Friday, 21 April 2017 08:20

NCPC-SA internship graduates contribute towards low carbon economy

16 interns concluded 2016 on a high note when they graduated on 5 December from the Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) internship programme. With the cleaner production skills that these young graduates gained via the programme, the interns proved to be great assets for their host companies, helping save over R7 million on water, energy and materials usage.


The benefits for the host companies are evident in the saving opportunities that the interns identified. During the in-plant assessments they conducted, the interns and their mentors quantified resource savings in water, energy, and materials that exceeded R36 million. By the time they graduated, the 16 interns had already facilitated implementation of interventions that realised approximately R7.5m per annum of actual savings to their respective host companies. 


Energy savings, which accounted for more than 48% of overall savings, amounted to 3,145,318 in kWh which translates to R2, 741,727. Water saving was a close second at 43% with 125,403 kilolitres saved which translates to R2, 703,935. With the strain felt by most companied due to the current drought, the water savings were of great benefit for the host companies and their surrounding communities.


“The programme is designed to not only teach interns the skills to do an in-plant assessment and identify saving opportunities at their host plant, but to also assist the company with implementation to realise actual savings,” said Wynand van der Merwe, NCPC-SA Skills Development Manager.


The new 12-month format of the NCPC-SA internship programme was launched at the start of 2016 with interns completing training on RECP, including energy management and energy systems optimisation. They were placed at manufacturing plants located in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.


The 2017 internship programme will consist of 19 interns - five from Gauteng, five from the Western Cape, four from KwaZulu-Natal and five from the Eastern Cape.


The NCPC-SA aims to work with the Quality Council for Trade & Occupations to develop the RECP internship syllabus into an occupational qualification that will be registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). This follows the successful registration of the Energy Efficiency Technician (Energy Audit Technician), as well as the registration of the Energy Management Advisor as occupational qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) by SAQA.


The NCPC-SA would like to congratulate all the 2016 RECP interns for completing the programme and wishes the incoming interns all the best.


By: Luvuko Nombembe



(front row) NCPC-SA team (front row) with graduates of the RECP Internship Programme.