It is with some sadness that we must advise that, after more than 25 years of business, EE Publishers will be closing at the end of November 2019.
The state of both the economy and the publishing sector in South Africa have impacted the company negatively as customers cut back on advertising and marketing activities. Our primary revenue, namely advertising and marketing spend, is no longer adequate to ensure a sustainable traditional publishing business. The service of the SA Post Office is unreliable, and its prices continue to spiral upwards and the cost of door-to-door magazine deliveries by courier is prohibitive.
In the meantime, readership preferences continue to shift away from print media towards electronic and social media. However electronic media advertising spend in South Africa is being significantly eroded by the global social media majors, and this is shifting local electronic media advertising spend offshore.
It is however heartening for us to remember past achievements – from the initial business as the Elektron Partnership started by Jack Yelland, which brought the SAIEE magazine Elektron to profitability and growth – to the merging of the Elektron business with that of Energize magazine to form EE Publishers. In due course we acquired further titles, Vector and PositionIT, and the establishment of EngineerIT magazine to replace Elektron magazine, which reverted to the SAIEE.
Highlights over the past 25 years included the winning of numerous Specialist Press Association Pica Awards for publishing excellence, and the close relationships established with numerous professional institutes and industry associations across the sectors served by EE Publishers. We also ventured into staging major conferences and exhibitions, often partnering with relevant industry bodies – events such as Switchgear, Drives & Control; Intelligent Building Automation; GISSA Ukubuzana; SA Surveying + Geomatics Indaba; Geomatics Indaba; SA GeoTech; SA Energy Storage; and ICT Infrastructure.
This was supplemented with the staging of numerous public seminars and debates on topical issues of public interest across the sectors served by EE Publishers, the most notable of which were the series of five energy and ICT seminars hosted in partnership with Nedbank in 2019. Our annual industry leadership and customer breakfasts were legendary, and the highlight of many peoples’ event calendars. Guest speakers included Judge Albie Sachs, Adv. Vusi Pikoli, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Bobby Godsell, JP Landman, Michael Power, Ferial Haffajee, Prof. Anton Harber, Mark Heywood, Dr. Harry Seftel, Martin Welz and Nik Rabinowitz.
We believe the staff of EE Publishers can hold their heads high and be proud of what they have achieved over the years in service of our readers, customers, business associates, suppliers, professional institutes and industry associations, across the engineering and geomatics sectors of South Africa and the region. A special thanks to the editors, writers, sales, production and administration staff for each of the four publications, EngineerIT, Energize, Vector and PositionIT, and our events management staff, for their dedicated service and the sterling work over many years. We would like to single out the leadership roles played by recent editors of Energize magazine, namely Mike Rycroft and Roger Lilley, together with the associated editorial, sales, production, events and administration staff.
We take this opportunity to thank the many stakeholders of EE Publishers, including readers, customers, suppliers, professional institutes, industry associations and especially the staff for the wonderful journey we have had over the last 25 years. It has been a pleasure and an honour to be part of, and to serve, the energy, electricity, measurement, instrumentation, automation, lighting, ICT and geomatics sectors of South and southern Africa.