Sparks Electrical News

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Sparks Electrical News July 2017Front cover story

The National Development Plan estimates that by 2030, South Africa will require 30 000 artisans. Artisans are the cornerstone of a growing economy; in the engineering environment, for example, they form the base of the skills pyramid that is key to everything else. The shortage of skilled artisans in this country has been exacerbated by a perception that vocational training is less valuable than a university degree and if we are to encourage young school leavers to take up a career in the artisan space a mind-shift is required. A number of companies and bodies do promote the value of artisanal skills, WorldSkills South Africa among them, but it is not enough and more businesses need to become involved in producing the number of artisans we need to turn the economy around.

Personality of the Month

Mike Visser co-founder – with his partner Elva Visser – of Power Quality Company, is a proud family and businessman with years of experience in the earthing and lightning protection industry. He believes that too often earthing and lightning protection are an afterthought and would like to see them accommodated at the design phase. According to Mike, earthing and lightning protection are largely un-regulated which has allowed many projects to be carried out without conforming to the codes of practice; thus putting end users, their personnel, processes, infrastructure and equipment at risk.

Columns

In his column, Nick du Plessis looks at the levels of skill of electrical learners in South Africa. As the National Expert for Electrical Installations for WSSA, he is familiar with local levels of competence and is comfortable that our learners are competitive against international standards. As he says, we do have learners with potential and talent: what they need is support and guidance.

This month Terry Mackenzie Hoy clarifies motor ratings and voltages. When a motor is labelled ‘400 V / 380 V 3 ph’, the assumption is that it is not the same as another motor with a label that reads ‘400 V 3 ph’. He assures us they are the same motor and reminds us that there is a wide tolerance for the voltage range over which a motor will continue to operate satisfactorily. In general, he emphasises, motors can operate within +/- 5% of their nominal rating (i.e., 400 V or busbar voltage rating).

The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) Standards Division has issued a new version of SANS 10142-1 and Hannes Baard sets about getting to grips with it. Aside from the change of colour (from blue to black cover), the removal of references to all previous amendments since the 2012 edition, and the addition of a few paragraphs and clauses; the first real change in the edition reads, ‘The test report in Edition 1.8 may be used in parallel with the test report in Edition 2.0 for a period of 12 months from the date of publication of Edition 2.0.’ The test report referred to can be found in clause 8.8 of Edition 1.8 and clause 8.7 of Edition 2. This means that you can still use the old test report even though the particular edition of the code in which it was published is no longer in use. From March 2018, you may only use the new test report. Baard will unpack more changes in future instalments.

Contractors' Corner

This regular feature contains industry news and articles highlighting the latest products on the market.

Buyers' Guide

The July buyer’s guide lists manufacturers and distributors of products and services that cover cables and cable accessories.

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Contact Sparks Electrical News

Title: Editor
Name: Karen Grant
Email: sparks@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

Title: Advertising Manager
Name: Carin Hannay
Email: carinh@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

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