25 Automotive Mechanics participating in the Mdantsane Motor Mechanic Enterprise Development Programme received mechanic toolboxes to the value of R62 500 as they reached a milestone of having their businesses registered and have demonstrated business growth over the past year. The hand-over took place on May 18 in Mdantsane.
The Mdantsane Motor Mechanic Enterprise Development Programme is a result of a collaboration between the ECDC and Filpro, an Enterprise Development Company established by G.U.D Holding and NGK to empower informal automotive mechanics in townships.
The R3 3 million support programme kicked off in July 2019 with an aim of growing the competitiveness of informal automotive mechanics and to assist with registering the enterprises with the relevant industry bodies.
“Though the programme was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, calling for a pause in the training and mentorship sessions, we have seen 80 participants from the initial 137 resuming with the training in September 2020. Of these 80 informal businesses, the 25 businesses that received the tools are now registered and practising as formal businesses. We believe that this will assist these business to access the market once they are registered with relevant industry bodies” Mpumelelo Fundam ECDC Senior Manager Business Support.
The Eastern Cape boasts itself with a competitive automotive manufacturing sector, with half of South Africa’s produced motor vehicles produced from the province. For this reason, it is key that the aftermarket servicing of vehicles compliments the competitive standard of the industry. The partnership between the ECDC and Fipro therefore ensures that the development and investment in the informal mechanics becomes one of the key tools used to revitalise township economy and subsequently ensure inclusion and progressive participation in the provinces’ economic growth.
“We are so grateful to ECDC and Filpro. Prior to this training we did not see the need to formalise our businesses, we thought being formal would not have any tangible benefits to us. The information we have received is invaluable and the mechanic toolboxes are just a cherry on top”, said David Ketani, one of the participants in the programme.