magnet directors
Our Group

Our History

Company founders, Ernest and Janice Howarth, joined in partnership to open Magnet – a name inspired by the enamelled copper wire which it sold along with heating elements at the time. With a modest staff complement of only ten, Magnet acquired its first premises on the corner of Williams and Dalton Road, Umbilo, Durban. Magnet then grew to see many milestones on its path towards the Group we know today.

1972:Magnet opens its doors
1980:Magnet begins to sell the Telemecanique product range (known today as Schneider Electric)
1983:Magnet purchases a tools company and starts an abrasives division
Magnet acquires a 3M distributorship
1984:Magnet offices move to Sydney Road
1986: Brian Howarth (current Managing Director) joins the company as Sales Director
1988:Melanie Smyth (née Howarth) joins Magnet as Human Resources Director
1992:Brian Howarth is appointed as Managing Director
Magnol Panels and Automation is formed (today trading as Magnet Electrical Projects)
1996:Magnet offices move to 48 Hannah Road, Congella, Durban
1999: Magnol Electrical Contractors is formed, Magnet is now able to offer complete "turnkey" solutions to industry
2000:Magnet acquires the a-eberle distributorship rights
2001:An exclusive distribution agency is signed with Emerson Appleton ATX
2002:Magnet establishes a lighting division
Magnet Richards Bay opens it’s doors
2003:Magnet extends its lighting offer to include energy efficient lighting
2004:Financial Director Narasha Ramlutchman and Sales Director Roshan Krishna acquire 26% share holding in Magnet
Magnet opens a branch in Johannesburg
A training division, offering seminars to industry, is opened
2005:Magnet engages with Eskom and completes its 1st DSM energy efficient project
2011:Magnet acquires its single largest project to date, an Eskom performance contract to the value of R140 million
2013:Magnet breaks ground at future head office in Riverhorse Valley
Magnet Pietermaritzburg opens its doors
2014:Magnet Projects and Solutions (now Magnet Energy) is formalised as its own department
Magnet Johannesburg launches a sales division
Magnet Group take occupancy of their new head office premises
Magnet has access to an in-house Photometry Lab
Magnet launches state-of-the-art showroom at Durban Head Office
2015:Magnet acquires national sole distributorship for Carlo Gavazzi
Magnet Pietermaritzburg moves to bigger premises with an electrical showroom
Magnet Johannesburg launches an energy projects division
Magnet acquires the national sole distributorship for SLV Lighting
2016: Magnet Electrical Projects is formalised as a division
2017: Magnet Group, whom has been "switched on" since 1972, celebrates 45 years in business