SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.

General Education and Training Certificate: Water Services 
48495  General Education and Training Certificate: Water Services 
SGB Water Sector 
EWSETA - Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 12 - Physical Planning and Construction  Physical Planning, Design and Management 
Undefined  126  Level 1  NQF Level 01  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

A learner who has achieved this Qualification will have a firm foundation of knowledge and portable skills for further learning, an overview of key issues and practices in the water sector, and entry skills and knowledge relating to water services (this includes water treatment, water reticulation, waste water reticulation, waste water treatment, community water and sanitation).

Learners will have achieved a GET level both in general education areas such as literacy and numeracy, and in a range of life skills, providing them with the platform from which to proceed into the further Education and Training (FET) band. Competence in language usage and computation as used in the water industry are key to further learning. Life skills such as study skills enable learners to engage successfully with further education and training opportunities. Other life skills give them an understanding of the contexts in which they live and work, including insight into technology, environment, work and business environments, and issues such as health, and ethics within society.

Qualifying learners are able to:
  • Engage in a range of oral and written communication activities;
  • Understand the world of work and select appropriate business opportunities
  • Use and communicate numerical data
  • Use algebraic notation
  • Use measurement in a variety of contexts
  • Read and interpret maps;
  • Explain and investigate natural sciences
  • Explain the water cycle, water and wastewater reticulation systems, water purification and sanitation and wastewater treatment
  • Operate basic mechanical and electrical equipment

    Learners with this Qualification will also gain an introductory knowledge of the water sector, enabling them to understand the nature of water issues in South Africa, recognise entrepreneurial opportunities in the sector, and apply core skills in employable skills units. Through the elective component of the Qualification learners will also be able to select a possible area of work or job in which they can begin to pursue further studies in the career path of their choice within the water sector.

    This Qualification forms the foundation for advancement to the various Water Qualifications on NQF level 2 (water purification, wastewater treatment, water reticulation, community water, health and sanitation and wastewater reticulation). The individual learner will have the capacity to advance and gain skills and self-respect, as the qualified learner will gain practical skills as well as foundational and business skills.

    Rationale Of The Qualification

    This General Education and Training Certificate (GETC) level is a key stage within the learning pathways of those with limited formal education. As the culmination of Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET), it represents strategic development of under-educated individuals. As the bridge between ABET and Further Education and Training (FET), it lays a solid grounding for individuals to move into and within sector or career pathways, in many cases using already existing technical or vocational skills for purposeful progression.

    On the basis of this understanding of the importance of NQF Level 1, the Water SGB in consultation with the Local Government, Water and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (LGWSETA) has developed a foundational Qualification at this level in the area of Water Services.

    ABET is a continuum of learning beginning at initial literacy at ABET Level 1 and culminating at ABET Level 3, and eventually NQF level 1. In many respects ABET has been excluded from SETA and NQF-related developments , primarily due to the fact that the GETC was seen as a school-focused `general education` certificate for both school and adult learners. Industry-based Qualifications were perceived as taking NQF Level 2 as their starting point.

    This perception has shifted with the realisation that sustainable skills development must be based on foundational skills and knowledge, many of which are encompassed by ABET. This applies even to some learners who already have a senior certificate, but lack aspects of foundational skills. 

    It is assumed that learners wishing to enter a programme leading to this Qualification have demonstrated competence in the Unit Standards for ABET Level 3 Language and Communications and ABET Level 3 Numeracy including basic calculations.

    Recognition of Prior Learning

    This Qualification may be achieved in part or completely through the recognition of prior learning, which includes formal, informal and non-formal learning and work experience. Any learner wishing to be directly assessed may arrange to do so, without attending further training or education. The assessor and learner will decide together on the most appropriate assessment route to be taken. 


    A total of 39 credits have been allocated to Fundamental.

    A total of 76 credits have been allocated to the Core all of which are compulsary.

    A total of 41 credits have been allocated to Elective, of which 11 credits must be selected.

    In order to obtain the qualification, the learner needs to complete at least a total of 126 credits stipulated above. 

    On achieving this Qualification the qualifying learner will be able to:

    1. Demonstrate an ability to consider a range of options and make decisions using language, literacy and communication skills.

    2. Use mathematics to work with numbers, number patterns, measurements, ratio and relationships, space, shape and mapping.

    3. Use learning and research methods to improve personal lives.

    4. Function within a workplace environment and understand common workplace processes.

    5. Apply health and safety issues in the workplace.

    6. Apply learning skills and general knowledge in their personal, workplace and educational lives. 

    1.1 Language, literacy and communication skills are displayed to show a critical awareness of language usage;
    1.2 A range of values in texts related to the water sector are engaged with;
    1.3 Present information is identified, accessed, analysed, and used, whereas appropriate communication skills, conventions and structures are used for specific purposes and situations;
    1.4 A variety of strategies to learn are explored and used; and meaning i, organisation and structure in texts are engaged with;
    1.5 Communication, computational and learning skills are used effectively in order to make choices about further education and training.
    1.6 Information gathered about the water services sector is used to make appropriate decisions regarding career options.
    1.7 Knowledge of water resources is used to act in ways that conserve water in South Africa.

    2.1 Mathematical language and numeracy is used to manipulate numbers in a meaningful way
    2.2 Measurements are used in a variety of contexts including the water context
    2.3 Algebraic notations are used in a meaningful manner
    2.4 The role of maths in the social, cultural, political and economic worlds is understood.

    3.1 Time is managed efficiently and study skills are displayed;
    3.2 Effective personal planning and self-management is displayed.
    3.3 Information is analysed and organised efficiently and effectively;

    4.1 The role and impact of technology in society is recognised, and appropriate and available technology is recognised and accessed in a specific context
    4.2 General business principles and practices are explained at a basic level
    4.3 An understanding of social issues in general are understood, whereas own values, ethics and social responsibilities are identified.
    4.4 Key issues in water services in South Africa are identified.
    4.5 Key role-players in the water services industry are recognised, and knowledge to identify and select career opportunities is displayed.
    4.6 Business opportunities in the sector are recognised.
    4.7 Core skills and knowledge in water services are applied to a particular working context.

    5.1 Explain ethical and safety issues in the water sector
    5.2 Apply principles of occupational health and safety
    5.3 Describe security issues in the workplace

    6.1 The ability to work with others in both learning and work-oriented situations is demonstrated.
    6.2 Strategies to reflect on practice and to find ways to improve life are displayed.
    6.3 Learners` reflections on their own learning and opportunities for further learning in future are displayed.

    Integrated Assessment

    Integrated assessment at the level of Qualification provides an opportunity for learners to show that they are able to integrate concepts, ideas and actions across Unit Standards to achieve competence that is grounded and coherent in relation to the purpose of the Qualification. Integrated assessment should show how already demonstrated competence in individual areas can be linked and applied for the achievement of a holistic outcome.

    Integrated assessment must judge the quality of the observable performance, and also the quality of the thinking that lies behind it. Assessment tools must encourage learners to give an account of the thinking and decision-making that underpin their demonstrated performance. Some assessment practices will demand practical evidence while others may be more theoretical, depending on the type of outcomes to be assessed, and the nature and level of the Qualification. The ratio between action and interpretation is not fixed, but varies according to the demands of the Qualification.

    While the generic component (literacy, communication and life skills) of this Qualification at NQF Level 1 can be assessed through occupational contexts and activities relating to the water sector, care must be taken in both the learning programme and the assessment to ensure that these foundational skills are truly portable. The primary aim of this Qualification is to ensure that learners have a sound base of general education to prepare them for further learning, whatever career path they may choose. Learners must be able to transfer generic skills such as language, computation and learning skills etc across a number of different contexts, and apply them within a number of learning areas.

    A broad range of task-orientated and theoretical assessment tools may be used, with the distinction between practical knowledge and disciplinary knowledge maintained so that each takes its rightful place. Unit Standards in the Qualification must be used to assess specific and critical cross-field outcomes. During integrated assessments the assessor should make use of formative and summative assessment methods and should assess combinations of practical, applied, foundational and reflexive competencies. 

    The bulk of this Qualification is made up of the Fundamental components, reflecting foundational learning and generic skills and knowledge. The fundamental components, reflecting foundational learning and generic skills and knowledge have been derived from registered, local adult education Unit Standards. The core and elective components have been developed taking into account the uniqueness of South Africa`s water sector. The working group has been unable to find any international water Qualifications at NQF level 1 against which to benchmark these Unit Standards and Qualifications. 

    This Qualification will allow a person to articulate vertically a variety of Qualifications on NQF level 2 in the water sector. These include the National Certificate in Water Purification Process Operations, Water Reticulation Services, Wastewater Process Operations or Wastewater Reticulation Services. 

    1. Anyone assessing a learner against these standards must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.

    2. Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of these Unit Standards or will assess these Unit Standards must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA.

    3. Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines in the relevant Qualification and the agreed ETQA procedures.

    4. Therefore anyone wishing to be assessed against this Qualification may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

    For an applicant to register as an assessor, the applicant needs:
  • A minimum of two years practical, relevant occupational experience.
  • Declared competent in all the outcomes of the generic assessor standard, and certificated by the ETDP SETA or by the relevant ETQA.
  • Detailed documentary proof of educational Qualification, practical training undergone, and experience gained by the applicant must be provided (Portfolio of evidence).
  • Able to demonstrate competence in relation to these specified standards and Qualifications, at or above, the level of the Qualifications in question.
  • Meet any other additional requirements laid down by their constituent ETQA.

    The subject matter experience of the assessor can be established by recognition of prior learning.
    The status of registered assessors can be checked on the appropriate ETQA database or website. 

    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    A note on the compilation of standards in this qualification:

    In line with the SAQA principle of avoiding duplication, existing registered standards were used where possible. The issue around a knowledge based Qualification is documented in the accompanying motivation document. 

    Core  7513  Assess the impact of scientific innovation on quality of life  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  7508  Conduct an investigation in the natural science  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  7515  Debate ethical issues arising from advances in the natural sciences  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  14110  Demonstrate an understanding of fundamental concepts and principles in the natural sciences  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  14111  Demonstrate an understanding of how scientific skills and knowledge could contribute to sustainable use of resources  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  7507  Demonstrate an understanding of the concept of science  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  14664  Demonstrate knowledge of diversity within different relationships in the South African society  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  113935  Demonstrate knowledge of sanitation and wastewater treatment  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  113933  Demonstrate knowledge of the water cycle  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  113936  Demonstrate knowledge of water and wastewater reticulation systems  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  113937  Demonstrate knowledge of water purification  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  7487  Discuss the interrelationships between social justice, equity and democracy  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  12471  Explore and use a variety of strategies to learn (revised)  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  113966  Identify security, safety and environmental risks in the local environment  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  10007  Identify, analyse and select business opportunities  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  113941  Operate basic water related mechanical and electrical equipment  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  15091  Plan to manage one`s time  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  12535  Understand the world of work  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  12035  Apply personal safety practices on a wastewater treatment works  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  8494  Demonstrate an understanding of HIV/AIDS and its implications  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  7464  Analyse cultural products and processes as representations of shape, space and time  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Fundamental  7451  Collect, analyse, use and communicate numerical data  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Fundamental  7449  Critically analyse how mathematics is used in social, political and economic relations  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Fundamental  14084  Demonstrate an understanding of and use the numbering system  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Fundamental  7463  Describe and represent objects and the environment in terms of shape, space, time and motion  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Fundamental  12462  Engage in a range of speaking and listening interactions for a variety of purposes  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Fundamental  12473  Identify and respond to selected literary texts  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Fundamental  12469  Read and respond to a range of text types  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Fundamental  7461  Use maps to access and communicate information concerning routes, location and direction  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Fundamental  7447  Working with numbers in various contexts  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Fundamental  12470  Write for a variety of different purposes  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  113938  Conduct minor maintenance tasks on a water supply system  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  10006  Demonstrate an understanding of entrepreneurship and develop entrepreneurial qualities  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  113940  Demonstrate basic water related sampling techniques  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  113939  Interact with community members on water related matters  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  12878  Use and maintain Power Hand Tools on a construction Site  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  14042  Demonstrate knowledge of environmental health and community hygiene practices  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  7547  Operate a personal computer system  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  8420  Operate in a team  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  113934  Read water meters  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  9965  Render basic first aid  Level 2  NQF Level 02 


    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.

    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.