ECA(SA’)s Cape Town Regional Office has welcomed Griffin Nacken as its newly appointed Training Officer, a position for which Griffin is eminently qualified. He joins the association at a critical time, as custodian of the region’s critical training function over this period of transition in trade qualifications. For anyone who knows Griffin, his passion for sharing his knowledge, drawn from a rich career over the last 40 plus years, is readily apparent.

Life as an electrician

Griffin was born,  raised and educated in KwaZulu-Natal. He excelled mathematically and in the sciences, and upon graduating in 1982, was indentured as the first non-white apprentice electrician. Under Jobs Reservation Act of the Apartheid regime, this door was opened to him through the good will of Mr. Venio Massoti of Rowen SA (Toyota). He qualified as an electrician, going on to pass his trade test cum laude. He is a registered  Master Installation Electrician

Following his time with Toyota, Griffin was employed by Timber Door Manufacturers  as a maintenance electrician, after which he moved into the public sector, being employed as a maintenance electrician by the then  Housing Department of the Administration House of Representatives. In this position, Griffin gained immense experience maintaining and repairing electrical installations in public housing, schools and other public buildings and infrastructure.  

Life as an educator

During his time with the department, Griffin obtained a National Technical  Teachers Diploma through part time studies at ML Sultan Technikon ( now Durban University of Technology). He took up a lectureship at LC Johnson Technical College, where over 20 years, he saw well over a thousand students into gainful employment and/or successful careers as independent contractors. “I feel great joy when I think of the power of training and education,” says Griffin. “It is true empowerment to be imparting skills and knowledge to uplift the industry and uplift communities by helping youngsters. I used my network in the public and private sectors to help position my students for strong career paths both locally and abroad ”. Griffin is also an Assessor and Moderator with the ETDP Seta .

During this time, Griffin also kept the doors to the public and private sector professions open for himself: “Every holiday I would take on work with Toyota and other companies; as I  felt that I remained relevantly  active in my profession .

I eventually opened my own contracting business through which I hosted many apprentices and saw the qualify and obtain their Wireman’s license.”

Back to the public sector

A change in personal circumstances led Griffin to consider a change of environment when the position of Senior Electrical Inspector for the Western Cape’s Drakenstein Municipality became vacant. Griffin was offered the position and he moved to Paarl 11 years ago. For ten years Griffin successfully worked  as the Senior Electrical Inspector for the Drakenstein Municipality, whilst continuing to teach Installation Rules over weekends which made a great impact in the lives of many electricians.

Life with ECASA

Griffin brings enormous value to his work within the ECA(SA) Western Cape Region. He still lives in Paarl, lift-clubbing to work each day. His passion for the role is clear: “It is vital to make learning both enjoyable and inspirational. And especially at this exciting time in the electricity industry. We have to keep up to date with technical developments, changes in regulations and the increasing role of integrated technologies. Refresher courses, tracking topics on social media and continually learning is the name of the game today. “

Griffin has three sons, the eldest of whom works for a consulting firm to Sasol in Sasolburg; his middle son lives in Sydney Australia for Toyota Forklifts; and his youngest work directly for Sasol as a process controller and recently qualified as an electrician. Somehow, Griffin also finds the time to enjoy Latin & Jazz dancing and enjoys playing squash . “Working in this role at the ECA is wonderful: there is a great support structure in place, and bringing value to an ever-greater cross-section of students is truly fulfilling – it feels like a natural home for me.”

For queries about training at ECA(SA) Western Cape Regions Training Centre, contact Griffin at

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