Mar 02, 2012
SA group to boost technical education and use air team to attract young to studyBack
© Reuse this
“We employ in excess of 1 500 technical artisans and we have operator and technical training academies, with, on average, 350 trainees. We need to feed that,” he points out. “The ultimate aim is that the technical high schools will feed our training academies and we can keep our equipment operating.”
To promote interest in technical education and careers among young people, Eqstra announced last week that it is now sponsoring the Flying Lions aerobatic display team. The sponsorship will be for the next two years, after which Eqstra will review it. “We will cover the costs of the maintenance, fuel and other support necessary to keep the aircraft flying,” he says. The Flying Lions perform at airshows all around the country.
“We’ll use the planes to get more kids involved [in technical training], to become artisans, technicians and engineers,” explains Hill. “Regarding the technical high schools, the idea is to take the pupils to see the aircraft at local air shows and allow them to see them up close, touch them and talk to the pilots, technicians and engineers.”
Naturally, there is also a public relations aspect to the sponsorship. “It is also to get brand awareness to our customers and the public,” he states. “The people who attend air shows are in our target market groups.”
“The sponsor gets a huge punt out of what we do,” assures Flying Lions team leader Arnie Meneghelli. “With the Eqstra sponsorship, we’d like to bring the joy of flight to schools.” The team is equipped with five North American Harvard piston-engined training aircraft, most of them 70 years old, and all owned by Meneghelli. All displays are flown using four aircraft, ensuring there is always a spare, if needed.
“We have 11 to 12 pilots in total, that we use,” he reports. “We use some as ferry pilots to take the aircraft to the airshow venues. Most of our pilots are from SAA [South African Airways].” The display pilots are Meneghelli himself, Scully Levin (who leads the team in aerobatic displays), Ellis Levin and Stewart Lithgow.
“In a way, we’re a flying museum,” says Meneghelli. “All the aircraft are operated under an AOC [Air Operator Certificate] issued by the CAA [Civil Aviation Authority] and maintained according to certified requirements. These aircraft are safe. We do 100 hour inspections, or annual inspections – whatever comes first.”
The core activities of the Eqstra group are in the commercial, mining and construction sectors, including distribution, open pit contract mining, the rental of heavy equipment and plant and the long-term lease and rental of passenger and commercial vehicles and mobile capital equipment. The company serves customers in South Africa, elsewhere in Africa and in the UK and Ireland. “We benefit nearly everyone, every day,” affirms Hill. “Our commercial and vehicle leasing fleet that we own transports bread and milk, among many other things.”
The company is to invest R36-million in technical education over the next five years
Eqstra is to use an aerobatic team to attract young people to technical education and promote the company
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other News This Week News
Recent Research Reports
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
This Week's Magazine
Projected capital expenditure (capex) in the South African automotive assembly industry should reach a record R7.48-billion this year, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its 2014 fourth quarter business review. Capex...
After several years of navigating project-threatening red tape and currency fluctuations, the 4.4 MW Bronkhorstspruit biogas power plant, which will supply clean energy to a leading automotive manufacturer in Gauteng, is expected to enter production before June....
South African paper and pulp producer Sappi reported earlier this month that it would build a pilot plant for the production of low-cost Cellulose NanoFibrils, or CNF (nanocellulose) at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands.
The long-term outlook for Nigeria is a country that has the potential to be very strong. So affirmed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Nigeria Mission Chief and Senior Resident Representative Dr Gene Leon on recently. "But we are starting from a point of huge...
Poor infrastructure planning and inadequate maintenance are becoming increasingly problematic for new developments and the associated infrastructure required to support such developments. In many urban and rural municipalities, the state of infrastructure has been...