Connect with us


Sirac Gauteng: Barney Beukes

Entrepreneurs with an innovative energy product enjoy growth and success in multiple markets.

Juliet Pitman



Barney Beaukes of Sirac

If the energy crisis of 2008had anything to teach entrepreneurs, it’s that there’s money to be made inalternative energy solutions. But long before rolling black-outs, load-sheddingand the headlong rush to purchase generators, one group of entrepreneurs hadalready identified the opportunity and were working on maximising it.

Tappinginto free energy

Sirac Southern Africa importsan innovative product known as a heat pump. Simply put, the product works a bitlike an air-conditioner in reverse. It uses ‘free’ energy in the form of heatin the air and upgrades it to a higher temperature, via the refrigerant cycle.The product runs on electricity but as Barney Beukes, MD of Sirac Gauteng explains, isincredibly energy efficient: “For every 1 kW of electricity consumed, around 4kW of heat energy is produced. Conventional electric geysers produce just lessthan 1 kW of heat for every 1 kW consumed,” he explains.

Seeingthe gap

The company started out lifeas a national air-conditioning and refrigeration enterprise, but founder DavidDeane saw a gap in the eco-friendly, cost-effective and renewable energymarket. Using his experience, David worked closely with Sirac to ensure thatthe product met with all the necessary South African standards and marketrequirements. “As the ambient air temperature increases, the heat pump becomes moreefficient, so it’s perfectly suited to our climate,” says Beukes, adding,“However, it works in a temperature range of between -15ºC to 45ºC.”

There can be no doubt that theproduct has immense potential in the private consumer market. Water heatingaccounts for 43% of the average residential home’s electricity bill, and a heatpump can save up to 70% on this portion. “Over ten years, a family of four cansave R70 000 on the water heating electricity costs alone. And that’s beforeyou take into account the imminent increases in Eskom rates that are looming onthe horizon,” says Beukes. But he adds that South Africanconsumers are not yet feeling the pinch when it comes to electricity costs.“The rise in energy costs will force people to look at cheaper ways of heatingwater in their homes so we are confident that the consumer market will grow,but in the meantime, we’re also growing other markets to which the product issuited,” he says.

Diversifyingmarket focus

These ‘other markets’ aresignificant. They include the industrial sector, which is under tremendouspressure to reduce energy consumption by 10%. “Industry needs to cutconsumption but they’re looking for ways to do it that don’t force them to dropproduction levels, and heat pumps are one solution. For example, we’ve suppliedheat pumps to some of the big mines for the miners’ change room showers,” saysBeukes. Water heating might not make up a significant proportion of industry’senergy consumption, but it’s an ‘instant fix’ that’s inexpensive relative toother large capital expenditure projects required to reduce energy consumption.Opportunities also exist in the tourism and hospitality sectors, which Sirac istargeting aggressively, particularly in the line-up for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.


Beukes draws on a vast contactbase established while running a successful marketing, sales and distributionnetwork for appliances in the commercial, consumer and industrial sectors. He’sharnessing this considerable infrastructure and logistics capability toestablish dominance for Sirac products in Gauteng, which represents by far the mostsignificant portion of the South African market. His expertise in these areascomplements the engineering and technical skills of father-and-son team Davidand Jason Deane.

Company:Sirac Gauteng

PlayerBarney Beukes

Est.2007, +27 11 433 3997

Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.


25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

Find out who’s making waves in numerous industries and how they managed to differentiate themselves in local and international industries.

Nicole Crampton



Prev1 of 26


“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there,” says Richard Branson.

South Africa has its fair share of innovative and disruptive businesses taking both local and international industries by storm. From cutting edge space technology to reimagined logistics, and innovative business models, here are 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa:

Prev1 of 26

Continue Reading


Colin Timmis Says ‘Position Yourself For Success By Starting With The Numbers’

People pay first who they feel pressure from, so people will pay you when they feel pressure from you.






Entrepreneur Colin Timmis founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice in 2011, Real Time Accounting. Then, a few years after being appointed as South Africa’s first Xero partner Colin became Xero Country Manager South Africa. Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.

Related: Pat Pillai On How He’s Helped Over 5000 Entrepreneurs Using 3 Key Steps

Continue Reading

Company Posts

Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform

The Merge vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Merge Connect




Vital Stats

It’s no secret that finding the right investor for your venture is a challenge that most entrepreneurs face. The current process of finding investment is one that is outdated, and limits entrepreneurs due to a lack of time, and network that is needed to find the right investor. But, this doesn’t have to be the case in today’s digital society, says Zander Matthee and Brandon Bate, co-founders of Merge.

“By making the Internet the middleman, we are able to connect with each other much simpler and faster than before” was Zander’s response. “We have taken advantage of this, and have created a digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors” added Brandon.

Merge is a social platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors. It aims to simplify, refine and accelerate the process of finding investment for entrepreneurs, and the process of finding investment opportunities for investors. From idea to developed, the platform allows entrepreneurs to present a brief outline of their venture to a network of all investor types. While doing this, entrepreneurs are able to browse through, and connect with investor profiles that suit their requirements.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

From Private Investors to Venture Capital, and everything in between, Merge allows all investor types to join. Investors have the opportunity to personalise their feed to suit their investment preferences, and will be able to connect with innovative businesses – that are looking for investment – at their fingertips. Only once there is a mutual interest in each other, are users able to enter a secure private chat where they can discuss further and share documents under the protection of a digital NDA.

The two boys became good friends during their time in high school at St Stithians Boys College. However, it was only in their last year, 2016, that they decided to pursue their dreams and create the platform. They didn’t know how to code, so rather ironically, they needed some form of investment to get the platform off the ground.


“We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we believed in our vision and that we were really trying to make a difference, and if we could get others to see that, they would be onboard.” said Zander.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

Chris Peters is one of these individuals that bought into their vision, and became Merge’s first investor. As a successful entrepreneur and part time investor , Chris saw how much value the platform could bring to all entrepreneurs and investors alike. His marketing and strategic background gave him insight into how Merge could play a vital role in a lucrative space, Brand involvement.

“Entrepreneurship and SME development are two key factors that drive economic growth in developing countries like South Africa. That is why brands are currently getting involved, and looking to support entrepreneurs through various means. We have built a platform that allows these brands to successfully market, and execute on the programmes they have created to assist entrepreneurs.” said Chris

Merge was created to assist all entrepreneurs and investors in finding exactly what they are looking for, regardless of age, race, sex, financial position or social status. That is why anybody can sign-up as an entrepreneur. As long as you are determined and willing to work for your dreams. For too long has the investor space been seen as an “elite club for the select few”, and Merge is here to change that. Whether you’ve gotten your bonus at the end of the year and looking for new investment opportunities, or are an active investor, you can sign-up. Whether you’re currently working, or a retired industry leader, you can join as a mentor.

Their vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Continue Reading



Recent Posts

Follow Us

We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.