Electric motors manufacturer Zest WEG Group donated a substantial quantity of electrical equipment, which includes electric motors, to the Tshwane North Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College late last year.
The Zest WEG Group is a supplier of low-, medium- and high-voltage electric motors, variable speed drives (VSDs), soft starters, switchgear, transformers, motor control centres, containerised substations, diesel generator sets and cogeneration and energy solutions as well as electrical and instrumentation engineering and project management services in Africa.
The group’s relationship with TVET colleges (previously known as further education and training colleges) dates back to 2011, when it committed to help address the shortage of technical skilled trades through equipment donations to a number of colleges.
Also, Zest WEG Group believes that it has a responsibility to assist in improving the lives of disadvantaged individuals in South Africa by providing access to education and skills development opportunities within the engineering industry. The corporate social investment (CSI) policy not only underpins the group’s strategic intent but also aligns with the relevant mining legislation, including the Mining Charter.
This philosophy is evident in the recent donation of a substantial quantity of electrical equipment to the Tshwane North TVET College.
This initiative supports the South African Department of Labour’s identification of skills shortfalls as being particularly high in terms of engineers, technicians, artisans and skilled labourers. Zest WEG Group believes that higher education and training is a priority in building a sustainable economy.
Tshwane North TVET College is one of the 50 public TVET colleges in South Africa. It is geared towards ensuring that those skills that are needed to drive regional economic growth and the social development of South Africa are delivered at all its campuses to enhance both government investment and broad service delivery. The student population of the college is between 15 000 and 21 000 students at any given time.
The equipment donated by Zest WEG Group, which includes motors, contactors, relays, starters, circuit breakers, fuses and other accessories, will be used in the workshop of Tshwane North’s Rosslyn, Temba, Soshanguve North and Mamelodi campuses, where electrical engineering courses are offered. Technical support for the products will be provided by the group when necessary.
The equipment will aid lecturers at the facilities in demonstrating actual scenarios and will also provide electrical engineering learners with a more enriched understanding of the electrical aspects of running electric motors and electrical accessories. The learners will become well versed in the correct selection and application of cutting-edge international technology and new product lines.
Zest WEG Group provided training for the facilitators on VSDs, soft starters, smart relays, motors and programmable logic controller (PLC) for WLP. The purpose of this training was to provide the facilitators with a detailed understanding of the daily use and maintenance of the products.
In addition to the TVET donations, Zest WEG Group’s CSI education programme also includes a number of learnership programmes that entail developing select unemployed youth by qualifying them in electrical engineering, with a subsequent trade test. Experiential opportunities are offered to students to complete their national diplomas and, on a yearly basis, the organisation funds one electrical engineering university student.
Training is a cornerstone for the Zest WEG Group and its local training hub is located at its head office in Johannesburg. Training is also done at various Zest WEG Group branches, including those outside South Africa.
Zest WEG Group provides training in the fields of VSDs, PLC WLP software, soft starters, smart relays, electric motors (intermediate level), drives (practical refresher course), drives (service course) and customer on-site.
Further, Zest WEG Group also provides accreditation for various aspects of motors and drives. Zest is granted continuing professional development (CPD) points for its VSDs CFW-09 and CFW-11, soft starters, motors, PLC, service training and smart relay SRW01 training programmes.
CPD points that Zest WEG Group can award 1.5 CPD points for the VSDs CFW-09, 2 CPD points for the VSDs CFW-11 training, 0.75 CPD points for the soft starter training, 1 CPD point for the electric motor training, 2 CPD points for the PLC WLP software program training, 1 CPD point for the drives service training and 1 CPD point for the smart relay SRW01 training.
Zest WEG Group can also offer on-site technical support, services and training, which form an integral part of Zest WEG Group’s business strategy.
Technical pre- and post-sales support is a key element of the group’s culture and is available from all Zest WEG Group branches and distributors.