Mar 02, 2012
SA group to boost technical education and use air team to attract young to studyBack
Aviation|Construction|Africa|Education|Eqstra|Industrial|Mining|Rental|South African Airways|Africa|Ireland|South Africa|United Kingdom|Equipment|Industrial And Mining|Maintenance|Public Relations Aspect|Arnie Meneghelli|Ellis Levin|Stewart Lithgow|Walter Hill
© 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 Economy News
Updated 4 hours ago The retail price of 95-grade petrol in South Africa will drop by 93c/ℓ or 8.3% from next Wednesday, while wholesale diesel price will decrease by 9.9%, the government said on Friday. Petrol will now cost R10.31 (nearly $1) a litre while the new wholesale diesel price...
Updated 6 hours ago Food affordability improved in nearly 75% of countries from September to November 2014, largely owing to a 2.8% decline in global food prices, which are forecast to fall further still. This is according to the results of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU’s)...
Updated 3 hours ago Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has assured that loss-making national carrier South African Airlines (SAA) will not receive another bailout from government, noting that the most recent R6.4-billion government guarantee had only been provided in support of an intensive...
Updated 4 hours ago South Africa's cumulative trade deficit was R95.3-billion in 2014, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) said on Friday. In 2013, it was R71.4-billion, Sars said in a statement.
Updated 4 hours ago Certain regulatory approvals remain outstanding in Telkom’s proposed R2.67-billion takeover of JSE-listed Business Connexion (BCX), the parties said in an update to shareholders on Friday. BCX noted in the statement that the Competition Authority of Botswana had...
Recent Research Reports
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...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
This Week's Magazine
The international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope – which is to be jointly hosted by South Africa and Australia with, later, outstations in other countries – may not yet exist, but international scientific working groups are already deciding what...
A free Web-based solar power plant capacity-planning tool offers project planners and developers, as well as governments, a means to assess the solar energy potential of thin-film solar PV power over an area of land. The tool was developed by thin-film solar...
As yet, no specific methodology, timeline or costs have been finalised to remedy the water ingress, excessive to contractual specifications, into the Gautrain tunnel between emergency shaft two (E2) and Park Station, says Bombela Concession Company technical and...
The “seriously disruptive” electricity outages in South Africa have cost packaging group Astrapak more than R2-million in “irrecoverable downtime costs”, the company said on Monday, adding that the power cuts were negating some of the benefit of energy saving...
Bakkies and more affordable cars dominated South Africa’s new vehicle market in 2014. Unaudited data from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shows that South Africa’s most popular vehicle in 2014 was the Toyota Hilux, selling 37 562 units.