John Tonkin

Over the past 46 years John Tonkin has been closely associated with the South African and International pump market. During this time he has been exposed to all facets of the industry.

His career started with the Johannesburg City Council as a fitter and turner apprentice/artisan before a stint with Safmarine as a junior engineer.

John's career moved on to mainstream marketing and sales when he joined the sales team of Stewarts and Lloyds (S&L) with responsibility for the sale of pumps, pipes and valves to industry and the mines. During this time he was exposed to installations, handling anything from fresh water to chemicals and effluents of all descriptions.

John then became a member of the highly successful team at the S&L Training Centre in Vereeniging (staff complement of 8 and 52 discrete courses offered). He developed and presented courses on Pumping Systems, Piping Systems, Valves, Diesel Engines and Electricity for Mechanicals, in addition to programs in Industrial Marketing and Selling Skills. The target audience comprised senior managers, sales and administrative staff and artisans. 

In 1989, John joined Matheson and Bremner, a leading supplier of surface and submersible pumps, as Branch Manager for the Johannesburg region. He was promoted to Product Manager submersible products and later, to Marketing Director with responsibility for the company's local and international offering. During this time, his travels into Africa, America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia earned him a wealth of experience in the everyday problems encountered by people globally. A major portion of all these positions was the presentation of product and industry related technical courses.

In 1997 he was made Divisional Manager for Franklin Electric (submersible electric motors) in Southern Africa, a position he held for 11 years. This period in his career was particularly fruitful as, in addition to the mechanical, and hydraulic aspects of the groundwater industry, he was also deeply involved in the electrical side of these systems. During his time at Franklin, John was responsible for the extension of the motor range up to 400kW, the introduction of control panels and the design, development and bringing to market, of a highly innovative and successful pump/motor protection and data logging relay that sold in excess of 70 000 units. 

John started JTA in 2008 as a contribution to meeting the desperate need for practical skills training in the fluid movement industry. Since then, JTA has grown to become one of the leading providers of technical skills training. John is renowned for his no-nonsense, practical approach to skills development and, judging by their feedback, his delegates appreciate the way he brings the theoretical aspects to life by constantly reflecting on the implications in practice.

JTA has been active in Namibia, South Africa, Ghana, Malaysia and China. Clients are drawn from utilities, consultants, municipalities, mines, industry and academia.

John is a recognised United Nations Industrial Organisation (UNIDO) Pump Systems Optimisation Expert, having completed UNIDO's rigorous development program. He has also successfully completed the Pumping System Assessment Tool (PSAT) sponsored by the US Department of Energy. The list of candidates can be seen here.

John's academic qualifications are:

National Technical Diploma

National Trade Diploma (Fitting & Turning)

Institute of Marketing and Management Diploma in Marketing

Program In Industrial Marketing (University of South Africa)