SAIW Company Profile

Leading welder trainer in Africa  a non-profit technical organisation dedicated to furthering standards in welding-fabrication and related technologies. Established in 1948, it is a founder member of the International Institute of Welding (IIW).


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[Johannesburg, 27 September 2018]: For many years, the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW), has provided opportunities for young South African men and women to acquire the skills in the welding and related inspection industries that enable them to get solid, well-paid jobs.

SAIW Executive Director Sean Blake says, “Over 75% of our graduates find meaningful employment and this, in today’s climate, is nothing short of miraculous,” he says.

He adds that over and over, the SAIW sees how its training transforms people’s lives as they get jobs in a host of industries that use welding. These include the oil and gas, construction, aeronautical, automotive and shipping industries – in fact, almost any industry one can think of.

Over the years the SAIW has created innovative cross-industry initiatives that have improved the standards in the South African welding industry. Since the introduction of its internationally recognised training programmes, it has also become the leading welder training organisation in Africa, with branches in Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town; uplifting thousands of individuals through welding.

Take Houston Isaacs, for example, schooled in Saldanha Bay, Houston always dreamed of a job using his hands. While employed as an operator at a well-known steel fabricator, his enthusiasm and dedication won him a bursary to train in welding at the West Coast TVET College. He completed his training in 2010, but jobs were scarce. That is, until he entered the SAIW Young Welder of the Year competition, in which he did brilliantly across all materials and welding techniques. A leading local gases and welding supplies company noticed his performance and immediately offered him employment.

Since then, Houston’s life has changed. He says the future was uncertain until the SAIW put him on the welding map and that he will be forever grateful for the opportunity that the SAIW and gave him in life.

And welding isn’t just for men either. Angel Mathebula’s SAIW Foundation bursary enabled her to compete and secure employment as an IIW International Welder. “We have many women on our courses and they often are the stars of the programmes. There is so much diversity in the welding and inspection world, there is room for anyone with the right credentials who is prepared to make the effort,” says Blake.

The SAIW is an exciting place to learn welding and it is managed by the top professionals in the country. Its qualification and certification services are administered by SAIW Certification, an independent company that has been authorised by International Institute of Welding (IIW) as an Authorised Nominated Body for the IIW Education, Training, Qualification and Certification programmes. SAIW Certification also operates the SAQCC programmes for the certification of pressure equipment personnel as well as Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) personnel.

The SAIW is holding an Open Day on the 11th January 2019 to show young career seekers what it can do for them. Don’t miss out on this opportunity, go to  and register. This could change your life.

Media contact:
Bridgette Macheke
MoonDawn Media & Communications

Tel: +27 (0) 079 5494
Cell: +27 (0)73 400 1549

Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) Minister, Naledi Pandor, at a recent meeting with captains of industry, has emphasised the importance of the department’s training initiative to boost youth employment in South Africa. Referred to as the Centres of Specialisation (COS), the programme aims to secure partnerships between the industry and 26 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges, countrywide, for the training of top artisans in 13 priority trade sectors.

One of these sectors is welding and the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW), the leading welding training organisation in Africa, has been awarded the contract from the DHET to act as the ‘Quality Custodian’ of the process in the welding industry.

Moreover, SAIW’s Etienne Nell has been appointed the industry’s Occupational Team Convener for the implementation of the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) Artisan Welder Curriculum (NOCC – A21 which is aimed at producing: a skilled and capable workforce to support economic growth; an increased availability of intermediate skills and an increased delivery of properly qualified artisan welders, at the Centres of Specialisation.

“The Minister is fully committed to the QCTO programme, which ultimately puts pay to the failed ‘Learnership’ idea. This is an excellent thing for the welding industry and all other trades in South Africa,” Nell says.

One of Nell’s first tasks was to find the two welding TVET partners and, after visiting several colleges, the Boland College in Worcester and the East Midlands College in Uitenhage were selected. These colleges will run the QCTO’s ‘dual’ training system, which combines technical education and practical training with authentic work experience in a fabricator’s workshop.

Meanwhile the National Skills Fund has set aside R150 million to support the partner colleges across all the sectors to ensure they are up-to-date and ready for training. For the welding industry, it will be Nell’s responsibility to help the two chosen colleges to procure the equipment, train the trainers and generally ensure that their infrastructures are in the appropriate condition for training.

SAIW executive director, Sean Blake, says that Minister Pandor’s support of this programme is wonderful news for the welding industry. “The Minister has said that national associations have a key role to play in modernising TVET colleges’ system for the production of intermediate-level skills and the SAIW is certainly ready to rise to the challenge,” he says.

He adds that bringing together of all the right players, including the various industries, government and business, in a cohesive programme will do wonders in helping to improve the skills situation in this country. “This is long overdue and the SAIW commits to doing all it can to make the initiative a success,” he concluded.