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SANparks employees upskilled with paving training

In preparation of future paving requirements for national parks and forming part of SANparks’ ongoing job creation programme, 21 SANparks employees underwent extensive training provided by Corobrik. 

Training took place at Corobrik’s Lansdowne Training Centre in September and October for the candidates, all of whom come from disadvantaged local communities. 

“Corobrik is dedicated to upskilling local communities through our not-for-profit training programmes at our three bricklayer training centres, Avoca, Landsdowne and Lawley,” said Christie van Niekerk, Corobrik Manager, Western Cape. “We are also delighted that the work being performed by these accredited individuals will take place within South Africa’s national parks, encouraging the responsible use of our fantastic natural resources.”

Headed by Corobrik’s Ismail Rothman, the 21 candidates were given a four-day intensive training session which involved both theoretical and practical lessons in paving. This included preparing the area, screeding the paved area, laying of different patterns, grouting as well as building of flower boxes and benches. 

Ensuring the highest quality of training, all Corobrik trainers are qualified artisans and assessors, accredited with a Construction CETA. Every student is thoroughly evaluated by internal and external assessors. On successful completion of the course, all learners were issued with a certificate of attendance from Corobrik which reflects Corobrik accreditation number.

In addition to the training programme, Corobrik will be providing pavers which will be used for the creation of hiking trails, constructed by the newly-qualified trainees, throughout the popular Table Mountain National Park. 

Falling under the care of South African National Parks (SANParks), there are a number of hiking trails which have been created using natural materials such as sand, clay and stone. However, because of the high foot traffic, erosion has become a major concern and attempts to prevent further degradation has seen the use of gravel in dry areas and wooden boardwalks in wetland zones.

All Corobrik’s clay pavers are highly vitrified allowing them to withstand all elements which makes them ideally suited for use along nature trails. The skid-resistant nature of each paver will also ensure user safety, particularly important in wet weather conditions.

“We have some four-and-a-half million visitors come to Table Mountain National Park annually,” said Lesley Ann, Park Manager of Table Mountain National Park. “Although we are exceptionally proud of these numbers, it does mean a lot of wear and tear on the trails which equates to considerable manpower needed for upkeep. The donation of the pavers, as well as the excellent training programme, will mean massive improvements to these trails in the future.”

Van Niekerk added that the clay pavers were the perfect product for use throughout the tourist destination. 

“Our clay pavers are extremely durable which means SANParks will not have to continuously channel time and energy to constant replacements,” he explained. “Because of its natural base materials, clay pavers have an amazing thermal efficiency ensuring they don’t overheat in the direct sun. They are also suitably coloured so as to blend into the surrounding natural environment.”

CAPTIONS: SANparks employees underwent paving training provided by Corobrik, one of its not-for-profit programmes dedicated to upskilling those in rural communities. 

PHOTO 12875: Edmund Rongwana, Bulelani Ngqola, Sonto Makondo and Zuko Tyhali  are pictured with a section of paving they have learnt to lay in a running bond