Electricity + Control October 2018



FEATURES: · Analytical instrumentation · Cables+ accessories

· Control systems+ automation · Earthing+ lightning protection · Pressure+ levelmeasurement+ instrumentation

You’ll never know what is around the corner unless you make the turn…

I have so far only heard remarkably positive feedback on Electra Mining Africa 2018 – and by this I mean that the general sense visitors got was that the industry is ‘back’. Now, this is not by any means to say that things are going swimmingly well. But each journey begins with a few small steps and I genuinely believe that even just a faint glimmer of light is, in cases like this, a fairly good start. In this regard, it also seems that there is a renewed feeling of hope (and I choose the word carefully) emerging in the mining sector. I have commented in the past on the need for a stable policy environment, and one must begin to wonder if such sta- bility is suspected to be emerging? But what a pleasure to find oneself in- volved in events and discussions where the doom and gloom seem to have moved somewhat further to the back of the mind. It is hard to pin down the actual rea- sons for this sense of hope – but a few things are beginning to happen that may well be pointers to a renewed belief in the future. There seems to be a percep- tible shift in the balance of power at the highest level, and there does seem to be a growing sense that some of the muck from the past will actually end up having consequences for certain people. This in itself is a significant step within the economy. And just perhaps, regular folk are now sensing this encouraging change in the wind, and reacting to it. That aside, I recently had the privilege of visiting Poland for the first time to attend the International Conference on Lightning Protection (ICLP). The conference will be coming to South Africa in 2022. This is re- ally significant, and in many respects a trib- ute to the rich history of lightning research associated with this country.

I am looking forward to that, and ammind- ful that although it sounds as if four years is a long while away, we all know that the date will be upon us in no time at all. I, personally, am thrilled that the ICLP is coming to South Africa, as I am fully aware of the challenge that lightning con- tinues to pose – not just in South Africa, but on the continent. It affects lives, and it affects industry. In this regard it is important to be aware that the Highveld is entering lightning sea- son, and simply hoping that nothing will go wrong is not an acceptable strategy. Everyone who has a responsibility for plant needs to be aware that lightning pro- tection strategies require regular review, and that lightning protection systems re- quire maintenance and upgrading. It bears repeating that a lightning pro- tection system is in reality a sub-set of a heath and safety system – where human safety is paramount, and equipment pro- tection important. It is my fervent desire that, in 2022, when the conference lands on our shores, we will be in a growing economy with a stable policy environment, and that we will be perceived as a safe investment destination by all nations. The tragedy of South Africa has been our inability to create the space for invest- ment and growth. And I think we are be- ginning to turn that corner.

EC_OCT cover.indd 1 9/26/2018 2:58:11PM www.electricityandcontrolmagazine.co.za

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