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Earthing for Electricians

Click here for a Colour Brochure 

Mode of Presentation

The course provides computer-based 1-on-1 training. This particular course comprises of more than 1 000 audio-visual segments.

Each segment is typically an animated diagram with speech synchronised to further explain the fact being conveyed to the candidate.

The candidate steps through the course by pressing a “forward” button. The candidate can repeat a segment or go back to previous segments. This is done by a mouse or via the keyboard.

People who have never sat in front of a computer in their lives have mastered the computer in minutes.

The course does cater for candidates who are not well schooled in the English language. This has been achieved by replacing text with pictures through-out the course. This means that the course can be presented to Apprentices and Artisan Aids. However the audio (speech in English) may present a problem to some.

We have no objection to a Buddy-Buddy system where-by an Artisan and an Apprentice go through the course together with the Artisan acting as a tutor and translator.

Please note however that graduate engineers have never complained that the course is too basic for them.

The only difference is that engineers tend to go through the material at a faster pace. Hence his valuable time is used at the most optimum pace.

Whereas the Apprentice, whose time is less expensive, will take a lot longer to absorb the same knowledge.

Assessment & Certification

At the end of each section simple questions are asked in a multiple-choice format. These have to be answered correctly before going on to the next section. If the first answer is not correct the candidate is given a second or third “chance”.

The accuracy of the answers together with other unique factors are used by the computer to assess whether the candidate achieves a certificate or not.

Control of Certificates

At the beginning of the course the candidate must either select his name from a pre-entered list or he must enter his name himself. As he progresses through the course “his variables” such as how he answered the questions and others are recorded on a stiffy disk.

The stiffy disk is read by our computer in Randburg, which then prints the certificates.

Hence permanent and detailed records are kept by matra of every candidate’s performance, certificate number, dates etc.

All candidates who pass automatically qualify for Part 2 of the course which covers, more advanced topics of lightning protection, UPS’s and electronic systems.

Course Notes

Although the notes are not intended to serve as a text book, design manual or training manual these notes are highly valued by all candidates. The notes compromise of 70 pages of illustrations which are copyright protected and are not for sale.

Specialist Modules

The course in its present format is generic ie  it provides knowledge that all electricians need to have.

However if we find that specific sectors give us support then we will produce specialised modules for that particular industry. Typically Municipal systems, Mining systems, Contracting etc. are modules that could be added.

Select an Option most Convenient to You

Which of the 4 options described below is best for you, will depend on the number of candidates and the degree of flexibility you prefer. The following is a rough guide:

Options available

Number of Candidates



Option 1
Attend at matra
 1 - 6
  1. No chance of being disturbed.
  2. Attend when it’s convenient.
  1. Travel
  2. Cost
Option 2
Hire PC
 3 - 7
  1. Convenient
  2. Candidate on-site and accessible for emergency.
  1. You must try to train at least 1 per day.
Option 3
Hire CD
 5 - 30
  1. As per Option 2
  2. You have 2 days per candidate.
  1. Need have access to a PC with sound card.
Option 4
 25 or more
  1. No time constraints
  2. Cheapest
  • NONE

Option 1: At matra Randburg or at neutral venue in Cape Town, Durban or George.

This option is available to those who have only one or two candidates. Alternatively customers who prefer a neutral venue where there is no risk of being disturbed. The cost is R800 per candidate. 

Option 2: Hire-the-computer.

In this case we deliver our computer to your premises and set it up, give demo etc. Your candidates can go through the course by themselves, one-at-a-time, one per day. 

We collect our computer and read the results via a stiffy disk which collects the candidates assessment details. At our office we print the certificates and send these to you for distribution to each candidate. 

The cost allows for four sets of bound notes. If you have more than 4 candidates we can either provide a master set from which you generate more sets at you expense - or we can add bound sets at R50-00 per set of notes. 

Number of Candidates 

The ideal arrangement is for you to give us a list of candidate names before we deliver the computer.  This allows us to enter their names in advance. Then each morning the candidate will select his name from the list on the screen and the training will commence.

Period of Hire

One working day is allowed per candidate. Should you need to keep the computer for a longer period then a fee of R200-00 per day will be charged. 

Option 3: Hire the CD 

Based on the assumption that a Multi-media equipped PC is available, we deliver and install only a CD and a stiffy disk.  In this case the Period-of-Hire is based on 2 days per candidate. The penalty is reduced from R200-00 to R100-00/day. All other conditions including the costs are as per Option 2.

Option 4: Purchase the CD 

To eliminate time constraints we offer a purchase option to customers who have 30 candidates or more.

The purchase price will be determined by the number of candidates you propose training.  The cost will be based on a flat rate of R400-00 per candidate. 

Hence the minimum purchase order value would be R12 000-00 for 30 certificated candidates.

The purchase price includes the following: 

  1. A set of master notes.
  2. Certification from our offices in batches of ten or more. This can be achieved by exchanging stiffy disks or by e-mail: dave@matra.co.za 

Is the matra course unique?

Yes! - Absolutely unique in all aspects: 

1. Contents 

We cover a topic which is in some respects extremely simple but overall the topic is difficult to understand and teach. For example: 

  1. How do you explain why all safety codes and Regulations demand a solidly earthed system? Yet where conditions demand extreme safety, such as  in a coal mine, the use of  a floating neutral is recommended? 
  2. How do you explain why the municipal electricians earth the neutral of their 380/220V systems in as many places as possible? Yet the industrial electrician is taught: 

    “earth the neutral at one point only - or else you’re fired!“ 
  3. National regulations state that the definition of Earthed is as follows: 

    “So connected to the general mass of earth as to ensure at all times an immediate discharge of electrical energy without danger“ 

    Is this definition achievable in practice? If so, does your electrician know how?
  4. As plastic piping is used these days, does it still make sense to bond the taps to the protective earth? 

    Fundamental and important as these sample questions are, you would expect the answers to be readily available in text books and institutions of learning?

    However this is not the case.

    Nobody has published a book which covers the topic of earthing or bonding in a broad sense. For this reason, no institution of learning gives the topic any justice at all.
    On our course we tackle these questions head-on. We firmly believe that all electricians are entitled to some answers.
    Hence we claim that "what you will learn on our course, you will not find in a text book"

2. Presentation 

The advantages of the CBT methodology we use has to be experienced in order to appreciate that our CBT is about 10 times more effective than conventional training. The 10 times is made up as follows:

Knowledge transferred over period of 1 day: CBT = 4X Conventional
  Knowledge retained by student: CBT = 2,5X Conventional
  Overall CBT = 10X More Effective

Although we do not claim to have invented CBT, we do claim that our methodology was specially developed for South African conditions and has been well proven over the past 6 years.

How do I motivate the financial cost of this training?

Here are  a few generalisations you can use without getting too technical: (Assume your boss is not an Electrical Engineer). You need to explain the importance of the subject of the course. ie.: 

Why is Earthing such an important protective measure?

1. Safety-of-Personnel and Risk Control: 

Electricity and Earthing are related to each other like a Trapeze artist and the Safety net.

Earthing is fundamental to PROTECTION and RISK CONTROL covering the following:

  1. General Work Force: Electrocution 
  2. Electrical staff: Burns 
  3. Plant and Machinery: Fire and Explosion
  4. Electrical Equipment: Degree of Damage
  5. Electrical Equipment: Reliability 
  6. Electronic Systems: Reliability

The above risks occur whenever faults occur. The presence of Lightning magnifies all the above risks dramatically. 

As the incorrect implementation of Earthing will endanger the Safety of personnel and cause serious Risk of Fire and Explosions the additional training will be a good investment.

2. Prevent Overvoltages:

A second and more convincing benefit provided by effective earthing is the prevention of overvoltages. 

The role earthing plays in controlling overvoltages is very seldom appreciated. The impact on plant reliability can be quite dramatic.

Why is additional training required?

Having conducted surveys at over 100 factories we have found serious deficiencies exist as follows:


Cable ends

40% of all MV Cables
50% of all LV Cables





The tragedy of the situation is that a good standard can be achieved at hardly any extra cost or effort.

The majority of all the deficiencies are due to the lack of knowledge or motivation of the installers.

The following is offered as a partial explanation for the current situation: 

  1. What training is provided on the subject of Earthing at apprentice level is limited to the practical aspects. 

    Within a short time the apprentice soon learns that earthing is not required at all “to make the thing work” and the additional labour imposed by earthing is something he can therefore “get away with”.
  2. The technical institutions do not spend any time on explaining the OBJECTIVES of earthing. The reason being, that the subject is very confusing and difficult to demonstrate in a practical manner.
  3. At management level the assumption is made that the wiring regulations will provide the necessary protection. Unfortunately this assumption is only applicable to domestic and small commercial installations.

What Additional Costs should taken into account?

Please allow for the following:

  1. VAT (the charges quoted exclude VAT) 
  2. Set-up and Delivery charge. This will be determined by the return distance from Randburg and will be charged at R1-60/km. 
  3. Collection charge of R1-00/km will be charged if we collect. This charge will obviously not apply if you return the equipment at your own expense. 
  4. Allow R50-00 per set of notes that you want us to supply. 
  5. Allow for a penalty charge if you expect to exceed the Period-of-Hire.

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