A New Year, A Time for Renewal of Your Goals – January 2019 Newsletter

The year 2019 at one time seemed so distant but now it is a reality. I habitually set aside quiet time for myself in November each year.  I turn my mobile onto silent, ignore incoming e-mails and other calls and devote a couple of hours to reflect on the last year and then consider a strategy, goals and objectives for the ensuing year, both for personal and business at the same time.

I urge each of you, the students, to do the same.  It is such an important step to take.  Reflect on your progress to date and measure it against the point that you should have reached compared to the Study Time Guide.  If you find that you have fallen behind, strategise to arrive at a solution that enables you to catch up and then to remain on track to complete the course withing the time allowed.

Take time to determine the your goals (you should not have more that two) and then set a series of objectives which will ensure that if followed properly, would ensure you of optimum success.

Write all of this down and keep your strategy, goals and objectives to achieve success on the course and keep them on an easily accessible file.  This is very important so that each month you can review your progress and make timeous adjustments to ensure that you maintain direction and finally that you will succeed and achieve success.

I persevere with a number of students who have fallen way behind or even a little behind.  You may ask the reason why I do this.  The answer is very simple.  I desire nothing more that to see each student succeed to the best of their individual abilities.

I am well aware that each one of you and I have to strike a balance between our full time occupations, our hobbies, our families and our studies.  Yes I keep studying and will never stop!

I cannot prescribe how you should do this because each you are each individuals.  At best I can only offer advice in a more general way as I have done here.

I wish each and every student and our many other readers, every success for 2019.  Yes there will be challenges along the way, but if you keep to your plans, you will  be able to make corrections along the way irrespective of what the reason may be, and still succeed.



On 12 December 2018, the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) conferred membership on Philip Hammond with the status “Philip Hammond”, Educator  Member of the International Association of Lighting Designers”.

The IALD is based in Chicago, Illinois, the United States of America.  They have Regional Chapters located in Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe, Greater China, Japan, India, Mexico, South East Asia, the UK and of course throughout the USA.

It is exciting to know that our courses are now available to all IALD members anywhere in the world.

I am honoured and privileged to be a member of this prestigious organisation.

I will communicate more important news to the students on our internal communications.

  • Scott Williamson, iGuzzini, Johannesburg on your graduation on 11 December 2018

We are pleased to welcome the following new students to BHA School of Lighting:

  • Mbongiseni Welcome Mkandla, Regent Lighting, Industria Johannesburg – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination
  • Dean Boyce, Matriculant, Grassy Park, Cape Town – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination
  • Erin Jones, Matriculant, Grassy Park, Cape Town – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination

Your fellow students and I wish you a very happy birthday!

  • Pablo Albarello, Cape Town – 10 January
  • Kevin Moodley, Mossel Bay – 21 January
  • Rowan Joseph, Mossel Bay -29 January
  • Aadil Vahed, Park Rynie – 31 January

Lighting Matters

To read Phil’s monthly column featured in EE Publishers’ Vector Magazine click the link here – http://www.ee.co.za/article/lighting-matters-on-the-subject-of-luminaires.html

Social Media

Follow us on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bha_lighting_design/

Follow us on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/bha-school-of-lighting/


Course News


All courses are now offered to students from anywhere in the world.  Courses can be paid in USD, GBP or EUR currencies and may be paid via Forex to our Investec Bank Account.

For more details contact Philip via phil@bhalighting.co.za or Mobile: +27-81-523 5374

Special News

Many of you know that I have belonged to a Business Breakfast Club since 2012 and continue to enjoy the fellowship and networking that results.  The members are a special group of enthusiastic yet fun-loving, community minded people.

Two of the members are a wonderfully kind lady, Sharon Constable and a very amusing yet equally serious gentleman named Malcolm Lips.  Over and above their profession as financial advisers to high net worth individuals, they passionately promote and help a school in one of the less privileged suburbs in Cape Town known as Grassy Park.  The school is Fairmount Secondary School, Grassy Park, Cape Town.  It was due to the hard work of Malcolm and Sharon over time that a school brass band was established.

It was based on knowledge that I acquired from my association with Malcolm and Sharon at our Business Club, that I offered to give two young matriculants the opportunity to enrol for the Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering at absolutely no cost whatsoever.  They would be personally selected by the principal of the school, Mr Terrence Klassen,  after informing the group  matriculants at the school about the opportunity.  After their internal selection process had been completed, the headmaster and I arranged to meet together with the young gentlemen.  It was a real pleasure to meet them and to experience their excitement, enthusiasm and sincere appreciation.

Please join me in welcoming two delightful young gentlemen to the BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering course.  I know that they will do very well.  I hope that they will seize the opportunity to make their mark after their graduation at the end of 2020.

Now, I challenge you.  How can you make a difference in your community?


During 2018, in my monthly column titled “Lighting Matters” in the Vector Magazine, I have focused on this latest revolution.  I have continued the topic in the January 2019 column.

Here is an excerpt from the above January column:  ”

Prof Schwab also writes that there is also the potential peril in the Fourth Industrial Revolution due to increased social tensions as a result of socio-economic changes that could create a segregated job market.  Wow, that is something that deserves serious consideration.  It divides the job market into “low-skill/low-pay and High-skill/High-pay”.  Typically, first-adopters of technology are the ones with the financial means to secure it, and that technology can catapult their continued success increasing the economic gaps. Some jobs will become obsolete.

I wonder how many of you have heard of Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli historian and a tenured professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  He is the author of the international bestsellers; “Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind”, “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow” and “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”.  All worth a read.  He wrote an article about the continuing rapid progress in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and goes on to state that by 2050, a new class of people will emerge called the “useless people”.  People who will be uniformed, will not have kept up with technologies, who became unemployed and in fact unemployable.  That is certainly a scary thought, especially in the South African context where our unemployment rate is already 27.8% of the economically active group of the 57,683,814 on 4 December 2018.  That means that some 5.98 million people are unemployed compare to 16 million who are employed.”


On April 21 1981, Standard Bank introduced 25 ATMs around Johannesburg, one of the first rollouts of ATMs by a major bank.

At first the IBM 3624 ATMs operated only from 7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday, and it took 20 seconds for a cash withdrawal, while you would have to wait 60 seconds for a balance inquiry.

Thirty-seven years later there are considerably more ATMs around the country, but you can also do your banking at any time on any day on just about any device — while online or on an app on your phone or even while on social media, all within seconds.

Those ATMs could be considered an early form of fintech; a bank spokesperson told the Rand Daily Mail at the time that they would ultimately perform 90% of teller duties.

The introduction of ATMs were a disruptor, shifting customers from the bank to outside where they engaged with technology to get their money that before would have been accessed from inside the branch.

The main thrust is that banks are looking into AI as a way to cut costs

Recently, a similar shift has taken hold as South African banks have embarked on digitalisation. According to a Citi GPS report on the Bank of the Future released this year, globally banks are the biggest investors outside the tech space in artificial intelligence (AI). The banking securities sector poured $1.9bn into AI in 2016 and this is expected to jump to $7.5bn (R107.5bn) in 2019.

Co-Pierre Georg, an associate professor at the African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management at the University of Cape Town, said that he expected to see two major developments in the coming years.

The first is the emergence of online banks like BankZero and TymeDigital as branches increasingly become a relic of a time before smartphones. The second is disintermediation as more will be possible without the help of intermediaries, starting from payment services, forex transactions and even parts of the loan book.

Georg said AI had already changed banking and would continue to do so.

“There are some applications, such as robo-advisers, where AI improves the customer experience. But the main thrust is that banks are looking into AI as a way to cut costs.

“The effect will be that a large number of jobs in the financial services industry will be lost.”

The current system was inefficient and the cost of compliance enormous. Automation and big data were expected to solve some of these inefficiencies, but the consequence was that fewer people would be needed for the same services.

During Standard Bank’s results presentation, CEO Sim Tshabalala said the cost of a transaction on digital channels was much less for clients than in a branch or at an ATM, but that was putting pressure on revenue.

“The volumes are increasing but the pricing is much less on electronic channels … [yet] the cost of product and service delivery is still the same because we haven’t fundamentally changed the infrastructure.”

There will be a big drive towards customer self-service on the latest social media platforms Arrie Rautenbach, CEO of Absa’s Retail & Business Banking.

But Mark Brits, a senior GM at the Banking Association SA, said while there would be job losses there would also be new jobs created.

Brits said it was difficult to make a prediction on job losses, as a large portion of the country still favoured cash and many South Africans did not have smartphones and were therefore excluded from the new system.

Raj Makanjee, CEO of FNB Retail, said “The bank’s aim was to complement and enhance rather than replace human capital. We invest in our people to take advantage of technology and automation for a better service.”

Over the years, IT-based roles at FNB have increased significantly, with IT and IT-related roles accounting for close to 15% of the workforce.

Makanjee said automation offered significant improvement in areas where repetitive tasks could be performed optimally by machines that learn and self-improve.

He said that, for instance, in areas such as judgmental credit (when an assessor approves or declines a credit application), the introduction of automated credit decision models resulted in the less complex decisions being automated and that freed the judgmental credit assessors to focus on the more complex matters.

Brits said in the next five to 10 years he expected SA to still have a mixed offering of digital and brick-and-mortar branches, but there would be a reduction in branch networks and more ATMs.

But branch network reduction has not yet taken hold as a number of banks increase the number of locations.

Capitec last year bought a 40% stake in Creamfinance for à21m (R348m) that will form part of the group’s online lending capabilities and offer advanced credit scoring through machine-learning capabilities. The group is also rolling out 15 branches without cashiers.

Capitec said it was not replacing employees, but had consultants to assist clients with more complex transactions.  The group said its view on automation and AI was that it was not meant to replace people, but rather enhance human capabilities.

Absa, which recently launched ChatBanking on WhatsApp and Samsung Pay, said its technology unit had invested about R350m in the past three and a half years in automation technologies, specifically robotics and AI, which include voice and face recognition as well as fraud detection.

Arrie Rautenbach, CEO of Absa’s Retail & Business Banking, said, a big portion of Absa’s workforce would be supplemented by AI and other supplementary automation technologies in the future.

“There will be a big drive towards customer self-service on the latest social media platforms and bolstering existing channels, enabled through integration with voice assistants such as Alexa or Siri and augmented and fully virtualised banking services,” said Rautenbach.

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