A young woman from Mtwalume in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is thriving in the plumbing industry as an entrepreneur after successfully completing an apprenticeship programme availed by uMzumbe Local Municipality in 2015.
The municipality offered apprentices training for six months, and they had to find companies that will equip them with practical experience in order for them to obtain trade certificates after successfully completing the programme.
Sthando Cele (30), who is affectionately known as Thee Lady Plumber, is one of the young people who benefitted from the programme.
Cele, who is now the founder of Sthando Cele Plumbing and Civils, gained experience as a plumber through the training offered by a local company, which later permanently employed her.
While at the company, her working days were reduced from five to three days per week due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“Eventually, a number of us ended up working one week per month. That is when I decided to resign and start my own company. I started my company in 2021 while the country was on lockdown due to COVID-19,” she explained.
Currently, Sthando Cele Plumbing and Civils offers plumbing services that also include digging trenches and grinding walls in KZN. It currently employs five people.
“I’ve never received any funding for the business. I use the profits to buy equipment, pay workers and to grow the business,” she explained.
Government declared the period between 2014 and 2024 as the Decade of the Artisan to promote artisanship as a career of choice for South Africa’s youth. The campaign is aimed at increasing the number of qualified artisans in the country to sustain industries in support of economic growth.
Cele currently uses social media to market her business, especially Facebook and WhatsApp.
For more information about Sthando Cele Plumbing and Civils, send a WhatsApp to 071 100 6203. Facebook: Sthando Cele.