As a sub-contractor on the original building site of Riversands I-Hub, entrepreneur Michael Tshifularo’s company MTEA Project was familiar with the Riversands I-Hub campus before it started operating.
“Every new building requires a lightning protection certificate. I was fortunate enough to be involved in the construction phase of Riversands and I’m now well placed to conduct the necessary annual check for the campus,” commented Tshifularo, who started MTEA Project in 2017 after having worked in the industry for 10 years.|
“Four years ago there were very few companies in the whole country who specialised in earthing and lightning protection. In fact, the number has only doubled from this low base since I started. It’s also noticeable that there is very little diversity in the industry,” he explained.
Being well known in the industry has helped Tshifularo build his business sustainably. Late last year he was able to engage the services of an administrative assistant and at the moment he’s looking forward to welcoming new team members for finance and sales roles respectively.
“Since every building needs my services by law, I’m often called in to retrofit things such as earthing systems. Of course, I also hang out at new building sites frequently!”
Tshifularo is a man on a mission to educate South Africans about the dangers of lightning strikes. As a specialist in his field, he’s concerned about what he perceives as a lack of education on the dangers that accompany summer thunderstorms.
“It breaks my heart every time I hear of someone being struck by lightning because it’s often preventable. I try my best to spread the word,” he said.
This entrepreneur’s standing in the industry is evidenced by the fact that he was part of the working group appointed by the SABS to formulate specifications for lightning protection compliance. When asked about this future plans, he reveals that he will soon be starting his PhD in Electrical Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand. He’s certainly destined to become an even more prominent figure in this important industry.