The Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (SAPPMA) has begun conducting a series of educational lectures at selected universities and professional associations as part of their ongoing initiative to promote knowledge and awareness about plastic pipes within the academic community.
The campaign, aimed primarily at 3rd and 4th year engineering students, already witnessed engaging sessions held at the Universities of Pretoria and Wits in Johannesburg, as well as to the Institute of Municipal Engineers in the Eastern and Southern Cape. Future engagements have also already been set up with Stellenbosch University and the University of Johannesburg, during which distinguished speakers and industry representatives who are members of SAPPMA will be sharing their knowledge with the students.
“Plastic, though facing global criticism, continues to dominate certain markets – particularly in the realm of pipes. However, throughout the years we have found that higher education institutions lack expertise and comprehension of plastic pipes. Currently, the curriculum only includes a brief discussion of thermoplastic pipes as part of hydraulic design. Therefore, this educational campaign was created in response to a growing need to give students insightful information about the world of plastic pipes and the most recent developments in the sector,” explains Jan Venter, the CEO of SAPPMA.
To date, SAPPMA has funded each of these engagements entirely on its own, motivated by the view that doing so is a crucial, long-term investment that will improve graduates’ entry-level skill sets and job prospects. This was further demonstrated by the students’ comments that the lessons had opened their eyes to the crucial function that plastic pipes play in a variety of markets. The discussions also aided in dispelling myths about plastic materials.
“The feedback we have received from participating students and their lecturers who graciously created space for us within their exciting programmes, was overwhelmingly positive. During each of our sessions, the students posed insightful questions that fuelled productive discussions and generated a dynamic learning environment. These talks also highlighted their enthusiasm for the subject matter,” he said.
SAPPMA has reiterated that they continue to be dedicated to nurturing further engagements of this nature and to building a platform for knowledge exchange.
“It is our mission is to bridge the knowledge gap by offering practical, up-to-date information for all interested parties. We see it as an important part of our remit to provide clarity to the market and ensure tomorrow’s industry leaders receive well-rounded perspectives on the subject matter. To this end, SAPPMA aims to our aim is to persist with these efforts, provided they remain financially viable. We would also like to extend the invitation to other educational institutions, municipalities and water boards to engage with us in order to gain first-hand information on the evolving landscape of plastic pipes and their applications,” Jan concluded.
For inquiries or to arrange a speaking engagement,