Theory is like the body of a car, practicals are like the engine

Siphenathi Ralarala compares his work as an electrician to the functioning of a car, saying that you never know how a car works fully until you work on its engine!

Ralarala, who is a first-year electrical apprentice at HG Molenaar in Paarl, explains that he has learnt wirings and everything that must be connected to motors from the more experienced people and mentors he works with at the company, which he believes will adequately prepare him for his trade test. His apprenticeship training is funded by the merSETA.

“As a first-year apprentice, I know more about theory than practicals. So as anyone can imagine, I am excited to put my theoretical knowledge into practice and see things work as explained,” says Ralarala.

Ralarala completed his level 5 Electrical Engineering at Boland College in Cape Town and says he has so far learnt much from his apprenticeship training, such as how and why electrical panels work. Although he has some knowledge of this from theory, he explains that it was exciting to see this work practically. “This is the first time I have ever been or worked at an industrial engineering site and I am looking forward to learning more about electricals,” he says.

Having grown up in a rural area in the Eastern Cape, Ralarala says he was fascinated by all the technology in big cities. “I knew that there were areas in the country that were more advanced, but it was when I first came to Cape Town that I was introduced to electronics and how they operated. Although I’d always wanted to become an electrician, this gave me the eagerness to want to learn more, so that I could perform my work to the best of my abilities. I would like to be the first to introduce this technology to my rural village back in the Eastern Cape,” says Ralarala.

He advises young people, who want to build careers, to stay focused, avoid toxic friends and always find positives in every negative situation. “The only time I pressure myself is when I work towards achieving certain goals.

By Temana Masekela. Read the full story here: