Dave Nagin was born in Ophirton, Johannesburg, and schooled in Lenasia. He matriculated in the early 1980s at Nirvana Secondary School and furthered his education at Highveld Technical with an N3 electrical qualification. He served his electricianís apprenticeship with Buzzard Electrical and has served as president of the ECA.
Dave recalls how difficult it was for a "non-white" to get an apprenticeship in those early days under the then apartheid government. After serving his apprenticeship and qualifying with a wiremanís license in 1984, he started his own electrical contracting company, A to Z Electrical Contractors. His staff at that time comprised himself and three assistants.
Times were tough in those days and it was difficult for contractors who werenít white to be on the consulting engineers tender. Many a time he would approach the consulting engineersí office but would be turned away as an "unknown entity".
However, he continued with small jobs in and around Lenasia and his reputation as a reliable and cost effective electrical company grew steadily. With this reputation came some bigger jobs such as the Lenasia Station Mall, Lenasia Muslim School, Volta Caltex filling station and the Johannesburg Council for the Disabled.
Finally, he had an opportunity to submit a tender for one of the consulting engineers. From this time onwards there was no looking back as more opportunities to tender came and his company became a force to be reckoned with.
Some major clients to date are MTN, Wesbank, Nedbank, FNB and Baragwanath Hospital.
To Dave, some of the biggest challenges in the industry today are the greatly increased management input required against the implementation of the green buildings specifications and the enhanced health and safety procedures on sites. The critical lack of skilled personnel and skills development in the industry are also a major threat. In his spare time, Dave is a keen Koi keeper.