Plumbing and patience

By Dineo Phoshoko

Success does not come easy, regardless of what industry one works in. For Patrick van Zyl, learning the ins and outs of the plumbing industry helped him perfect his skills and become successful in the industry.

Patrick van ZylPatrick van Zyl has been in the plumbing industry for seven years.
Image credit: Ryan de Jager

This 29-year-old is a maintenance plumber at Modern Plumbing Works. Part of his job requires him to work on maintenance and small-works plumbing. “There are many career options for an apprentice plumber to choose from within the plumbing industry,” says Van Zyl. He said that another advantage of working in the industry is the possibility of earning a comfortable living.

His journey as a plumber started when Van Zyl enrolled at college and was placed at a construction company as an apprentice plumber. Since then, Van Zyl has seen seven years in the industry. Being in the plumbing industry has not always been easy; however, going to a trade school in the UK definitely helped him get to where he is today.

The best way to learn plumbing is to get stuck in.

One of the highlights of his career in plumbing has been working on the Norwood Police Barracks. “I had a lot of fun with the team I was part of. I was given time to improve my skills and I learnt a lot,” he says. He explains that the industry requires one to be very patient, because it takes time to make a decent living.

Van Zyl believes that the plumbing industry still needs some work, but he is optimistic that things will improve. In his view, one of the difficulties in being in the industry is dealing with the stigma attached to pluming. “I’m not dirty or stupid, and I’m not trying to scam anyone,” he explains.

When he is not busy with plumbing work, Van Zyl enjoys eating, cleaning, and catching up on some much-needed sleep. Looking ahead, Van Zyl would one day like to have a plumbing business of his own. His advice for people interested in getting into the industry? “The best way to learn plumbing is to get stuck in.”


Click below to read the April 2018 issue of Plumbing Africa

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