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ELECTRICITY: Cape Town Scoops Productivity Award


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The City of Cape Town’s Electricity Department’s Technical Support Services Branch is the first municipal entity with a division, Electrical Support Services, to win the national productivity award for the public sector.

The winners of this year’s National Productivity Awards were announced in Johannesburg on Friday 30 October.

Organised by Productivity SA, the annual awards recognise organisations that have improved productivity in a sustainable manner, and with a major impact on society.

The City of Cape Town unit singled out for this top award is Electrical Support Services [ESS], a division of the Electricity Department’s Technical Support Services, which is based in Ndabeni.

According to John B Esterhuizen, technical support services branch manager, it is the first time in South Africa that an electrical unit of local government has won this national top award.

In August, ESS scooped the Western Cape productivity award for the public sector, which automatically put it in the running for the national award,” says Esterhuizen.

The unit provides services in civil and facilities management, capital projects, assets care, electrical installations, maintenance and repairs, transformer and switchgear refurbishment, and corrosion prevention management. 

Since 2005, it has been reviewing its processes, systems and procedures. This led to the introduction of Key Performance Indicators underscored by a formal measurement system, a detailed asset management strategy, and a comprehensive staff training and development programme.

According to Floris Mostert, head of ESS, the introduction of the greater Cape Metropole led to a threefold increase of the unit’s area of responsibility to 2 461 km², serving 3,4 million residents.

In 2005, 128 staff were generating 925 work orders worth R1 million. Today, 108 staff members are handling over 4 000 work orders worth R118 million,” says Mostert.

Cape Town’s Electricity Department’s Technical Support Services is fast earning a reputation as the best run Electricity Branch of any local authority in Southern Africa,” says Dr Bulumko Msengana, the City’s Executive Director: Utility Services.

In 2008, it received the National Gold Award for the best Asset Care Centre.In the same year, Floris Mostert received the SA Bureau of Standards President’s Award. ESS is also the only electricity distribution entity in South Africa to qualify for ISO accreditation for 9001, 14001 and OSHAS 18001.

The Technical Support Services Branch, Fleet Management and Maintenance division, managed by Willem Janse van Rensburg, also won this year’s top prize for managing the most environmentally friendly vehicle fleet in South Africa.  “By implementing a ‘green’ maintenance strategy, it achieved a massive 22% reduction in fuel usage, despite a 9% increase in fleet size”, says Willem.

This national top award from the Consumer Council of South Africa and the Institute of Logistics and Transport was also very special for the Technical Support Services Branch” says John.

Productivity SA is funded by the Department of Labour to promote productivity and competitiveness of the South African business, labour and government sector.

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