Kwazulu-Natal Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  08 Dec 2014

EDUCATION: ATI Spends R3 Million Expanding and Upgrading Accommodation for Artisan Apprentices in Port Shepston


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Artisan Training Institute (ATI), the black empowered artisan training company, has announced it has spent R3 million on expanding and upgrading its accommodation facilities at its satellite operation in Port Shepstone.

The company has recently came out of a seven year R50 million capital expenditure programme which saw the upgrading of overall infrastructure, facilities and training courses. The company also established a new R4.5 million training centre in Hartbeesfontein, in the Northern Province, for diesel / tractor technicians – a centre that would also include accommodation.

Sean Jones, co-founder and director of ATI, said its Port Shepstone operation – launched three years ago - now boasts accommodation for 32 learners. “We are trying to expand our throughput of artisans in the KwaZulu Natal region as there is a noticeable shortage of trained artisans. We are hoping to attract more learners over the next 12 months and will be offering a bus shuttle service for learners who have no access to transport, or cannot afford transport.”

He said ATI’s Port Shepstone facility is located near the Oribi Gorge, which is a “wonderful environment for learners”.

Major clients in the KwaZulu Natal region include Natal Portland Cement and Idwala.

The R3 million spent at Port Shepstone was over and above the R50 million investment.

Included in the R50 million capital investment was the building of satellite training facilities, refurbishing of buildings, the establishment of new accommodation – and the purchase of new equipment.

The company also recently paid back a R13,5 million loan from IDC- taken out in 2007 - in full.

ATI will also be moving into a “big growth phase” in the North West Province, where the company has entered into an agreement with a large mining group to run a training facility on their behalf.

Mandisa Nyathikazi, co-owner of ATI, said the two partners had not drawn any dividends over the past seven years, choosing, instead, to plough back profits into “nurturing the business”.

Seven years ago Jones and Nyathikazi invested in excess of R20 million in buying and refurbishing the Ikhaya Fundisa Techniskills Academy (IFTA) in Roodepoort after receiving a bank loan from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). The company was renamed ATI two years ago.

ATI, one of the largest private training companies in South Africa, focuses on training artisans in a wide range of engineering-focused skills, including fitters and turners, rigger / ropes men, tool jig and dye makers, electricians, millwrights, instrumentation (MCI), welders, boilermakers, sheet metal workers, petrol and diesel mechanics, tractor mechanics, forklift mechanics, auto electricians and earth moving equipment mechanics.

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