Message from the National Director, Mark Mfikoe.
PRESIDENTIAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2018 … THE EXCITEMENT MOUNTS
The ECA(SA) will host the seventh ECA(SA) Annual Presidential Excellence Awards on 15 November at the Birchwood Hotel. This has become an important night in the lives of our members and the Association looks forward to a night of celebration, laughter, love and a little bit of swag. The members who enter and compete in these awards do so because they have served their clients with distinction. It’s an opportunity for them to test the quality of their work against their peers in the industry. Yes – it is a contest and some will win and others will not win – the amazing part about this competition though, is that no one loses. Entering the contest is a brave decision but being part of the awards as a participant and finalist is an achievement on its own.
Big players go head to head
I have participated in every award ceremony since they were initiated under my leadership seven years ago. I organised the first one with Chris Greager when he was the National Director of the Association and I was President. I was a Director at Standard Electrical then, and the company entered several categories. Of course, other big players entered the contest and the competition has been stiff from inception. Legends of the industry in Gary Abrahamson, Vivian Reddy and the late Dawie Cronje of DC Electrical went head to head. Edison Power has always been a major factor oat these awards and they run projects with a view to winning these awards. With Calli Pieterse having joined Edison from Standard Electrical, they have an added advantage as far as the quality of their entries go. Their customers are the major beneficiaries of such an attitude. I have no doubt that Edison takes these awards as seriously as they take their business.
The value of excellence
In recent times, it must be admitted that the teams from Brand Engineering and Besemandla have been exceptional. Herman Kriel takes pride in competing and winning these awards. They enter every category intending to win. Cato Ridge in KwaZulu-Natal make their presence felt whenever they enter, and I cannot forget the beaming Danie Esterhuizen or a proud Michael Straton after winning awards in 2017. If there was a Best Dressed Team category in 2017, Presto Electrical would have walked it, in my opinion. Lance and his team looked amazing. It was the first time they had entered, and they were runners-up in two categories. I wonder what they’ll be wearing in this year – I they’ve already submitted entries. I’m looking forward to seeing these images from all contestants in November 2018.
When a company wins an award, the ceremony isn’t the last place that this achievement is celebrated. The party continues at the company’s offices and it’s often used to motivate the team to continue achieving. The team’s attitude towards work execution then drives the virtue and value of excellence. It can only help us to improve. The winner’s certificate is often a part of tender submissions and no client who appreciates quality. No client who appreciates quality will ignore a winner in a contest against his peers.
This year marks the introduction of a new category: The Training Company of the Year. The workplace is an arena of learning and many of our members embrace this concept. Of course, others are still to wake up to this opportunity. The ECA(SA) is a lead employer in the training of some 300 apprentices. We have placed all these apprentices with our members in Cape Town, Durban, Tshwane, Brits, Sedibeng, Polokwane, Ekurhuleni and Port Elizabeth. Our members are training these apprentices with the aim of broadening the skill’s base in the industry. These apprentices increase their value-add with the employers from very early in their studies and become immediately useful upon completion. They’ll walk onto any site and know what they are supposed to do. It’s a critical way of accelerating the integration of theoretical learning and workplace experience. The workplace is where 70% of training happens. This new category acknowledges the companies that train our apprentices and ultimately, contribute towards the attainment of the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS).
The excellence awards give us an opportunity to relax and network with colleagues in the industry and related departments. This year, we’ve streamlined the award’s programme so that we’ll finish with the formalities early in the evening to give more time for networking opportunities and a real party. The ladies always make the excellence awards look fabulous with their stunning looks and dresses. And they get this industry of jeans, hardhats and overalls to wear their best outfits.
All this makes for an amazing night.