In celebration of 90-years in the gases and welding industry, and in honour of African Oxygen Limited’s (Afrox) founding CEO, Afrox presented the prestigious Harvey Shacklock Gold Medal Award at the 69th annual Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) dinner.

The award is the highest accolade bestowed in the South African welding industry in acknowledgement of exceptional contribution to the industry in terms of research and innovation, and is granted to recipients who have presented technical papers of a very high standard, either on a local or international level.

It is significant to Afrox, a subsidiary of global gas giant Linde, as it was introduced in 1949 in memory of Harvey Shacklock, the first CEO of the company, who was a founding member of the SAIW.

Established by Shacklock in 1948, the SAIW is a non-profit, technical organisation dedicated to furthering standards in welding-fabrication and related technologies, and is a founder member of the International Institute of Welding (IIW).

The award was presented by Afrox’s 11th Managing Director Schalk Venter to Angel Krustev on October 20th for his presentation entitled ‘Modified GTAW orbital tube to tubesheet welding technique and the effect of a copper weld retainer during welding of alloy 825’.

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Source: Afrox

Schalk Venter, Managing Director, Angel Krustev, winner, and Morris Maroga, President of SAIW.

Johann Pieterse, Business Manager for Manufacturing Industries at Afrox, said the Harvey Shacklock Gold Medal Award is still highly significant to Afrox as it embodies their ongoing commitment to promoting welding in the industry.

This award is one of many accolades, training programmes, welding schools and skills development programmes that Afrox sponsors and actively supports each year in order to promote the growth and expansion of welding skills and employment opportunities in southern Africa.

“Afrox also sponsored the Stainless Steel Awards Student Category to encourage South Africa’s youth to consider welding as a recognised profession in a time of high unemployment,” explained Pieterse, adding that Afrox stands firm in their belief that skills development is key to growing the country’s economy.

Pieterse continued, “Afrox also offers bursaries for learnerships and apprenticeships, and partners with training bodies to develop individuals into qualified artisans.”

In addition, the gases and welding company actively participates in the advancement of new training facilities and has played a key role in establishing welding training centres in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and Western Cape. Most recently, the LIV Welding Academy, a custom container welding school that was developed by Afrox in partnership with LIV and the SAIW, was unveiled at the LIV Village in KwaZulu-Natal.

Afrox unveils welding school at LIV village

Pieterse said that Afrox has also partnered with the Department of Education, supporting its Technical School Recap programme under Mechanical Technology in a drive to re-establish welding facilities, kitting them out with advanced technology equipment and up-skilling educators to facilitate training.