As reported by EE Publishers:
In his address at the fourth ECA(SA) Presidential Excellence Awards ceremony on 19 November 2015, ECA president Michael Straton said the association was faced with a “gigantic” problem in the guise of artisan training.
Well-trained artisans, he said, are the lifeblood of the contracting industry and their training is paramount in ensuring that standards, quality and the safety of installations are maintained. The association therefore welcomes interventions that bring more skilled workers into the industry.
Decade of the artisan
He noted that this decade had been proclaimed the Decade of the Artisan following the Department of Higher Education and Training’s Year of the Artisan in 2013. This, however, has had little impact on the electrical contracting industry.
Straton called “worrying” the fact that the Construction Sector Education and Training Authority (CETA), from whom funding is provided for training, is embroiled in controversy with whistleblowers from within the organisation alleging that around R400-million has been lost to corruption and maladministration.
He said the CETA had attempted to uncover the identities of these whistleblowers and filed court action against them. The court subsequently rejected this action, which was initiated without the knowledge or the consent of the full CETA board.
The ECA representative on the CETA board has also been active in exposing its wrongful and unconstitutional actions. The ECA therefore joined other organisations in calling for the immediate removal of the chairperson and the CEO of the CETA.
SETAs no longer authorities
Straton further views the announcement by Higher Education and Training minister Blade Nzimande that the SETAs would no longer be authorities two years from now as “concerning”. According to this announcement, SETAs would become advisory boards with no control over the R16,7-billion collected annually from the 1% payroll levy.
“The industry is very concerned about the motivation for this, seen in the light of ongoing court battles over the reduction of the mandatory grants received by employers from the CETA.”
New ECA (SA) slogan
He also announced that the ECA slogan, “Hands of safety” had been changed to “Trusted electrical contractors”. This, he said, was applicable to the association, which sets standards and is the trusted organisation of member contractors and their clients.
He said the ECA is currently in its “strongest position yet”, as evidenced by its earlier announcement of no increases in membership, subscriptions or labour levies this year. He said the association had introduced a helpline for members with technical or labour queries and that the staff contingent at the Bosveld, KwaZulu-Natal and Highveld branches had been increased to assist member contractors in these regions.
The evening’s Presidential Excellence Awards were conferred in eleven categories, as follows:
- Momentum Installation of the Year Award: Retail: Brand Engineering SA, for the Gateway Mall project.
- Crabtree Installation of the Year Award: Residential: Electro Trust, for the Uniloft student accommodation project.
- Crabtree Installation of the Year Award: Office Blocks and Hotels: Edison Power KZN, for its GJ Crookes Hospital project.
- Copper Development Association Installation of the Year Award: Industrial: Besamandla, for its ILB Helios management plant project.
- Schneider Electric Best Contributor to Energy Efficiency Award: Besamandla, for the Cape Quarter Square project.
- EE Publishers Reticulation Contractor of the Year Award: Brand Engineering SA.
- HellermannTyton Apprentice of the Year Award: Male: Corné Jansen, Blits Electrical.
- Brother Apprentice of the Year Award: Female: Nomakazi Mntunu, Edison Power.
- Voltex Best Woman-owned Business Award: Katshesa Engineering.
- Nestlife National Safety Award: Edison Power JHB, for the Multichoice City project.
- Eurolux Special Innovative Projects Award: GPA Pools.
Life membership was conferred on Dawie Cronjé from DC Electrical Africa and the Bosveld region received the ECA(SA) Regional Office of the Year Award.
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