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South African Business 2019 edition

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The 2019 edition of South African Business is the seventh edition of this annual guide to business and investment in South Africa. Regular pages cover all the main economic sectors of the South African economy and give a snapshot of each of the country’s provincial economies. Feature articles on topical issues such as Special Economic Zones and African trade provide unique insights, together with comprehensive overviews of critical economic sectors. Other special features focus on the exciting new possibilities in renewable energy, airports as engines of regional growth and the maritime sector as an entirely new prospect for South African entrepreneurs and businesses. South African Business is complemented by nine regional publications covering the business and investment environment in each of South Africa’s provinces. The e-book editions can be viewed at

INTERVIEW Kurt Maritz,

INTERVIEW Kurt Maritz, Managing Director rt Maritz BIOGRAPHY Kurt Maritz holds a National Diploma in Accountancy and Computer Practice, but is more accustomed to developing businesses, as his track record proves. His first job was with First National Bank. While IOGRAPHY working in sales, Kurt met an rt Maritz electrical holds supplier a for National whom he went to work. His contracting loma section in Accountancy grew, and he decided and to mputer go on his Practise, own and started but Maritz Electrical in 2000. Through is re accustomed his leadership skills to and developbusinessesary outlook, as he now his employs track in re- vision- excess of 150 staff. The company has His benefited first small job busi- was rd proves. th First nesses, National grown skills Bank. and given While lifestyle improvements to staff, rking their in families sales, and Kurt communities. met an ctrical supplier for whom he nt to SOUTH work. AFRICAN His BUSINESS contracting 2019 ction grew, and he decided to on his own and started Maritz World first for Maritz Electrical Lighting the way to new possibilities St George’s Park lighting quality is unique. What sort of work did you do in the beginnin Maritz Electrical is revolutionising stadium experiences. When we started, we were two companies helping ea Rosslind and I had a loose partnership. I did the mark execution. We did some basic electrical contracting. work we did on contract, we still have that relationshi later. It was for Technical Services of the City of Cape T electrical side of water and sanitation. A massive contract to install world-class lighting at the St George’s Park cricket ground in Port Elizabeth has given Cape-based lighting company Maritz Electrical a head-start as a national leader in LED and theatrics lighting for sports stadiums. As company founder and Managing Director Kurt Maritz says, “That’s the sort of project that comes around once in a lifetime.” The project was a global first because it made St George’s the So you found a niche? first stadium to have LED lights fitted with theatrics that was also compliant with International Cricket Council standards. The R27-million project was completed on time and on budget, despite installing lights on top of the Duckpond Pavilion at night in high winds. The response has been enthusiastic. For Kurt, the television experts provided the really important feedback. “We cared about SuperSport the most and they have been raving. If there are light and dark spots on the field the cameraman must remember to change the aperture. They said that the lighting was excellent.” Maritz And Electrical beyond wants the to be work the “go-to” for company the city? with respect to stadium lighting installations. Contracts in Bloemfontein and closer to home suggest this is already happening. “I am pleased to announce we are going to be doing something similar in our backyard, at Coetzenburg, but not including theatrics. Stellenbosch University has signed with us as part of a massive project.” For Kurt, the learning process has been exciting. “We are learning applications from our clients,” he says. “At St George’s for that We actively started looking for things that other elec either can’t do, don’t want to do or find really hard for the city was very difficult, but we had those skills work, which very few people specialised in. Certainl black companies doing that sort of work. We got more and more work and in 2004 we regist continued operating two businesses and that ran o years ago, when we very amicably parted ways. How did the stadium work come about? exciting time when you are waiting for an umpire’s decision, we did a heartbeat with sound and the lights that go with it. We also put a ‘6’ in the lights. The umpires asked if we could keep the light level on the pitch the same and do the theatrics at the same time. The possibilities are endless. In athletics, for the 100 metres, you could kill all the lights and follow the guys down the straight.” Maritz Electrical is the approved installer of Musco Lighting. A visit to Musco headquarters in the US made Kurt aware of how the lighting system at a stadium can create new revenue sources for clients. As Kurt comments, “If you have a light show before the game, you have better crowd control and there is an opportunity for We asked, “What else is nobody else doing?” The answ and sports field lighting and maintenance. I had the p ing on the old Green Point Stadium. Sports field ligh most dynamic part of the business. So the 2010 Soccer World Cup was good for Interestingly, Maritz did not do one of the FIFA stad still one of our busiest periods ever because FIFA c Fund to 34build hundreds of community sports fields, a we got involved.

INTERVIEW vendors to sell memorabilia or food. The same when you leave, it creates a new revenue stream. We are learning as we move along.” Stadium lighting falls within the broader category of large-area lighting. The global move to LED lighting has been a positive thing for Maritz Electrical. In South Africa, however, Kurt notes that there is difference between the indoor and outdoor scenarios. For indoors, “everybody is going that route” but that return on investment (ROI) is somewhat different in the outdoor setting. “With street lighting and security lights (which burn for a long time) the ROI is good. For large areas like sewerage works or plants the ROI is something like three to five years and the power saving is there. That is not the case with sport stadiums, so the equation is different.” Maritz Electrical is active in large areas such as Cape Town’s Grand Parade, airport runway lighting and city council facilities. The company operates in the commercial, industrial and public sectors and offers a wide range of services. A new area for Maritz Electrical is reticulation and electrification: low-cost housing projects, street lights, road-side furniture and mini-substations. Says Kurt, “It is a big market and we can’t ignore it. Our new sales manager comes from this background and we are building skills in this area. We are involved in two major projects in the Western Cape, at Overstrand and Stellenbosch municipalities.” With an expanding workload, Maritz Electrical made a move in 2018 to new premises in Athlone. “We have moved 150 staff from three branches into one customised 3 000-squaremetre facility. It is designed in such a way that we have enough space for 50% expansion. Half of the massive space we dry-walled so that we have a suite of offices.” There are no specific targets, but Kurt is clearly looking forward with anticipation: “We don’t have any ceiling we want to hit. Our engine is our sales department. As much work as they bring in, that’s how we will grow.” The staff of Maritz Electrical includes three Master Electricians and 75% of the staff complement is technical. 35 SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2019

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