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Sparks Electrical News January 2020Despite another demanding year in the South African electrical industry, three events at the end of 2019 recognised excellence and innovation in the field and, hopefully, provided a sign for positive change going forward.

First up, another spectacular ECA(SA) Presidential Excellence Awards took place at the Serengeti Lapa at the Birchwood Hotel in November 2019. Past entrants and new contenders vied for top honours and by the end of the evening, new benchmarks for excellence had been set in the 15 categories. The 400 guests celebrated in fine style at what turned out to be the best awards yet – due in part to Mpho Popps who doubled up as MC and entertainer and amused everyone with his forthright brand of South African humour. One of the most prestigious events on the ECA’s calendar, the awards banquet was made possible by the sponsorship of Associate Members: Brother, Comtest, Copper Development Association Africa, HellermannTyton, Major Tech, Nestlife, Voltex, Schneider Electric, and newcomers SALT Employee Benefits and Citilec.

Next up, the Irene Country Lodge was chosen as the venue to celebrate the 2019 Electrobase Supplier of the Year Awards. To add some extra ‘glitz and glamour’, a ‘Gatsby’ theme was chosen, and everyone looked dashing in their 1920’s attire. Besides the 20-year celebrations, this year’s event will be remembered by how close the results were as mere decimals decided the winner. Eventually, Major Tech took home the 2019 Supplier of the Year for the third year in a row. Eurolux was awarded the ‘Most Improved Supplier’ award for 2019, while the Gold Award winners, in alphabetical order, were: Bright Star Lighting, Crabtree, Enerji Electrical, Eurolux, HellermannTyton, Major Tech/Veti, Stone Stamcor, Schneider Electric and Three-D Agencies. Congratulations also go to the Silver Award winners: Electrolux, Ledvance, Radiant and WACO.

Finally, excellence in engineering was in the spotlight as the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) “celebrated visionaries, the engineers of change” at the 108th SAIEE Annual Awards Dinner held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg at the end of 2019. The black-tie event, which coincided with the organisation’s inaugural national conference, honoured the best in the industry for their contributions to the sector.

Elsewhere in January, Sparks Electrical News focuses on Earthing, Lightning and Surge Protection; Cables and Cable Accessories; Industry 4.0 and Lighting.

African Summer Competition

The famous Sparks Electrical News holiday promotion is back! We have almost reached the end of 2019 and many of you will be taking a welcome and deserved break over December. To help you ease your way into the holiday spirit, a number of our advertisers have donated a wonderful selection of gifts that you can win simply by entering our African Summer competition. Thanks to Comtest, Crabtree Electrical, Empire Electrical Wholesalers, Garry Lumpe Imports, HellermannTyton, MCE Electric, Radiant Lighting, Schneider Electric, Three-D Agencies, Vermont Sales and Waco for offering fantastic prizes for our readers.

Personality of the Month

Alex Cremer, President of the Illumination Engineers Society of South Africa (IESSA) since 2018, believes that the lighting industry needs to work as one to create a sustainable industry which will support the thousands of people who operate in this in the space. IESSA plans to run a survey to get a full understanding of the size of the industry, and IESSA’s goal is to use this information to bring all aspects of the industry together.

Seven strategies to maintain electrical distribution equipment

In order to achieve the benefits of personnel safety, equipment and goods protection, service continuity, energy efficiency and efficient spare parts management; plant managers should strategically schedule and employ a variety of practices to maintain electrical distribution equipment and optimise the total cost of ownership of their power infrastructures. Schneider Electric experts explain that various strategies for electrical distribution equipment maintenance have varying effects on the above objectives.

Working knowledge with Terry Mackenzie Hoy

This month Terry Mackenzie discusses electrical problems. There is a demon in all electrical things. Some people think electrical devices are merely wires and devices which, when connected, perform in a certain way. This is true, some of the time. In general, however, all electrical things stop working, sooner or later.

Buyers' Guide

The January 2020 Buyers’ Guide lists manufacturers and distributors of products and services in the Earthing, Lightning and Surge Protection sector. Download the latest Buyers' Guide.

Click to download and read this issue in PDF format

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Gregg Cocking
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