Thato Mohapi was recently appointed as the TWA coaching co-ordinator. His job is to bridge the gap between theory and practical training and ensure all stakeholders are meaningfully involved in the learning process. 

Accredited qualifications are based on integrated theory and practical training with a 30% classroom-based theory learning and 70% workplace practical application split, as laid down by EWSETA and SAQA requirements. No workplace is exactly the same as another and it can be challenging to monitor and standardise the practical training over a number of different water and waste water treatment plants spread across a broad geographical area on any one learnership. Heavy work schedules, shift rosters, staff shortages, limitations of a particular plant for a specific learning component can interfere with consistency of training. The learnership implementation relies on an accredited training provider, such as TWA, to facilitate the theory while the practical training becomes the responsibility of the different municipalities the learners are employed with. Supervisors and technical managers are expected to take on coaching duties over and above their day to day duties. Coaches are not always given the necessary explanation and support. TWA sought to address this issue to ensure that the learning experience is never compromised because of inevitable workplace constraints. The fist step was to listen to our learners, their supervisors and facilitators and to address their concerns about access to meaningful workplace coaching. 

1.Lburg WWT Thato and Coaches

An exciting new position was created to ensure overall co-ordination of coaching across a learnership, where the learner body is made up of members from different municipalities working on diverse plants. Our coaching co-ordinator makes early contact with municipalities and coaches, visits the workplace sites where he walks the plant with a coach and learns what each plant has to offer in terms of training, as well as where resources on alternative plants may need to be sourced.  Coaches, managers and learners meet with the coaching co-ordinator to ensure all understand their responsibility in the learning process and all understand what is expected in terms of coaching and learning standard operating procedures.  A mid-term monitoring and support visit is undertaken to check on progress and address any challenges. The coaching co-ordinator makes a third visit to the plant at the end of the learnership, once all coaching is complete for a final practical assessment to verify competency in the coaching component. 

Thato Mohapi , our coaching co-ordinator has a wealth of experience in the water services sector having worked as process controller, served on advisory bodies, facilitated training programmes, assessed and moderated learner evidence. His tenure as a union representative has equipped him with a deep understanding of the workplace environment and the unique nature of process control work. TWA is delighted to have Thato on board and we look forward to providing an enhanced service to all our clients, both present and future. 

TWA takes its1.Knysna WW visit Nov18 pledge to offer the best training in the water services sector very seriously. Recently the office admin staff, together with CEO Kevin Treffry-Goatley, donned sensible shoes and headed out to tour the Knysna water and waste water plants to better understand the workplace environment that our learners use as the basis for their training. We believe that increased knowledge and better understanding of the learner context by all members of staff, irrespective of their job designation at TWA ultimately benefits all stakeholders.

So, in our ongoing quest for knowledge we put our documents and computers aside for a morning and engaged in some first-hand site-based learning.

water wastewater reticulation training

TWA thanks Knysna Municipality for so readily and enthusiastically agreeing to host us.

Japanese visit web


The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), and representatives from the Infrastructure Branch Training Centre (ITBC) and The Water Academy (TWA) recently met at TWA offices in Knysna to discuss future training collaboration with regard to non-revenue water in South Africa

Photo of Noma sorting RPL files

Nomawethu our RPL admin support checking the first submissions of evidence and capturing the data.

In 2015 LGSETA appointed PiCompany to conduct a year long RPL Advisors course for persons in the Water Sector. Marius Pretorius from The Water Academy was selected to do this training and out of 60 candidates was one of the few who qualified. Marius is now the RPL advisor for The Water Academy. RPL is included in South Africa’s National Qualifications Framework (NQF) as a strategic redress principle and is upheld in legislation as a step in Further and Higher Education qualifications. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is defined in the National Standards Bodies Regulations as follows: “Recognition of prior learning means the comparison of the previous learning and experience of a learner howsoever obtained against the learning outcomes required for a specified qualification, and the acceptance for purposes of qualification of that which meets the requirements.”

In February this year large boxes of files were loaded into vehicles and trained TWA staff took to the road to kickstart the brand new RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) project. Our RPL facilitators drove thousands of kilometres across the Western, Northern and Eastern Cape meeting candidates, explaining the RPL process and delivering the evidence files. RPL takes account of previous learning and experience. It involves measuring and assessing that learning and experience against the outcomes for a particular qualification, in our case, in the water services sector. Candidates meeting the requirements are awarded the qualification. The process requires collection of quality evidence and proof of requirements for the specific qualification.

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Water Dialogue Knysna MunicipalityFebruary 2018 - The Water Academy was invited to attend a meeting entitled “Water Dialogue” at Knysna Municipality on 26th January, 2018. The invitation was issued in order that local businesses could engage with government bodies on the issue of a collective response to the Western Cape’s current water security.

The province is facing its worst drought in living memory. With climate change projections, it is estimated that the region is facing a 30-40 year water security challenge. The forum aimed to open up and facilitate discussion about an effective collective response to the current water shortage situation as well as how we can adapt to a “new normal”. Speakers offered information about the the response actions taken by government and business to date, talked of the development of water service and technologies, support available to local businesses and the possibility of forming effective partnerships in order to facilitate a community response to the current situation.

Garvey and Noma represented The Water Academy and brought this important dialogue back to the team at the office. In-house discussions have since taken place in order to establish how TWA can partner with the municipality and other local groups in mutual support and forward planning.