By Tanya Olckers

Rebecca Moroenyane fell in love with plumbing when she worked for an insurance company some years back. Today she has her own business and is passionate about helping plumbers upskill.

RJL staff.

RJL staff. Supplied by RJL Plumbing Services

When Rebecca Moroenyane worked in a department that focused on plumbing and building services with an insurance company, she developed a passion for plumbing. When 2017 rolled around, she began working with a construction company and was asked to work with plumbers. This was an opportunity she wasn’t prepared to pass up.

“The joy of being a plumber is that your skills will always be needed, regardless of the time of year or the state of the economy,” she says. “Gone are those days when plumbers used to be busy during the winter time.”

After working and gaining experience in plumbing, Moroenyane started her own company – RJL Plumbing Services – in 2019. The journey in creating her own company, she says, was not easy and she had to meet and work through a number of challenges.

“I am proud to say that RJL Plumbing Services created full-time employment for six guys,” she says, “I assisted one of our longest serving plumbers in getting a qualification and today he can sign his own COCs. The plumbing industry is continuously changing, and I make sure my staff get necessary training and are aware of what is happening in the industry.”

Rebecca Moroenyane started her own business in 2019.

Rebecca Moroenyane started her own business in 2019. Supplied by RJL Plumbing Services

She advises people who want to get into plumbing to gather as much information about the industry as they can. “Don’t get into the industry for the money,” she says, “You must have a love for plumbing. You must understand what is required to be a good plumber. Don’t be afraid to ask questions from senior plumbers. Get someone who can mentor you because plumbing is a challenging career.”

She also emphasises the importance of attending IOPSA meetings and workshops so that plumbers can meet industry peers and network. She says, “There are a lot of senior plumbers who are happy to assist up-and-coming plumbers.”

Moroenyane would like to see a future with more female plumbers, “To the ladies out there – we need more women plumbers,” she says. “We must also be counted amongst the best plumbers in the country. I would also like to see experienced plumbers be assisted to get qualifications. We have guys who have been plumbers for more than 15 years and they don’t have qualifications or proper papers. Some of them are not well educated but are good plumbers. My plea is for industry to lend a helping hand to them.”

What is the weirdest thing that happened to you as a plumber?

I went with my male counterpart to assist a client with a faulty geyser. The client was surprised that a woman could climb a step ladder and get into the ceiling and replace a geyser. The client kept asking if I needed assistance – he went as far as asking me if I knew what I was doing. After successfully replacing the geyser, I told him that the geyser was sorted and in a couple minutes he will have hot water. He insisted he would call me after an hour to tell me that the water is still cold. After an hour I called him to check if he had hot water. His water was hot, and the geyser was working perfectly.