On 20 October at Emperor’s Palace in Johannesburg, in celebration of 90 years in the gases and welding industry and in honour of its founding CEO, Afrox presented the prestigious Harvey Shacklock Gold Medal Award at the 69th SAIW Annual dinner.
The Afrox-sponsored Gold Medal Award is significant as it was introduced in 1949 in memory of Harvey Shacklock, the first CEO of Afrox, who was also a founding member of the SAIW. The 2017 award was presented by Afrox’s 11th MD, Schalk Venter, to Angel Krustev for his presentation entitled ‘Modified GTAW orbital tube to tubesheet welding technique and the effect of a copper weld retainer during welding of alloy 825’.
The accolade is bestowed in acknowledgement of exceptional contribution to the industry in terms of research and innovation, and is granted to recipients who have presented technical papers of a very high standard, either on a local or international level.
Shacklock established the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) in 1948 as a non-profit, technical organisation dedicated to furthering standards in welding-fabrication and related technologies. SAIW is also a founder member of the International Institute of Welding (IIW).
Johann Pieterse, Business Manager for Manufacturing Industries at Afrox, says that the SAIW Annual dinner is the biggest annual event on the southern African welding calendar and that the Harvey Shacklock Gold Medal Award is still highly significant to Afrox as it embodies its ongoing commitment to promoting welding in the industry.
This award is one of many accolades, training programmes, welding schools and skills development programmes that Afrox sponsors and actively supports each year in order to promote the growth and expansion of welding skills and employment opportunities in southern Africa.
“Afrox also sponsored the Stainless Steel Awards Student Category to encourage South Africa’s youth to consider welding as a profession in a time of high unemployment,” says Pieterse, adding that Afrox stands firm in their belief that skills development is key to growing the country’s economy.
“Afrox also offers bursaries for learnerships and apprenticeships, and partners with training bodies to develop individuals into qualified artisans,” continues Pieterse.
In addition, the gases and welding company actively participates in the advancement of new training facilities and has played a key role in establishing welding training centres in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and Western Cape. Most recently, the LIV Welding Academy, a custom container welding school that was developed by Afrox in partnership with LIV and the SAIW, was unveiled at the LIV Village in KwaZulu-Natal.
Pieterse says that Afrox has also partnered with the Department of Education, supporting its Technical School Recap programme in a drive to re-establish welding facilities at schools, kitting them out with advanced technology equipment and up-skilling educators to facilitate training.
Since its humble beginnings as the Allen-Liversidge Industrial Gases Company, first opened by Shacklock on 1 April 1927, African Oxygen Limited has prospered by constantly meeting the needs of its customers and developing solutions that add value to industry.