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Sparks Electrical News January 20192018, although a tough year for many, ended on a high for the electrical industry as suppliers, manufacturers, installers and apprentices were recognised for their efforts at two of the highlights on the industry’s social calendar, the Electrical Contractors’ Association’s 2018 Presidential Awards and the ElectroBase Supplier of the Year Awards.

This year’s ECA(SA)’s 2018 Presidential Awards were ‘the best ever’ according to popular opinion.  And, as National Director Mark Mfikoe predicted, it was “a night of celebration, laughter, love and a little bit of swag”.

The crème de la crème of the electrical contracting industry was at the Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre on 15 November to claim top honours in what the judges called “a close contest”, with single points separating the top three in some categories. The Installation of the Year – Industrial category was just too close for the judges to call, and the top spot was shared between Besamandla and Cato Ridge Electrical.

Held the following evening at Emperors Palace, the ElectroBase Supplier of the Year Awards saw many of the same faces congregating for an evening of networking, fun and a thought-provoking speaker. Awards, voted for by the ElectroBase wholesalers, where given out to the top suppliers, with the main award of the evening, the ElectroBase Supplier of the Year Award, being given to Major Tech. A successful raffle was also held with funds going to the Avril Elizabeth Home.

See all the winners in our January 2019 issue.

A discussion with ELPA on the state of the lightning industry

Having been in the ELPA hot seat since June 2018 – after more than 28 years with Eskom – Richard Evert is looking for ways to ensure that ELPA is an association which not only benefits those in the industry, but the country at large. “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. The saying goes that you eat an elephant one bite at a time. We need to eat the bits that are closest to us and strategically place ourselves where the important life-saving bits get done first,” he explains.

Launch of Digital Mining Incubator

The Digital Mining Incubator is a co-creation space driven by Siemens and Wits University focused on developing mining engineering competence. The incubator is integrated into the Wits Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct and is aimed at upskilling young individuals who have an interest in the mining sector, as well as disadvantaged individuals interested in actively participating in the future of mining Together with mentors from Wits, Tshimologong and Siemens, students will be enabled with the necessary tools and skills to effectively transform and develop the South African mining sector.

Talking electricity with Andrew Luke Dapshis

Due to the current load shedding and Eskom’s endless problems, a lot of people have turned to generators and automatic change over panels to handle a quick and seemingly easy transition from the grid to backup solutions. Many of the latest automatic change over panels have numerous measuring devices working through a controller that constantly monitors your mains supply along with your generator’s load in order to best protect your electrical infrastructure.

Buyers Guide

The January Buyers’ Guide lists manufacturers and distributors of products and services for Earthing, lightning and surge protection.

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