history background


Our passion for keeping industry running efficiently started 50 years ago.

In 1972, Ernest and Janice Howarth opened a small business selling heating elements and “Magnet” wire. Brian Howarth joined his parents in the business a few years later. Together, the Howarth’s set the benchmark for successful family-owned operations in Durban at the time. From humble beginnings, Magnet has since evolved to become a multi-disciplinary expert in the Energy and Sustainability industry. With his daughter Nicole as one of his fellow Directors, Brian continues to lead the business to extraordinary new heights.

    Here are a few of our milestones:
  • 1972 – Magnet opens its doors
  • 1980 – We acquire the Telemecanique (Schneider Electric) distributorship
  • 1986 – Brian Howarth joins the family business
  • 2002 – We add Lighting Projects to our portfolio
  • 2002 – Our Richards Bay branch opens
  • 2004 – Narasha Nel (née Ramlutchman) is appointed as Financial Director
  • 2011 – We acquire an Eskom performance contract to the value of R140million
  • 2013 – Our Pietermaritzburg branch opens
  • 2014 – Our Johannesburg branch opens
  • 2017 – Nicole Snyders (née Howarth) joins as Strategy and Communications Director
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