West Coast College announced as college of choice at the launch of the RAC Pilot Project on International World Ozone Day
Coinciding with World Ozone Day, the Western Cape Government and international partner, the Free State of Bavaria, this week announced that the West Coast College has been selected as the first Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college in the Western Cape to train Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning (RAC) technicians on the use of natural refrigerant gases.
Minister Anton Bredell, Minister of Local of Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Western Cape Government congratulated the West Coast College on being selected and reiterated that this project actively demonstrates the Western Cape Governments’ commitment towards the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. “Through our RAC Partnership Project with the Free State of Bavaria, we once again kick off a significant milestone towards transitioning to natural refrigerant gases in the RAC sector in our Province,” said Bredell.
Mr Piet van Zyl, Head of Department Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP) challenged the members of the RAC Associations “to work closely with us to roll out the replication of such training programmes in the Province”.
Mr. Claus Kumutat, President, Bavarian Environment Agency, Bavaria said: “Both our national governments have ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol in the last years. Today, this Protocol assures climate protection alongside to the protection of the ozone layer. This, together with the decisions to slow down the impacts of climate warming, taken in Paris back in 2016, are landmark agreements affecting global climate change”.
The Kigali Amendment defines a schedule for the global Phase-Down of HFCs that are potent greenhouse gases. Alongside of this, the uptake of new refrigeration and air-conditioning technologies is expected.
Mr Matthias Hansen, the German Consul General to Cape Town sent his congratulations for the RAC Pilot Project inauguration. “It is of paramount importance that countries currently phasing out conventional cooling agents make a transition not to the next generation of fluoro-based agents, but to natural cooling-agents instead”, he said.
Dr Joy Leaner, Director of Air Quality Management and RAC Project coordinator at the Western Cape DEA&DP said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Free State of Bavaria, our fellow partners and our officials for their role and commitment towards realising this phase of the RAC Partnership Project, as well as the financial contribution made by the Free State of Bavaria and the GIZ GmbH (Proklima) Green Cooling Initiative towards providing the equipment, which is to be used at the training facility”.
“The training of skilled technicians in this sector demonstrates the Western Cape Government’s seriousness towards unlocking the market uptake of natural refrigerants, and with it, the use of energy efficient appliances in the Western Cape”, said Mr Gottlieb Arendse, Chief Director Environmental Quality, DEA&DP.
The West Coast College will train technicians on the use of natural refrigerant gases such as carbon dioxide, amongst others, and the safe handling thereof. Mr Lungisa Mbulawa, Principal at West Coast College said: "We are proud to be part of this initiative and the private sector and industry are our key partners to ensuring that the individuals we train are successful and get placed within the job market.”
Bredell added: “I want to reiterate that the successes we are achieving in the RAC Partnership Project are indicative of the importance of working together; it certainly gives credence to our motto of “better together”. We can only bring about change when working together, and through our interventions, we honour the goals and objectives of the Montreal Protocol and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.”
World Ozone Day celebrates 35 years of the signing of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer in March 1985, and which took effect in 1988 and reached universal ratification in 2009. The Vienna Convention was the first of its kind towards protecting the ozone layer and one of the most successful global collaborations of all by bringing scientists, governments, industry and citizen action together.