English: South Africa has recently experienced major changes in labour relations, requiring very skilled practitioners. Technical college management have not yet placed sufficient emphasis on the acquisition of the necessary skills. The colleges therefore experience continual conflict and disruption among general workers, which leads to labour unrest and has grave financial implications. Managers are unable to handle differences, disputes or grievances. Labour relations are dealt with by crisis management, resulting in increasingly unstable conditions. Research into the causes of growing unrest in the relations between technical college management and general workers is therefore extremely relevant. In this article the “managerial” role of the “factotum” is discussed in the context of research into labour unrest at technical colleges.