SAIW held its 69th Annual dinner and Awards on Friday October 20, 2017 at Emperors Palace in Gauteng. With actor Jason Greer as Master of Ceremonies and the Supreme 3 singing Mowtown era classics, record numbers of welding industry stakeholders turned up to celebrate the industry’s success.
“This occasion offers a wonderful opportunity to get together with colleagues and friends and to acknowledge and reward those who have made significant contributions to the Institute and the welding fraternity at large over the past year,” says SAIW President Morris Maroga in his welcome address.
“Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice and is never the result of selfishness,” he continues, quoting American author Napoleon Hill. “Through these awards, the Institute strives towards world-class performance and to build a high achieving South African nation,” he says, before welcoming past SAIW presidents, Willie Rankin, Andy Koursaris and Robin Williamson; previous SAIW executive director, Jim Guild; award winners; and guests.
He also congratulated Afrox on its 90th Anniversary this year. “We acknowledge this commendable achievement and we are extremely grateful that you have chosen to celebrate your anniversary with us tonight,” Maroga says.
Executive director Sean Blake follows Maroga onto the podium: “Despite the difficult economic position that industry finds itself in now, it is extremely encouraging to see the tremendous support that industry has provided to SAIW. Once again we have had an excellent response to our annual dinner, selling all of the available tables for this venue,” says Blake.
“I am also most grateful at the contributions we have received from our eight event sponsors tonight. Without your support this event would not have been possible,” he adds before also congratulating Afrox on its 90th Anniversary.
Turning attention to SAIW’s achievements in the past year, Blake reports that the SAIW Welding Inspector programme was fully converted across to the IIW International Welding Inspector (IWI) programme during 2017. From the beginning of this year we started offering the IWI Basic programme in place of the SAIW Inspector Level 1 course.
“Skills development is a key area to ensure the success of the South African economy,” he continues. “In order to address the skills shortage problem, SAIW has entered into a long-term agreement with the Department of Higher Education and Training to assist in the pilot implementation of the new QCTO Welder programme in two TVET colleges, before extending the programme to all other applicable colleges,” Blake says, adding that SAIW believes that this will result in an effective welding artisan training programme for industry.
“We have also made strides with the SAIW Welding Challenge. Late last year we ran this competition with both a senior and junior category, where the junior category winner fed into the WorldSkills programme. Two South African representatives competed in the Arc Cup in China and, I am very pleased to report, Samuekelo Mbambani won first prize in the Student Project category.
“SAIW, along with Lincoln Electric, also invested extensively in the preparation of Philippus Terblanche for the WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi,” he continues, adding that the results of WorldSkills show that there is still much work to be done in terms of welder skills in South Africa.
SAIW’s ISO 3834 Manufacturer Certification Scheme, Blake reports, now has 154 certified companies on the register, “a tremendous achievement” that “would not have been possible without the support of our industry partners”.
SAIW is continuing to expand and next year “we will be offering NDT courses from our branch in Cape Town, which is currently being expanded to accommodate this additional activity. We are also expanding our ISO 9712 SAQCC NDT scheme based on our ICNDT accreditation,” he says.
“I would like to pay a special tribute to Jim Guild who completed his term as IAB Chairman and member of the IIW board at the Shanghai Annual Assembly. Jim’s work and achievements in IIW have done both SAIW and South Africa proud. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude and thanks for his contribution,” Blake adds.
“I look forward to reporting further positive SAIW and industry developments at future annual dinners, but for now, please enjoy this evening with us,” he concludes.
The SAIW Awards
Following dinner and entertainment from Supreme 3, Jason Greer invites Sean Blake and Morris Maroga back onto the stage for the presentation of the SAIW Awards for 2017.