Who We Are
The Foundation was founded by Mr. Gary Thoresson, a lightning and earthing specialist, and a registered member of ELPA, in an effort to address the humanitarian aspects of lightning risks.
The goal of the organization is to provide lightning awareness and skill training so that people become educated, protected individuals.
Around the world, there are approximately 50 lightning flashes taking place every second, and about 2, 000 thunder storms occurring at any one time. This equates to more than 1,2 billion thunder storms per year. In 2016, South Africa experienced 28,000,000 lightning flashes to ground.
A news article, written in November 2015, stated the following: “South Africa is in the top three countries with the highest death rates from lightning. Lightning is responsible for up to 300 deaths a year, but the actual statistics could be much higher.”
A South African, specialist pathologist on lightning deaths, wrote the following in an article: “Lightning kills approximately 24 000 people around the world every year. And approximately 240 000 people will be struck or injured but survive a lightning strike, often with severe disabilities. Lightning is a completely random and anonymous killer”.
Another article published by a lightning specialist, puts the South African Lightning death rate at an average of 6.3 deaths per million of the population and 8,8 deaths per million in rural areas. This is a staggering number of deaths each year. International specialists on lightning injuries, agree on a ratio of approximately 10 persons injured to each person killed. Many of these deaths and injuries could have been prevented, if the victims had been aware of the dangers and taken the correct safety precautions. For this reason alone, “Lightning Safety Awareness” is of the utmost importance.
It is the aim of Lightning 30 Foundation to reduce the number of deaths and injuries in South Africa and Africa through education of schools and communities and to provide rural communities with early warning systems and lightning safe shelters.
To reduce lightning related deaths and injuries in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa through education and protection.
Education: Education is key to prevention of lightning injuries and deaths, we strive to educate communities globally.
Safety: Ensure all designs are of highest standards to ensure safety of people.
Collaboration: Collaborate with communities and other organizations in which we operate to ensure that solutions meet and exceed their expectations.
Empowerment: Empower people in communities that we serve through skills transfer.
Integrity: Always act with honesty and integrity.
Passion: Saving people’s lives is our passion.
Accountability: We take responsibility for our actions that influences the lives of all the people we serve.
Foundation Management Team
The Foundation’s management team, has several highly qualified board members who will assist with the strategic management of the foundation. These include the following persons:
Mr. Gary Thoresson (Chairman)
Gary Thoresson is the driving force behind the organization and fills the Chief Executive Officer role.
Gary is a registered Installation Electrician and an ELPA accredited Lightning Protection Installer with more than 40 years’ experience in the various electrical fields. He also holds diplomas in both Business Management and Project Management and has several years of business and project management experience as owner and director of various companies.
He was also a founding member of the Earthing, Lightning Protection Association (ELPA) a voluntary association, tasked with standardization and skills upliftment within the South Africa for Earthing and Lightning Protection industry.
His interest in the lightning protection field made him aware of the eminent dangers and exceptional high death and injury rate related to lightning strikes. This motivated him in setting up the foundation to focus on the humanitarian aspects of creating awareness on the dangers related to Lightning.
Mr. Moses Twala (Cultural & Religious Adviser)
Moses Twala has served on various Gauteng based community forums e.g. Moral & Regeneration Movement (MRM), Swaziland Tradition Leadership Forum in Springs (Ekurhuleni). He also served within the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Culture, Religion and Linguistics (CRL).
Currently he is contracted for advice on issues of African Culture and the history of our religion. This is done these through radio interviews on local African Radio stations as well as SAFM. By invitation Mr. Moses Twala also offers his expertise to Government Structures on Chapter Nine Institutions.
Mr. Twala has a passion for contributing to nation building and it is for this reason that he has presented himself to assist the Foundation on educating and preventing lightning dangers to communities especially those in rural areas.
Mrs. Jannine Beukes (Treasurer and Secretary)
Mrs. Jannine Beukes has more than 15 years business banking experience and has very good understanding of credit risk management, banking regulatory requirements and financial statement analysis. She also has experience with staff management and evaluations, customer relationship management as complaint resolution.
During the last 4 years, Jannine has been employed as Office Administrator and Bookkeeper for Thuthukani Electrical. During this time, she has sharpened her bookkeeping, payroll, project administration and office administration skills.
She is also well versed in terms of business statutory requirements such as Tax, VAT and PAYE. She currently studying towards her National Diploma in Financial Accounting.
Mr. Neale Du Plooy (Medical and Photographic Advisor)
Neale du Plooy has a qualification in medicine from the University of Pretoria and worked in the mining industry for 20 years.
He has managerial experience in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry, as and has interacted with many NGO’s and UN Agencies in Africa and the Middle East.
His interests include wildlife and lightning photography, as well as lightning injuries.
Mr. Nkululeko Nkabinde (KwaZulu Natal Adviser and Public Relations)
Mr. Nkululeko Nkabinde is a qualified Quality Engineering Technician with more than 10 years’ experience as a Projects Quality Engineer working for companies such as Joy Global, Sulzer Pumps and Anglo American PLC.
Mr. Nkabinde started his own company in 2015 called Isithelo Mining Consultants and Services of which he currently is Managing Director. The company has been involved on more than 1000 projects within the Southern African region and he has been involved in Quality Assurance and Quality control for new capital projects and Stay in business projects pre-dominantly in the engineering and the mining industry.
In the past 2 years he has taken part in the local initiative on lightning protection predominantly in the KZN rural areas. Nkululeko has also been instrumental in establishing rural initiatives to create awareness about Lightning against the notion of superstitions that are used as basis of information against lightning.
With his rural background Nkululeko has a role to role play in the creation of training programs and awareness about Earthing and the Lightning protection.
Mr. Luyanda Gantsho (Eastern Cape Adviser and Engineer)
Luyanda is a registered Professional Electrical Engineer, with ECSA (Engineering Council of South Africa). He originates from the rural areas of Eastern Cape and is well informed on both the religious and cultural beliefs of this area of South Africa.
Luyanda is currently a Senior Electrical Infrastructure Manager with PRASA (Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa), a state-owned entity.
Both Luyanda and his wife (who is a registered medical doctor) are actively involved with the rural communities in the Eastern Cape.
Currently Luyanda, is involved with educating communities of the dangers of Electricity and the lasting effects of electrical shock and as an electrical engineer, is fully aware of the dangers of Lightning.
With his rural background Luyanda has a role to role play in the creation of training programs and awareness about Earthing and the Lightning protection
Mr. Trevor Manas (Technical Adviser and Designer of Lightning Protection Systems)
Trevor Manas started his lightning protection career in 1991 as Managing Director of Pontins. In 2017 Trevor founded a new company called Lightning Protection Concepts (LPC).
Trevor has been the chief LPS designer on more than 5000 projects worldwide and has designed lightning protection systems for structures across all industry sectors. During the past 14 years of Trevor`s career, he has presented at many local and international conferences on lightning protection and on aspects of earthing and lightning protection.
Trevor has also been instrumental in establishing an industry wide understanding of the IEC 62305 series of standards with the emphasis being paid to the ‘Separation Distance Concept’, a new principle in South Africa.
Trevor has published over 20 ‘white papers’ on various earthing and lightning protection principles, many of which have been published. In June 2017, Trevor was appointed as the National Director of ELPA (Earthing and Lightning Protection Association of South Africa).
With over 25 years in the industry, Trevor`s in-depth knowledge of the latest lightning protection technologies has helped him to develop his reputation in the lightning protection industry.
Mr. Hano Oelofse (Technical Adviser and Designer of Lightning Protection Systems)
Hano Oelofse is the Technical Director of DEHN AFRICA, responsible for managing and leading the company’s technical division, providing technical direction and support for development, design and system solutions.
A career that boasts of international experience gained in and around Africa in countries such as Madagascar, Zambia & Kenya, Uganda as well as international projects like Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines & Malaysia has helped Oelofse gain the insight into different methodologies, standards and engineering practices across all industry sectors.
Hano serves as an active member on several SABS working groups and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering (Heavy Current). Oelofse has used this vast experience and insight to establish an Academy for Lightning Protection, which is a first of its kind in Africa. Currently this course and other modules have been accepted at several tertiary institutes across the continent.