Cape Town, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 November 2010 – Newly-appointed Public Enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba “’ the previous deputy minister of home affairs who replaced Barbara Hogan in the recent cabinet re-shuffle “’  is to deliver the keynote address on 23 November at the Reliability & Maintenance Week conference and exhibition in Johannesburg. 

In a statement released here, Reliability & Maintenance Week project director Tracey-Lee Zurcher said the event would provide an ideal platform for the minister to interact with leading service providers such as Eskom, as well as industrial giants such as Bearing Man Group, Steinmüller, Eaton, Haefely and Pragma.

Also attending would be the operational contingents from power utilities, municipalities, the mining industry and the petrochemical sector, who will be expressing their views on how to tackle South Africa’s challenges in preserving, upgrading and ensuring continuous reliability of physical assets and human resources. “Major service providers such as Eskom will be shown the importance of planning for crucial maintenance to ensure reliability, and the skills to perform these services,” she added.

Zurcher pointed out that  huge business opportunities were in the offing as power utilities, municipalities, mines and the petrochemical sector looked to outsource much-needed maintenance contracts to ensure sustained reliability. “But there is also an urgent need for maintenance skills to be transferred, developed and retained in South Africa, as the lack of skills is the foremost concern in the engineering sector in this country,” she said.

The conference and exhibition will be held at Emperor’s Palace in Johannesburg on the 23rd and 24th of November, with a special pre-conference skills workshop on the 22nd.