriously

    BluLever Education, an organisation that develops artisans through holistic vocational education and skills training, offers a Red Seal plumbing qualification after a 3-year practical apprenticeship. 

    BluLever has designed a unique approach to apprenticeships that feature three months on campus and nine months of job shadowing and on-the-job training in the workplace every year. However, it starts with an intense 8-week induction leadership camp that equips candidates with the attitudes they need to succeed. 

    Harambee sources candidates for the programme through the platform, based on the attitudes and aptitudes most valued in successful plumbers. They are interviewed in one-on-one sessions with the BluLever team and attend a class-based session where problem-solving, teachability and hand skills are assessed before they are invited to the leadership camp.

    Adam Collier, Co-Founder and Co-CEO at BluLever, says that they want candidates who will succeed as apprentices. “We want young people who are passionate about their work, interested in it, and willing to put three years into it.” Of the 509 applications received by Harambee, 47 youth were offered to join the programme, 45 signed acceptance letters, and 42 attended the leadership camp to begin their plumbing training.

    Collier, who is recognised as one of Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans in 2021 for his response to the new and unique challenges of the past year, says the BluLever apprenticeship takes itself seriously. Combining the focus on candidates’ personal qualities while enhancing their life skills through work-readiness training, technology skills, entrepreneurial thinking, and understanding the ever-essential ‘soft skills’, makes all the difference to the candidates’ future success. 

    BluLever attributes much of the success of its programme to the support of Harambee and IOPSA, particularly the relationships IOPSA develops with willing employers in the sector. Success depends on all stakeholders' involvement, and BluLever has formed good relationships with over 80 companies at which trainees will be apprenticed. These range from small plumbing businesses to larger construction and maintenance companies. They have a vested interest in their apprentices because they contractually commit to them for the full three years, which includes paying their stipends for that period. 

    The ultimate goal is for the partnership to share programme learnings and successes with TVET colleges, with scale in mind, to develop more young people employers want to hire.

    National Business Initiative introduces a new qualification

    In 2019, IOPSA led a process to register the Plumbing Hand skills programme, which has created a new entry-level pathway for young people into the plumbing industry. The entry-level qualification offers a short, high-impact route to employment. It comprises 13 weeks in the classroom hosted by select TVET colleges identified by the National Business Initiative (NBI) in partnership with IOPSA. Harambee is responsible for recruiting, selecting, and matching trainees based on their likelihood of success, taking their attributes and interests into account. The host employer makes the final selection in many cases. Their plumbing hand works under the supervision of a qualified plumber to learn a vital role in offices, hotels, or any building with plumbing where small things often go wrong, like leaking toilets or dripping taps.

    Alongside an intensive focus on plumbing skills, the curriculum includes an effective work readiness programme developed by Harambee, providing a range of modules such as behaviours and socialisation for work. In addition, the Allan Gray Makers programme introduces the opportunities and possibilities for business ownership and entrepreneurship. 

    This is followed by 6-9 months of structured workplace learning in a company under the supervision of a qualified, experienced plumber who acts as a mentor for the candidates, providing them with regular ongoing support and check-ins.

    This much-needed intervention supplies the industry with the skills it needs while pathwaying young people into work as quickly as possible, especially those who don’t have the funding to study for three years on a stipend. It also increases their chances of progressing to a Red Seal plumbing qualification as they achieve an accredited qualification that places them on the road to apprenticeship, and they can work while studying. 

    “The Plumbing Hand programme provides a basis to shift the mindset of TVET colleges towards more employment-oriented programmes,” says Anthony Gewer, a programme manager at NBI. “The programme addresses the gap between theory and workplace application, laying the foundation for meaningful career pathways.”

    To date, 66 TVET college students have enrolled in the plumbing programme, with 32 successfully completing it in 2020 and the remaining due to finish in November 2021. The current 86% pass rate shows a significant increase to what TVET programmes have previously achieved. The first cohort of Plumbing Hand graduates have been registered with the Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB) as Technical Operator Practitioners and are now on their way to becoming qualified plumbers.

    Not just a man’s job

    A Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) strategy has been developed to assist and enable an element of IOPSA’s transformation strategy for the plumbing sector. The plan provides a framework to identify where and how additional support can be provided to individuals and employers to create an environment conducive to the participation of diverse groups, particularly women, who have previously struggled to access the sector.

    Areas where the GESI work has made strides include a review of the plumbing curriculum with gender equity and social inclusion lens, enabling greater access to plumbing training and work opportunities, channels to support candidates and employers, and the development of social inclusion workshops to generate awareness on equity and social inclusion. A simple, yet very significant example of this is the awareness of the need for women's bathrooms and changing areas in the workplace, which has not always been available until now, therefore creating a feeling of exclusion for women on plumbing teams.

    Both programmes have a particular focus on gender inclusion. Neither BluLever nor NBI battle to attract women to a career in plumbing, with female participation in both programmes being well over 50%.

    Kaela Wilson, marketing director for Women in Plumbing, an organisation that advocates plumbing as a viable career for females, says some gender-specific traits give women an added advantage in the job.

    “Women have an eye for detail and patience for challenging situations,” she says. “They are also less threatening when coming into your private property or business, and women are better at communicating with the customer in an understandable and comfortable manner.”

    Feedback from trainers and employers on the current female candidates is that they perform at the same, or better, levels than their male colleagues.  

    In their own words

    Mothusi, BluLever apprentice: “The person I was before the boot camp is very much different from the person that I am right now. Now I am able to confidently interact with people, I’m able to confidently voice my concerns and stand my ground.”

    Zanele, BluLever apprentice: "What attracted me is that there are not so many women that are doing plumbing. We all had the stigma of saying that it's a man's job. So I want to be that role model that tells other women that you can do it. I want to go into water and sanitation because water is a scarce resource in South Africa."

    Lulama, BluLever apprentice: "I believe that women have the drive and they have that energy and that motivation to keep on learning new things and to keep on upskilling themselves because we want to climb the ladder. Eventually, I want to upskill myself to be a master plumber."

    IOPSA research conducted two years ago found that of the 125,000 people who identified themselves as plumbers, fewer than 20,000 were actually qualified. The earning potential for unqualified or informal plumbers is lower (roughly 50% less) than their qualified counterparts. Their work is also less secure and offers fewer opportunities for career advancement. The result of this is a significant bottleneck that constrains inclusive industry growth. This new industry-wide approach to plumber training not only gives young people a pathway into vocational work but will also bolster the number of qualified plumbers in South Africa, who will not only earn more and advance further but can start their own businesses, which unlocks employment opportunities for entry-level youth, catalyses employment and has a multiplier effect on the increase in earnings for plumbers and growth for the sector.

  • 02 Jul 2021 3:55 PM | Anonymous

    As you will clearly see IOPSA has been remarkably busy in the industry. We are extremely grateful to all our members, staff, stakeholders, funders and supporters for their assistance in achieving these goals, we could not do it without them. We acknowledge that there is much more that needs to be done and we will continue our best efforts to improve the industry and to make the trade of plumbing great again.

    Herewith a list of our activities;


    • Free weekly health & safety webinars open to everyone in the industry. (CPD accredited)
    • Free COVID safety training for the workplace to anyone in the industry. (CPD accredited)
    • Nearly 100 IOPSA members received free first aid training. (CPD accredited)
    • Around 60 IOPSA members received free fire fighting training. (CPD accredited)
    • 500 masks given to IOPSA members at no charge.
    • Free health & safety files available to all members
    • Free basic health & safety advice for members.
    • IOPSA developed a COVID workplace safety plan which is freely available.

    Technical Schools. (all at no charge)

    • Technical support
    • Guest lecturing
    • Career days
    • Donated text books and literature to 9 schools
    • Promotion of the trade of plumbing
    • Assisted with donations of materials needed for practical tasks.
    • Currently working with funding partners to identify gaps and challenges which could be solved.

    TVET Colleges.

    • Nearly 400 young unemployed people placed in fully funded apprenticeship programs.
    • Around 150 of these are women.
    • This translates to over R30 million in value for participating IOPSA members over 3 years.
    • 120 unqualified but experienced plumbers placed in fully funded ARPL programs.
    • Established a training forum for colleges and educators to discuss plumbing related matters.
    • Guest lecturing, especially on standards.
    • Promoting the trade of plumbing
    • Assistance in the design and set up of centres of specialisation for plumbing training.
    • Inspections and quality assurance.
    • Development of various plumbing curricula and trade tests.
    • Free mentorship programs


    • Free weekly technical webinars open to anyone. (CPD accredited)
    • Free weekly business webinars open to anyone. (CPD accredited)
    • Free training for Building Control Officers
    • Free training for insurance claims staff, managing agents and architects.
    • Free on-site training given to over 100 IOPSA members.
    • Free to register e-learning platform.
    • Free Youtube channel with a huge amount of informative content. (CPD accredited)
    • Free technical advice
    • Resolved around 120 consumer complaints.
    • Mediation in disputes between IOPSA members and on warranty claims.
    • Mediation in disputes between IOPSA members and their clients.
    • Plumbing audits.
    • Plumbing inspections for home and property owners.
    • Promoting professionalism in the industry.
    • Promoting the use of Qualified Plumbers and informing consumers of the risk of using unqualified “plumbers”
    • Supporting Proudly South African and the Buy Local campaign.
    • Numerous research papers on the industry.
    • Providing information on new products, methods and changes to legislation.
    • Free plumbers’ meetings. (CPD accredited)
    • Established an insurance forum to discuss matters related to plumbing.
    • Established a building control forum to discuss matters related to plumbing.
    • Representation to various government, municipal and private sector bodies, and forums.
    • Participation in development/review of virtually all plumbing standards and regulations.
    • Currently assisting several municipalities in drafting and implementing water by-laws.
    • Participation in various meetings, conferences and workshops related to the construction and plumbing industries.

    COVID-19 Response.

    • Free webinars on COVID-19 to anyone in the industry. (CPD accredited)
    • Free COVID safety training for the workplace to anyone in the industry. (CPD accredited)
    • 500 masks given to IOPSA members at no charge.
    • IOPSA developed a COVID workplace safety plan which is freely available.
    • Assistance in getting permits during hard lockdown.
    • Assistance in claiming UIF TERS funding.
    • Assistance in sourcing PPE and sanitisers during hard lockdown.
    • Established the Plumbers Support Fund to assist plumbers in need during hard lockdown.
    • Provided legal support to those members who fell foul of law enforcement during hard lockdown.
    • Free mental health webinars during hard lockdown. (CPD accredited)
    • Free COVID-19 prevention posters to anyone in the industry.
    • Provided regular updates, analysis and guidance on COVID regulations.
    • Virtual meeting platform for plumbers’ meetings.
    • Payment holiday for member who were struggling to pay fees.


    • Established an industry transformation committee.
    • Created an IOPSA Transformation policy.
    • Instituted regular free township plumbers’ meetings, COVID dependant. (CPD accredited)
    • Employed 7 unemployed black staff members, 6 female, 1 male.
    • Instituted a requirement for BBBEE certificates for members.
    • Instituted a preferential employment and procurement policy.
    • Currently undergoing a BBBEE rating exercise for IOPSA.
    • Grew black representation on committees from 11 to 22. Female from 0 to 7.
    • Grew black representation on the NEC from 0 to 3. Female from 1 to 3.
    • The Office Bearers of IOPSA are now 1 Black male, 1 coloured female and 1 white male.
    • Free BBBEE training videos uploaded to our Youtube channel.
    • Free gender equity and social inclusion workshops. (CPD accredited)
    • Assisted in the establishment of South African Women in Plumbing (SAWIP).
    • Signed the SAWIP pledge against sexual harassment in the workplace.
    • Undertook a review of all IOPSA documentation, the plumbing curricula, and the National Building Regulations for any racial or gender bias.
    • Took disciplinary action against members who transgressed the Transformation Policy.
    • Assisted in creating nearly 400 job opportunities for young unemployed mainly black people. Around 150 are women.

    Community. (All free of charge, CPD points were allocated to participants)

    • Installation, repairs and maintenance of the following;

    o An old age home in KZN

    o A police station in KZN

    o A childrens’ home in Western Cape

    o A school in Southern Cape

    o Numerous public toilets in informal settlements in Gauteng

    o A care centre in Gauteng

    o A community centre in Gauteng

    o An old age home in Free State

    o A frail care in North West

    o Sanitation services at an informal settlement in Eastern Cape.

    • Community clean ups

    o 2 parks in Gauteng

    o City clean up in Free State

    o A river in Western Cape

    o A Beach in KZN

    • Donations of various plumbing materials, text books, literature, COVID paraphernalia etc to colleges and schools.

    Commercial. (for members only)

    • Discounts from Health & Safety consultant
    • Discounts on legal services
    • Discounts on material purchases
    • Discounts on tyres, shocks and exhaust purchases.
    • Discounts on motor vehicles
    • Discounts on LPG Gas installers training
    • Discounts on waterproofing training
    • Free listing on “Find a Plumber” which gets around 200 enquiries per day.

    (this is over and above those member benefits listed above)

* Please note that all articles are dated and content was valid at the time of publication. 



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