MRO Magazine

N.B. firm’s technical training expertise to be exported to South Africa

Toronto, ON -- Nov. 30, 2001 - Canadian expertise in technical training is to be introduced to South Africa throug...


November 30, 2001
By MRO Magazine

Toronto, ON — Nov. 30, 2001 – Canadian expertise in technical training is to be introduced to South Africa through an agreement facilitated by Canadian Alliance for Business in South Africa (CABSA).

RgeNord, a Kedgwick, N.B., engineering consultant firm, has entered into an agreement with Esselenpark (a training unit of Transnet), based in Pretoria, South Africa. The agreement will enable Esselenpark to expand and develop their current curriculum in electronics, electricity, and automobile mechanics.

The customized technical training program termed SIFAD is presently offered in Canada, USA, France, Morocco, Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Benin, Madagascar, Tunisia and Vietnam.

Alain Belanger, president and CEO of RgeNord, said that the program aims to empower employees as well as to create skilled technicians that augment skilled labour shortage of high-tech industry. SIFAD programs focus on practical workshop sessions and training is arranged on-site or through private technical colleges.


Academic experts from Canada, such as the Teccart Institute and New Brunswick Community Colleges, have developed the curriculum for different SIFAD technical training programs. When combined with guidance and monitoring, the SIFAD instructional approach is claimed to have a success rate of 90%.

The South African partner, Esselenpark, offers a range of facilities including organizational and human resource development. Their curriculum includes training in engineering, mechanical skills, and information technology, as well as supervisory and managerial skills.

The agreement between the two organizations will involve the transfer of skills and technology. The SIFAD training program provides a unique and effective method to up-skilling and re-skilling employees and entrepreneurs in the South African context.

CABSA is a not-for-profit private sector initiative, and has been successful in identifying joint ventures in both the established and black business sectors in South Africa and matching them with Canadian partners. CABSA is a project of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and supported with funding from the Canadian International Development Agency Industrial Cooperation (CIDA INC).

CABSA has offices in Johannesburg, Toronto and Ottawa and their service is offered free of charge to all interested companies.

For more information on CABSA, contact Anna-Lisa Castiello, project coordinator, in Toronto — tel. 905-568-8300, e-mail; or in Ottawa, Jane Adams, project manager, tel. 613-238-8888, e-mail

By Bill Roebuck, Editor