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Lesiba Mailula: A mutual love

By Ntsako Khosa

Having a job that you love and being loved just as much by the company is rare.

Lesiba Mailula, prefabrication manager at Modern Plumbing Works, tells us how Modern Plumbing Works was and continues to grow people.

LesibaLesiba Mailula, prefabrication manager at Modern Plumbing Works.

Being a modern plumber

Mailula has been with the company for 11 years, having worked his way up from an apprentice to division manager. “After matric, the school I had attended connected me with the director of Modern Plumbing Works, Anthony Giuricich. The Giuricich family is heavily involved with the school. Getting to see how the plumbing industry works piqued my interest in being a plumber,” he says. The connection he made was meant to take him through different companies, but he loved what Modern Plumbing had to show him so he decided to stay. “And I’ve been here since then,” he chuckles.

The company has helped him to be a qualified plumber through funding his schooling career. “They’ve always been supportive in furthering my education; I’m very grateful for that,” he says. He had the opportunity to go for training in Switzerland, where he learnt the tricks of the trade and prefabrication. Geberit and Modern Plumbing sponsored his trips. “They’ve invested a lot into this and it’s bearing fruit,” he says.

“As plumbers we need to start working together to make the industry a much better place.”

Mailula and his team are responsible for the design, fabrication, and installation of pipework and fixtures onto plumbing frames. “Prefabrication plumbing is a process where we design and build a frame to suit any specific project. We then attach all plumbing pipes and components onto the frame. We pressure test all pipework for quality assurance. We basically aim to do as much plumbing work off site as possible so there’s less labour on site.” Some of the projects he has worked on that he is particularly proud of include the five-star Hilton Hotel in Nigeria; Time Square in Menlyn, Pretoria; and 135 West in Sandton. “The majority of the projects were done in our workshop, which shows that prefabrication is the way to go because you can have a lot less plumbers on site while improving quality and speeding up the installation process,” he says.

Taking prefabrication to the rest of South Africa

One of his future endeavours is to take the use of prefabrication to the rest of the country. “To start working with other plumbers and getting them to use the system we use here. Prefabrication is for the plumbing industry as a whole. As plumbers we need to start working together to make the industry a much better place,” he says.

Outside the boundaries of Modern Plumbing Works

Mailula is heavily involved in the development of cricket in the township of Alexandra. He is the chairperson of Alexandra Cricket Club. “I am always looking for opportunities to help the youth in our community,” he says. He is motivated by the words of our former president, Nelson Mandela, “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”

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