The Master Builders Association (MBA) North and the Professional Roof Repair and Waterproofing Association (PRAWA) have agreed to collaborate in order to accelerate the drive to introduce standards for the roofing and waterproofing industry.
“The start of the rainy season on the highveld is a good time to drive home the message that it does not pay to take short cuts when it comes to roofing and waterproofing. During tough economic times like the present, people can be tempted to go with the cheapest option, and then later find that sub-standard materials were used and there is no accountability,” says JJ Conradie, Executive Chair at PRAWA. “PRAWA was founded with the aim of helping the industry improve its skills and to provide a way to hold contractors accountable for the standard of the work they deliver to clients.”
“The MBA, and MBA North in particular, is doing a great job in helping the broader construction industry to upskill and to adhere to a proper professional code, so this alliance makes perfect sense.”
Conradie says thousands of people are active in the industry – participants range from handymen right up to industrial and commercial applicators dealing with sophisticated applications in the industrial, commercial and domestic sectors. While some contractors specialise in this area, others offer a range of construction services of which waterproofing and roof repair are just two.
Boitumelo Thipe, Marketing and Business Development Manager at MBA North says that the alliance with PRAWA is welcome because it brings an important sector within the construction industry into the fold. “Setting professional standards and providing training opportunities are essential ingredients of creating a professional industry that is able to gain the trust of the public, and can provide sustainable jobs,” she says. “Working with MBA North, PRAWA can play a massive role in improving the industry’s skills and thus opening up new opportunities, which is something our country desperately needs. Just as MBA-accredited builders are preferred by clients, in due course we will start to see PRAWA-accredited roof repairers and waterproofers identified as suppliers of choice.”
Conradie says that upskilling is an important foundation for creating a credible profession. To that end, PRAWA has teamed up with Roofing Academy, which offers CETA accredited training for waterproofing up to NQF Level 2, thus providing an excellent starting point in the journey to upskill the industry. Experienced roofers will also be able to gain certification through recognition of prior learning.
Skilled, accredited staff are more motivated and take more of a pride in their work – a great bonus for both their employers and clients, he points out. They are also better positioned to build careers rather than simply do jobs.
PRAWA has arranged a sub-committee that will work towards setting up a minimum standard for the industry. This sub-committee is made up of current industry role players, including:
- Browns Proofing
- African Rope Access
- Peche Roofing
- WNS Waterproofing
- JBC Roof Cover
- Dusty Moon Construction
“By setting standards we will help to make the industry more accountable, more professional and ultimately more profitable,” Conradie concludes. “The final piece of the puzzle is to provide an interface between contractors and their clients. PRAWA offers clients the option of getting completed work inspected by a PRAWA-affiliated inspector, and inspectors can assist in resolving disputes.”