Agreement to enhance testing of locally made electrical equipment

02 July 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201915128

Electrical & Electronics
Agreement to enhance testing of locally made electrical equipment
Johan Louw (left), the SABS’ Executive: Laboratory Services Division, and Tembela Caza, ACTOM’s Divisional CEO for T&D, sign the NETFA/ACTOM cooperation agreement

The National Electricity Test Facility (Netfa), which is owned by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), and Actom, a leading electro-mechanical group, have formalised a cooperation agreement for the testing of products from the company’s Transmission and Distribution (T&D) divisions.

The agreement is aimed at improving cooperation and services offered by Netfa for all electrical products that are manufactured in South Africa by Actom’s six T&D divisions. These divisions manufacture and supply a range of electrical infrastructural equipment which caters chiefly to clients in the public sector.

The divisions are Actom High Voltage Equipment, Actom Power Transformers, Actom Distribution Transformers, Actom MV Switchgear, Actom Protection & Control and Actom Current Electric.

According to the company, the cooperation agreement is a forerunner to a Netfa initiative which will see more frequent engagements with companies in the national electricity supply sector.

Currently Netfa meets most of the national industrial testing requirements and the cooperation agreement will ensure that all companies in the sector are kept appraised of facility’s operational improvements to its testing systems and procedures.

Following the appointment of a new accounting authority, the SABS has adopted a greater customer-centric approach than it had in the past. The organisation has displayed a greater willingness to meet customers’ testing requirements and has initiated a programme to respond promptly to customers’ specific requirements regarding testing and queries. Tembela Caza, Actom’s Divisional CEO for T&D, said: “One of the most important points that Netfa conveyed to us in our discussions with them – which are now encapsulated in the signed agreement – is that they are totally customer-focused and are ready and willing to tailor-make their methods to meet customers’ specific testing requirements as far as possible.”

Johan Louw, the SABS’ Executive: Laboratory Services Division, said: “The demand for high, medium and low voltage electromechanical goods in Southern Africa continues to grow and Netfa is the primary facility on the continent that conducts tests on this range from Actom and of course others manufacturing similar and related equipment.

“We realise that success at Netfa is also success for the domestic market, so the opportunity to collaborate with a home-grown electrical equipment manufacturer made sense and we wanted to codify this relationship. These are large and complicated equipment items, so it is only through collaboration we can deepen the sophistication of our testing methodologies.

“This means better quality products being bought by the market and especially those in the public sector. In our book this means greater value for money and quality for the average citizen,” Louw said.

Caza added that the cooperation agreement was likely to be extended to other Actom divisions and business units in the future.

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