Moving forward with Confidence

Working from paper sketches, photographs with notation or rough computer generated drawings and converting them into full computer-aided design (CAD) is all in a day’s work for Paulten Mathivha, 34, a young entrepreneur in Pretoria.

Growing up, Mathivha, who comes from Soweto, always had a passion for things of a technical nature and to his delight he discovered that there are many jobs and business opportunities in this field. He started his career path by completing an AutoCAD Diploma from the African Academy, which is recognised as one of Africa’s leading draughting education and training institutions. The African Academy addresses the critical need for well-trained, skilled draughtpersons and contributes towards reducing unemployment in South Africa.

So how did he know where to study to follow his passion?

“When I was considering where I should study, I realised that some institutions offer training programmes ranging from three days to three months, but the African Academy provides a year-long programme – they make sure that everyone gets the required attention, no matter what their pace is,” said Mathivha. “’The draughting industry is so interesting, especially if you like working accurately and precisely. There is much to learn, from the drawing board to a computer generated drawing, and a short period of three months is just not enough.”

“After graduation you can be sure that you will get a job because of the skills acquired. For me, the highlight was that I received the full package from the African Academy – CAD mentoring, career guidance, life skill orientation and job securing. I then completed a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering and got to work with some large reputable companies from whom I got so much experience.”

I personally gained enough confidence to open a business. I believe this was helped through the mentoring and career guidance provided by the institution, and we were exposed to successful professionals from different industries, which was so motivating and interesting.”
With more than 10 years’ experience in CAD draughting & designing in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), Mathivha opened his own business in 2006, specialising in HVAC systems and engineering draughting. The business provides computer-aided draughting facilities to mechanical consulting engineers, architects, air conditioning contractors, suppliers and other professionals in the construction industry building services.
His business has been successfully involved in major projects in both the corporate and public sector, and is one of the few draughting firms that offers CAD draughting services that include colour references for ease of interpretation and understanding, giving credence to their motto: “Simplifying draughting”.

Asked about highlights in his life, Mathivha said that professionally a major highlight was undertaking a R70 million HVAC project for one of the major banks in Johannesburg, and personally he has been able to give back to the community – he is mentoring an African Academy student and preparing her for the corporate world in draughting.

There is no stopping this innovative, determined entrepreneur – he is proof that if you have passion and determination you can achieve your dreams.

“I am presently studying towards a Government Certificate of Competence so that I can be accredited as an engineer. I then plan to complete a Bachelor of Technology while training on Revit 3D, a building information modelling programme, in order to keep abreast of technology and industry requirements, particularly with respect to the new Green Building regulations. And it all started with the African Academy!”