The SAIRAC KwaZulu-Natal centre hosted its annual general meeting (AGM) on 18 July, honouring fellow members and announcing the incoming committee, reports Ilana Koegelenberg.
The South African Institute of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (SAIRAC) KZN AGM was hosted at The Lookout in Durban and the lunch was well-attended by members and guests.
The current chairman, Cyril Macquet-Maurel, could unfortunately not attend, and as such, Neeraj Ramkissoon, incoming chairman, handled the chairman’s report, giving feedback on the activities of the institute for the period 1 September 2018 to 30 June 2019.
After welcoming everyone, Ramkissoon took a moment to thank his committee members for their passionate and dedicated service over the past year. Over the period, 10 committee meetings were held to plan and deliberate association matters and events. They also organised five technical talks and one training course.
He reported that membership remains the single biggest challenge for council and centre committees who struggle to attract individuals of the right calibre and character to join the institute. Due to non-payment issues, many subscriptions were cancelled and currently the centre only has 171 members. But Ramkissoon is positive that they will see an increase in membership soon.
Ramkissoon took some time to talk about the legal requirement for HVAC&R practitioners’ compliance regarding the safe handling of refrigerant.
He also spoke about the new refrigerants coming onto the market because of the phase-outs and phase-downs of current popular choices. “As much as there is a lot of frustration, the reason for the safe handling is becoming more serious as there lies a potential risk for our technicians who are exposed to refrigerants such as R600a and R32, R290.”
The SAIRAC KZN AGM took place over lunch at The Lookout in Durban. Image credit: SAIRAC
“With this being said, SAIRAC KZN hosted Dr Volkmar Hasse, who presented the Dreosti Memorial Lecture on 12 June 2019 at the Durban Country Club, where he shared his vast knowledge on R290 refrigerants and its future as one on the most eco-friendly refrigerants that are in existence.” The lecture was well-received.
Ramkissoon then moved onto the SAIRAC website, urging members to visit it and keep themselves in the know. He also mentioned the SAIRAC technical data CD, which is still available for purchase.
Ramkissoon announced the 2020 golf day date as 6 September, urging members to book their four-ball as space fills up quickly.
Steven Naidoo, the centre’s treasurer then presented the annual financial results. There was also a request for sponsorship for upcoming technical talks.
The new committee was then announced, with Ramkissoon as the chairman and Macquet-Maurel as vice chair. Macquet-Maurel will also look after education, along with Gordon Banks. Taryn Ching remains the secretary, also responsible for membership, while Steven Naidoo remains the treasurer.
Neeraj Ramkissoon, chairman (centre) with fellow members who were honoured at the event, from left: Anton Jansen; Eric Carlson; Chris Molyneaux; Chris Elston; Ramkissoon; Bernie Piras; Dave Edwards; Steve Aburn; and Andre Booysen. Image credit: SAIRAC
Then it was time for awards. The ‘top student of the year award’ went to Richard Slabbert (RPP KZN) for his outstanding results achieved in the Refrigeration explained course held by SAIRAC.
In what Ramkissoon termed ‘the highlight of the afternoon’, the fellows were then given a token of appreciation for their continued service to the industry. “We would like to present prizes to the shining stars of our industry, for without their knowledge and guidance, we wouldn’t be where we are,” said Ramkissoon as everyone applauded the fellows in attendance who each received a Parker ball-point pen with their names engraved on it.
The following fellows were in attendance: Anton Jansen; Eric Carlson; Chris Molyneaux; Chris Elston; Bernie Piras; Dave Edwards; Steve Aburn; and Andre Booysen.
A special mention was made of Steven Naidoo for being part of SAIRAC for 25 years.
The AGM was then officially concluded by Ramkissoon and everyone enjoyed lunch together.