Board of Directors
Edwin Dwinki Phala
Chief Executive Officer
Edwin Dwinki Phala, is an Electrical Engineer with a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management. An industrialist at heart, he formed Alcon Marepha (Pty) Ltd in 2001. Dwinki Phala was also a founding member of EON Consulting, an engineering and management consulting company.
He developed an interest in manufacturing after being on the board of directors for both the Aberdare Group and Powertech for 12 years, earning his stripes as a black industrialist in the sector.
Dwinki Phala had a vision of creating a black owned, controlled and managed cable and conductor manufacturing entity. He eventually approached Aberdare Group to partner in the acquisition of Alcon Conductors (Pty) Ltd, after being unable to raise capital to acquire it on his own. Eventually Alcon Marepha was born, with Dwinki Phala as its was majority owner his investment company, Lone Ranger (Pty) Ltd.
Later, Dwinki Phala finally bought out Aberdare Group shares in Alcon Marepha, to make Alcon Marepha the only 100% black owned aluminium overhead power conductor manufacturing company in South Africa.
Adele Hall brings a wealth of experience to Alcon Marepha.
Hall’s career started when she entered the accounting field, holding a number of positions while studying for her BCompt degree in Accounting and Auditing. A defining moment of her career came when she was employed by Hannover Re, where one of Hall’s responsibilities was to lead a large team of professionals. The project ended up delivering unprecedented results, and that cemented Hall’s career for the better.
Succeeding that chapter of her career – which took over a decade, was a complete career change. Hall spent the next eleven years travelling the world, learning about personal and interpersonal leadership, and organisational development.
Thereafter, Hall secured a job as a Managing Director of FranklinCovey Southern Africa and was a majority shareholder of the global company. In her role, Hall was responsible for 17 African and Indian Ocean countries.
Working for a company that was initiated by the late Dr. Stephen R Covey, author of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People; Hall believes that her involvement with the company led to her significant personal growth. Some of her biggest life lessons include humility, perseverance, effective communication, being deliberate in her execution and working with multiple stakeholders.
Currently, Hall is intimately involved in the rewarding world of transformation within various organisations; using the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Codes as the main driver.
To date, Hall has held a number of positions in the transformation domain, including Director for Transformation at UTi; Vice President and Head of Transformation at Saab Grintek Defence; and currently, a shareholder and Director at Non-Executive Director in No Ordinary Corporation (NOC).
As a diligent and passionate learner, Hall has realised that change sometimes needs to happen incrementally. That every step in the right direction is critical, irrespective of its impact, as long as the vision remains a priority and the people are continually motivated to push forward.
Neil Kayton qualified as a Chartered Accountant (CA) with Ernst and Young (EY) and during his articles, Neil focused primarily on the mining and manufacturing sectors.
Following EY, he joined Cape Gate, a private family-owned company that manufactures steel and related products from scrap steel. Neil was seconded to Universal Recycling Company, a joint venture business with Cape Gate, to assist in instituting governance processes and procedures.
During his time with Cape Gate, Neil acquired significant general management experience in all functions of the business. He was also involved in the management of a kosher wine farm in Paarl for some time, that allowed him to gain a comprehensive understanding of the complete business process.
Thereafter, he joined a global multinational pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca, as a Financial Director. Here, his intent was to gain more sales and marketing experience and to see how an international company operates.
Following his role at AstraZeneca, Neil was approached by the Powertech Group; a wholly owned subsidiary of Altron, to join them as the Group CFO. During that period, he implemented shared services within the company. The significant undertaking – which was a highlight of his career – saw him and his team reshape and grow Powertech’s Information Technology function, they furthermore expanded the services to Human Resources, including payroll, data storage and SAP.
Neil was promoted to CEO of the Powertech Group, and later the Altron Board decided to assign him and key people the responsibility to dispose Powertech Group’s assets and businesses. This period saw major restructuring take place within the company.
In light of this, Alcon Marepha was one of the first disposals that took place. The company was to be 100% black owned and was provided the impetus to grow and succeed.
Neil is now responsible for a number of Non-Executive Director roles for companies such as Alcon Marepha, this allows companies including Alcon Marepha the opportunity to leverage some of the experience that he has gained over the years.
John Kidson studied Mechanical Engineering as a bursar of South African Airways (SAA), specialising in Aircraft Structures.
During his training, John spent time studying both the Boeing Aircraft Corporation and Airbus Industries, and furthermore explored Corporate Airlines and Structural Bonding Specialist companies.
Following his training, John entered the private sector where he participated in projects that focused particularly on the manufacturing of paper, corrugated board and containers. Other projects include plant processes, with a focus on cardboard conversion and glass bottle manufacture. One of the companies that employed him at the time was Nampak.
John moved into the electric cable manufacturing industry, securing employment with a Swedish company, ASEA of Sweden. The company was taken over by the Altron Group, and later consolidated with the Aberdare Group. As an Executive Director of Manufacturing, growth was by acquisition.
Sitting on the Board of Alcon Marepha, John was instrumental in establishing an Aluminium Rod Plant manufacturing solution for Alcon Marepha, and ultimately revitalising the existing Richard’s Bay plant.
He spent time as the President of the Pietermaritzburg Business Chamber, and the World Trade Organisation in the motor sector, with focus on exports. Moreover, he continues to give Trade Union Organisation linked lectures through the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth.
As a passionate coach, John consults to businesses in the industry. He advises on business processes, and believes that through knowledge transfer and education, businesses can grow remarkably.