OCCA Northern Section

Dear OCCA Northern Section Members,

Welcome to our new Website which has been developed for us by Kickstart Online!

I am writing this some two weeks before Christmas 2020, and the world is still in turmoil around us due to a second wave of the Covid 19 virus which is besetting many nations!

We have had to accustom ourselves to a new way of living, first been locked down quite severely and then having the restraints loosened and having to find new ways of living – working from home, communicating via Zoom or Google, wearing masks wherever we go and scuttling back to the safety of our homes at the first opportunity! I work under one of the approaches to OR Tambo airport – it is eerily quiet, the majority of planes arriving are foreign freighters!

But OCCA lives on! We have prioritized the re-vamping of the Website. Hopefully this will become our main means of communication in the future. We know that the number of hits has been decreasing on the past Website and the ‘dwell times’ were very short, indicating no interest!

We request that you have the Website https://occasa.org.za/ saved as a’ favorite’ and that you visit it at least weekly. This will make it viable!

There is lots of good news:

  • We have now concluded a License agreement with OCCA UK

  • We may still register Professional Membership through the UK organization

  • We will no longer be paying all our Membership Fees over to the UK but will pay a fixed License Fee which will be shared between the 3 Sections and the Division

  • You, as a Southern African member, will receive Surface Coatings International (SCI) publication several times a year (by logging on and using your membership number as a password)

  • You are also entitled to join Webinars run by OCCA UK (these have turned out to be very popular during shutdown)

  • We will soon be offering Webinars locally – candidate subjects are ‘Duplex Coatings – hazards and success stories’, ‘Prefinished Metals – the good, the bad and the ugly’ and so on

  • We have decided to amend our name to ‘OCCA: Surface Coatings Association of Southern Africa’, in line with SCAA (Australia) and SCANZ (New Zealand). This will modernize our image and make our name more relevant to this day and age.

  • Our association with SAPMA and SAPITI is as strong as ever. We, together, are associated with Daily Mail Group (DMG) who are planning CFA – ‘Coatings for Africa’ Exhibition and Conference for mid-2021. DMG have put R1 million into marketing this event which has become the biggest Coatings Expo in Southern Africa, held at the Sandton Convention Centre.

  • We have recently become a Reciprocal Member of Corrosion Institute of Southern Africa (CorrISA) – more later!

  • We are in discussions with the new Executive Director of CorrISA, Ms. Petra Mitchell, to facilitate Professional Memberships within our Industry

I am continually amazed by the tenacity of our members. Although diminished in number over the years, they remain faithful and supportive, especially those committee members who are willing to give up their time, year after year, in support of the Technology of Surface Coatings. Our future looks good. There are numerous well qualified young people in our industries to sustain our organization. It is up to the existing members to exhort them to join and participate and refashion our structure to suit them.

“I wish all our members and their families a good 2021, may we come out of these trials and tribulations all the stronger.”

Graeme Stead
Chairman OCCA Northern Section

graemestead566@gmail.com