By Ntsako Khosa
“My favourite part of my job is being able to fix anything. I get to do different trades in my one field daily.”“My favourite part of my job is being able to fix anything. I get to do different trades in my one field daily.”
David James la Grange is an aircon service and repair technician at Airvent Airconditioning and Ventilation in Cape Town and is responsible for maintenance, servicing and repairing air conditioners and wine cellar units.
As a second-generation technician, he explains that he started at the tender age of eight with his father, always tagging along to site. “I ended up where I am today thanks to my father exposing me to and teaching me the trade,” he says. His father runs Spot On refrigeration and air conditioning. He attributes the attraction to the industry to his father and the business.
“I worked for a short period at Air-Elec Airconditioning in Durban and Flowtite in Cape Town on weekends, but I’ve mostly worked for my father helping to create a foundation for the company. From there I decided to go work for Airvent after completing my refrigeration course to see what it’s like to work in the industry and gain more experience,” he says.
La Grange qualified as an authorised gas practitioner from Ifihlile Training Academy and obtained M5 certification from the Electrical Contractor’s Association SA (ECASA), and level one refrigeration, refrigeration N2 trade test theory and N2 electrical trade test theory from the College of Cape Town.
For the love of the job
“I love my job more than I enjoy what I do. My favourite part about my job is the ability to fix just about anything and take something that doesn’t work apart and fix it,” he says.
He has worked on multiple big projects for different companies on various sites around the country. “I was mostly on the repair side looking at on-site issues. I also worked on Ilanga Mall in Nelspruit where we did snagging and repairs on installation.”
He hopes to complete his refrigeration studies by doing the trade test this year and further gain an electrical wireman’s license, “So I can have two trades under my name,” he shares. “I also see myself taking over Spot On from my father and keep the family business going.” He’s self-motivated feels that anything can be fixed. “I am driven to find solutions to problems and repair things.”