Zest WEG’s four decades in Africa have produced a powerful local manufacturing base, and a growing footprint across sub-Saharan Africa – strengthening supply chains and local economies. “Progress in skills development has been significant in the past few years, as we have invested heavily in technology and skills transfer between the company and our holding company WEG in Brazil,” says Juliano Vargas, chief executive officer of Zest WEG.
“Leveraging WEG’s global manufacturing productivity logic, we have also installed the latest equipment and systems to pave the way for a sustainable future.” As a result, local content in the company’s manufacture of transformers is now nearly 90%, while for products like E-houses and electrical panels, local content has exceeded 70%. Vargas highlights the strategic importance of local content not just in terms of the mining industry’s commitment to the Mining Charter, but for the sustainability of the South African economy as a whole. “Our local manufacturing capability has helped to strengthen the supply chain for our customers, making businesses more secure,” he says.
Elsewhere in the issue we look at Energy Efficiency, DBs, Switches, Sockets and Protection and Lighting.
And the winners are…
As with most things over the last 12 months, the annual Sparks Electrical News competition, this year under the theme, ‘Kick 2020 Into Touch’, did not go to plan. The response was great from our readers and we received hundreds of entries, yet COVID-19 decided to raise its head again and put a spanner firmly in the works. Representatives from the 12 advertisers who offered up some amazing prizes for the year’s competition, were due to the meet the Sparks team for a few hours away from the office at the picturesque Royal Johannesburg Golf Club. Drinks, food and laughs would have been shared in-between drawing the lucky prize winners. But then Lockdown Level 3 happened. The draw went ahead though, albeit differently - find out if you are a winner.
Regulation in SA: are you simply accepting the existing norm?
To protect consumers against unsafe products, regulatory processes were first introduced in South Africa during the 1980s and these processes became formalised by the publication of compulsory safety specifications for various products. Implementation of these specifications was first driven by the SABS Regulatory Department, which was supported by extensive surveillance testing services provided by the various SABS test laboratories to verify the compliance status of products sampled from the open market.
Working Knowledge with Terry Mackenzie Hoy
There’s this guy, Clinton Ober. He had a midlife crisis and travelled around looking for enlightenment. In Arizona he had a sudden realisation while sitting on a park bench, watching tourists. He noticed that they were all wearing shoes. It occurred to him that they had lost contact with the ground and needed to be grounded. He grounded himself, slept better, felt better, tried it on friends and did research. This has sparked a whole movement and an industry of grounding products. However, lighting strike voltage can be 300 million volts and thus will induce step potentials some distance from the strike. Thus, connection of a person to a point on the ground may well have effects far worse than one imagines.
Planting seeds for a profitable year ahead
There is something to be said for the New Year. Even when there are challenges on the horizon, even when there are problems that must be overcome, this is the time to look to the future and find opportunities that can help you build your business and your career. Even though the pandemic is still a reality, there is room for optimism. For electrical contractors, this new year is a chance to invest in solid foundations for growth by investing in a relationship that will help you expand your business and your client base.
The February 2021 Buyers’ Guide lists manufacturers and distributors of products and services in the DBs, Switches, Sockets and Protection sector. Download the latest Buyers' Guide here.