A large Eskom delegation will meet up with other South African industrial giants, municipalities and mines in Johannesburg next week to tackle the country’s challenges in maintaining, upgrading and ensuring continuous reliability of physical assets and human resources.  The newly-appointed Public Enterprises Minister, Malusi Gigaba, will deliver the keynote address on Tuesday, 23 November at the Reliability & Maintenance Week conference and exhibition taking place at Emperors Palace.

Maintenance has never been at the forefront
“Huge business opportunities are in the offing as power utilities, municipalities, mines and the petrochemical sector will be looking to outsource much-needed maintenance contracts to ensure sustained reliability”, says Tracey-Lee Zurcher, project director of Reliability & Maintenance Week.  “Up until now, maintenance has never been at the forefront of concern as South Africa is still considered a developing nation. New build projects have always been the focus. Therefore, now that assets are reaching end-of-life prematurely, maintenance has to take priority to ensure that massive capital outlay does not need to be used unnecessarily to replace assets which could simply be maintained correctly and last another 5-10 years.”

Eskom getting its hands dirty
According to Tracey-Lee Zurcher there is also an urgent need for maintenance skills to be transferred, developed and retained in South Africa as the lack of skills is the foremost concern in the engineering sector in South Africa.  “Eskom is getting involved and getting their hands dirty as they commit to making sure that their engineers are on top of their game for the coming years!” she continues, “and Reliability & Maintenance Week 2010 is pleased to welcome a considerable number of engineers from South Africa’s power utility and we look forward to working with these engineers and asset managers to promote the efficiency of service delivery and ensure knowledge retention and transfer to reinforce Eskom’s position as a world-class utility.”

A special seminar, dedicated to addressing the skills shortage in engineering in South Africa, will take place on 22 November.

Eskom speakers and other experts at Reliability & Maintenance Week 2010 include:

  • Maximising your asset management systems to enhance your business processes
    Andre Bekker, Chief Engineer, Eskom Generation
  • Improving gearbox efficiency and reliability using high performance gear oils
    Leslie Barker, Chief Engineering Advisor, Eskom
  • The benefits of applying a defined maintenance management system
    Sam Mabotja, Divisional Manager – Eskom Maintenance, Steinmuller Engineering Services
  • How will the current lack of maintenance affect the African economy in the next 5-10 years?  The economist’s perspective.
    Chris Hart, Chief Economist, Investment Solutions
  • International keynote for Bearing Man Group: Increase your profit: World class maintenance for world class manufacturing 
    Thomas Ålund, Senior Consultant, Idhammar AB, Sweden
  • The simple way to understanding the PAS55 standard and incorporating it into your strategy planning
    Alan Tait, President, Southern African Asset Management Association
  • Managing and understanding risk within an asset management environment
    Dean Griffin, Head of Consulting, Pragma

Event website:  www.reliabilityweek.co.za
Dates and location:  23-24 November 2010, 22 November is a pre-conference skills workshop.  Emperors Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa

For interviews please contact:
Communications Manager:  Annemarie Roodbol      
Email:  annemarie.roodbol@clarionevents.com
Phone:  +27 21 700 3500 EXT: 3558
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Fax: +27 21 700 3501 (International)