The College of Cape Town is a leading provider of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, committed to serving and educating learners from all communities, offering a holistic learning experience in various vocational disciplines.
It is also the oldest Further Education and Training Institution in South Africa with a proud history dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. Four former technical colleges, Athlone College, Cape College, Sivuyile College and Maitland Technical College/ Western Province Technical College (now the Pinelands campus) were officially merged on 1 February 2002 to become the College of Cape Town. This arose from a rationalization in FET Colleges in which some 150 colleges around the country were reduced to about 50.
As a leading provider of Education and Training in mainly the FET band, the College of Cape Town has more than 11 000 students and its courses lead to recognised qualifications that are demanded by commerce and industry. The College strives to provide high-quality education and training to help equip individuals with the qualifications and skills needed to start out on a chosen career path.
The Pinelands campus
The Pinelands campus is the hub of Electrical Engineering studies at the College of Cape Town and has 22 workshops and labs for the growing number of students. It is also an accredited Refrigeration and Electrical Trade Test Centre.
In common with other institutions of higher learning, the College of Cape Town is largely dependent on funding from Government, with 90% of its student body receiving assistance from the National Student Financial Scheme (NSFAS) supplemented by donations from trusts, foundations and corporate South Africa.
Such a donation was recently received from Electro Mechanica (EM), specialised importer and wholesale distributor of high-end industrial electrical products, motor control switchgear and electronic automation products. The substantial donation – valued at more than R700 000 – of automation and distribution products was made to the Pinelands Campus to enhance its training facilities, thereby ensuring the curriculum remains relevant and in line with the latest trends.
This included PLCs, HMIs, soft starters and distribution boards.
The donation is in line with EM’s corporate social responsibility initiative to contribute to community empowerment and skills development. The products will allow the Pinelands Campus to focus on the growing trend to industrial automation and are complimented by a range of peripherals, explained EM Product Manager William Cameron.
The College provided EM with a ‘wish list’ of what it required, which allowed Cameron to source the required products from the supplier’s extensive inventory. The substantial donation was celebrated at an official handover ceremony in mid-July, which also allowed EM to introduce the company to students.
The Pinelands Campus will update its workshops towards the end of the year, installing the necessary cabling and readying work benches for these new products. Following that, EM will send technicians to train the lecturers on the full range of equipment supplied and to provide assistance in getting the equipment referenced in the new curriculum. EM has also supplied training materials for the donated products.
This includes the Delta range of industrial automation products. Extremely flexible and adaptable, the range has numerous applications that make it ideal for training purposes. Cameron foresees a long-standing relationship with the College of Cape Town, with a possibility of making more donations in the future and to other training centres in Durban and Johannesburg.
A vote of thanks from the College
Odwa Sigaba, Administration and Events Officer at the Corporate Communications and Marketing Department and former student of the College wrote of the donation:
It is with great excitement to know that amid the COVID-19 pandemic there is light. On the 14th July 2020, the College of Cape Town, Pinelands Campus had the honour of hosting a donation event for its NC(V) Level 3 and 4 Electrical Infrastructure Construction students.
This auspicious moment was when the College’s request for support heeded any form of support for the needy students, especially during these times of uncertainty. Electro Mechanica (EM) sponsored the Pinelands campus with equipment that will assist and brighten the future of our students. The donation of equipment will help ensure that learners have enough equipment to use for their electrical practicals.
“This great initiative has not only boosted the confidence of our students but of the lecturers as well to enhance practical experience.
“The event was attended by the EM Director Peter Whitelaw and Production Manager William Cameron. Amongst them the College Principal Louis Van Niekerk and the Executives of the College in their respective order. It has been a great honour during this time that such opportunities are made available for students.
The College would like to thank Electro Mechanica for making everything possible for our future artisans.”
Present at the donation handover were (L to R) College Principal, Louise van Niekerk; Deputy Principal, Tilly Reddy; EM Director, Peter Whitelaw; Pinelands Campus Manager,
Jan Kriel; and EM Product Manager, William Cameron.
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