2017/18 SAMBRA Awards a resounding success

Short-term insurer, Santam, has won the prestigious SA Motor Body Repairers’ Association (SAMBRA), Insurer of the Year award for the period 2017/18, one of three awards it received.

Winners Best Insurer: Richard green from SAMBRA Garth Gibson from Santam and Jeanne Esterhuizen from SAMBRA

Toyota SA received the top honours for all-round best OEM, RSB Autogroup scooped the Service Excellence award in the Paint Suppliers category and equipment supplier, Gondolier, took the overall Service Excellence award in the Equipment Suppliers category.
Winner paint suppliers: Lawrence Glen from R-M/RSB

Winners equipment Suppliers: Vinay Ramjattan from Bosch, Marco Willemse from Gondolier and Deon de Kock from Bosch
The survey is independently managed and audited by Lightstone Consumer. The survey targets the eligible 880 SAMBRA members nationwide to rate insurers, OEMs and suppliers on the following factors: fair business practices (especially prompt payment which now has a dedicated award), green practices, relationship satisfaction, quality of vehicle damage assessment and repairers’ interaction with claims staff, payment speed, customer service, training programmes, product support and more.
Winners OEM catagory: Charles Claasen from Toyota SA, Annelise van Staden from Volkswagen and Byron Rudman from Volkswagen

The award ceremony took place in Johannesburg on Wednesday morning (6th February), and honoured top vehicle insurers and OEMs, as well as paint and equipment suppliers, for excellence in service provision to SAMBRA members.
SAMBRA, a proud Association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) represents the majority of motor body repairers in the country. SAMBRA focuses on creating and maintaining industry sustainability and development and the annual Awards is one of its flagship projects.
“The SAMBRA Survey upon which these awards are based, has been conducted each year since 2011 to monitor the business relationship between the insurance and motor body repair industry. It was subsequently extended to also include OEMs, as well as paint and equipment suppliers, each of which makes a vital contribution to the motor body repair industry,” said Ms Jeanne Esterhuizen, SAMBRA’s National Chairperson and President of the umbrella Retail Motor Industry (RMI).
This survey – and its outcome – has become an important yard-stick against which all partners evaluate themselves and their services to panel shops – and ultimately, the consumer. Its value is demonstrated by the fact that an unusually high 50% plus response rate from SAMBRA members nationwide.
SAMBRA National Director, Richard Green, emphasised that the body’s current focus was on levelling the playing field to enable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to gain equal access to the industry, especially encouraging partners to ensure prompt payment of all invoices to small businesses as a key priority of their businesses, and to remove any barriers to the achievement of that goal. It was to underscore the importance of this business value that SAMBRA introduced a ‘Best Payer’ award for insurers.
Guest speaker, Ms Dionne Kerr, CEO of Siyakha Consulting, hit an optimistic note saying that fixed direct investment into South Africa last year was at a 10-year high, and that local businesses should mirror the confidence of foreign investors by implementing a ‘Buy Local’ and import replacement programme. “It’s now that we need to achieve economic change and build a sustainable and growth oriented South Africa. The South African government creates more incentives and grants on skills development than any other country in the world except Sweden and Norway,” stressed Kerr.
Santam also received the ‘Service Excellence’ and ‘Green Practices’ awards in the Insurance Companies category.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS
Insurance Category:
1st Place – Best Insurer: Santam
2nd Place – Best Insurer: Old Mutual Insure
3rd Place – Best Insurer: Hollard Insure
Best Payer: MiWay
Most Efficient: OUTsurance
Green Practices: Santam
Service Excellence: Santam
OEM Category:
1st Place – Best OEM: Toyota SA
2nd Place – Best OEM: Volkswagen
3rd Place – Best OEM: Audi
Best Training Programme: Audi
Communication Excellence: Toyota SA
Paint Supplier Category:
Overall Service Excellence: RSB Autogroup for RM product.
Best Training: RSB Autogroup
Best Product Support: RSB Autogroup
Equipment Supplier Category:
Overall Service Excellence: Gondolier
Best Training: Bosch Automotive
Best Product Support: Bosch Automotive
Photography by Jeremy Glyn for CFPR in February 2019

Apprentices powering ahead in the motor industry

Apprentices are getting first-hand experience, training and mentoring in the independent aftermarket sector thanks to an initiative that has been two years in the making
At the end of 2016, the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA) entered into discussions with Bidvest McCarthy regarding training needs and possible solutions for the independent aftermarket.
A year later in 2017, 31 companies and 91 apprentices had applied for funding of which 22 apprentice grants were awarded. To date 16 apprentices are currently in training on the full four-year apprenticeship programme and Nico Grove and Paris Baloyi, MIWA apprentices through Bogner Motor City, will continue their second year starting February 2019, with a further 18 apprentices having just received their grant awards. They will start their four-year apprenticeship programme in January 2019. “There are also five Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning grants that have been awarded,” says Ilze Botha, Group Training Manager, Bidvest McCarthy.
She explains that the Bidvest Automotive Artisans Academy has been assisting MIWA member companies with discretionary grant applications. “In most instances we have been appointed as the Skills Development Facilitator (SDF) for the company. In this capacity, we assist the company with all the administration to apply for the grants. We also assisted one company, Bogner Motors, through a ‘train the trainer’ process so they were able to submit the documents on their own.
This is the longer-term approach for the other companies to get them trained to submit their own grant applications in the future. Where companies already had an appointed SDF they managed the grant application process on their own,” she says.
Dewald Ranft, Chairperson of MIWA, a constituent association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), says the aim of this initiative was to address the artisan skills shortage in the country. “It takes four years to train an apprentice so this really is a long-term plan and we are pleased with the progress made this far,” he says.
For many years the industry depended on the larger dealer bodies to train and qualify artisans but this has proved to no longer be sustainable. Less people are entering the industry and at the top-end, qualified artisans are recruited by companies abroad. “Currently there are also many people who have been working in the industry for years without a formal trade certificate. Our aim is to make formal training the norm so we can improve the industry’s credibility and promote it as a professional career, which in turn will attract youngsters to the industry,” says Ranft.
“If we really want to be successful in addressing the skills deficit in SA, all stakeholders in the industry need to participate and create opportunities for youngsters who are passionate about the industry and need to be trained formally,” concludes Botha.

Limpopo's first lady automotive machinist


“This training has given me the opportunity to perform a variety of tasks on car engines, which I never imagined I would be able to do.”
“She wishes to see more women explore the field of mechanics and not limit themselves to white collar jobs.”
At a time when more women are defying the stereotype that the mechanical field is more suitable for men, one ambitious woman has gone deeper into the field. Angelique Pienaar has become the first woman in Limpopo to train as an Automotive Machinist, which she started in 2017.
 
Her training, she explains, includes taking care of engines and relative components of vehicles, troubleshooting vehicles with a focus on the car’s engine, and repairing specific components of the car engine or replacing parts.
“This training, she explains, has given me the opportunity to perform a variety of tasks on car engines, which I never imagined I would be able to do,” says Pienaar.
Pienaar has thus far completed level 2 in her training and is currently on level 3. She hopes to advance onto level 4 in 2019, which will see her fully qualified as an Automotive Machinist.
She explains that she has already been trained in cylinder head machining, corrodes, blocks and crane shafts. “Had anyone told me seven years ago that I would be working on car engines, I would have definitely ridiculed the idea” she says.

This, she explains, is because she studied commercial subjects in high school, with the aim of becoming an accountant. Upon completion of her Matric at Ben-Foster High School in 2011, Pienaar started work as a Front Desk Assistant at her parents’ workshop, Tzaneen Precision Motor Works.
It was her curiosity in what happens ‘behind the scenes’ that sparked an interest in the automotive field. “I used to go into the workshop a lot because I wanted to observe how work was carried out there,” she explains.
This interest caught her father’s attention, James Pienaar, who is a qualified Diesel Mechanic. He says that he noticed that Angelique was getting bored working at the front desk and he decided to give her an opportunity to explore mechanical work.
“Angelique has a ‘can do’ attitude, and she is always willing to learn new things. When she came to me asking questions and offering assistance in the workshop, I did not hesitate to let her give it a go,” he says.

Pienaar says that the fact her father and brother are qualified diesel mechanics has been motivation for her. “Seeing how resilient and dedicated they are in their work gives me the courage to ‘keep my eye on the ball’. My plan is to also qualify as a Diesel Mechanic in the future,” she adds.
She explains that she wishes to see more women explore the field of mechanics and not limit themselves to white collar jobs.
“Women have a lot to offer in this field, particularly due to our attention to detail, which gives us the ability to spot finer things which may otherwise ‘slip through the cracks’,” she says.
 
At the age of 25, Pienaar explains that her goal at the moment is to complete her training and qualify in 2019, so that she will be able to perform technical tasks such as assembling and renewing internal combustion engines and engine components according to manufacturer specifications.

Frequently asked questions and answers

Frequently asked questions and answers
As a value-added service to our clients, we are including you in our FAQ’s on employment law and workplace relations matters.

Question

X was requested by her employer, Down Town (Pty) Ltd, to participate in monthly stock taking exercises that took place on Saturdays. X refused to participate. Her reason for doing so was that she was a Seventh Day Adventist (Adventist), a religion in which Saturday is regarded as Sabbath. As a result of this, X was dismissed. Was X’s dismissal fair?

Answer

This matter was dealt with in TFD Network Africa (Pty) Ltd v Faris (Unreported CA 4/17 5/11/2018). What was common cause was that TFD, a logistic company whose warehouse carried significant quantities of its customers’ stock, found it obligatory to conduct monthly stock taking on a Saturday. In fact, this was considered as a business requirement and was undertaken by managers of TFD. Managers were rostered for this duty. Nonetheless, Faris, who was also a manager, declined to perform these activities as she was not prepared to compromise her religious belief. Subsequently, Faris was dismissed for her refusal to work on Saturdays. Her dismissal was characterised as incapacity.
The Labour Court found that the dismissal had been automatically unfair as well as substantively and procedurally unfair. TFD was granted leave to appeal. The LAC found that the dismissal would not have occurred if Faris had not been an Adventist. Had she not been an Adventist she would have willingly worked on a Saturday. The employer has a duty to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious freedom unless it is impossible to do so without causing itself undue hardship. It is not enough that it may have a legitimate commercial rationale.
Therefore, it follows that X’s dismissal was automatically unfair.
Content supplied by Ali Ncume (LLB LLM CERT.LABOUR LAW PRACTICE) a Director AT Mason Consulting.

Festive season road deaths should shock us, but they don’t!

The preliminary Festive Season Road Safety Report shows that 1 612 people lost their lives on the country’s roads from 1 December 2018 to 8 January 2019.
That means 1 612 families lost a loved one. 1 612 families possibly lost a breadwinner plunging that family into financial dire straits as the year starts. Parents lost children. Children lost parents.
“These statistics should shock us as South Africans and put change into motion but we seem to have become desensitized to the carnage on our roads,” says Jakkie Olivier, CEO of the Retail Motor Industry Organization (RMI).
And while chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Transport, Dikeledi Magadzi, has called for severe punishment for the transgressors of the rules of the road and zero tolerance towards people arrested for drunk driving, “we need to take personal responsibility for making our roads safer,” believes Olivier. “Just because we were the fortunate ones who got through the festive season without an accident it doesn’t mean it couldn’t be us next.”
He says the roadworthiness of vehicles and regular maintenance is key to bringing about change. “We strongly believe that the implementation of Periodic Vehicle Testing and Inspection (PTI) will yield great benefits to the country in terms of reducing the road deaths, creating jobs and stimulating the retail sector with the maintenance of vehicles in a safe and roadworthy condition,” he says.
Ferose Oaten, National Chairperson of the VTA, says currently only 21% of the current registered vehicle population are required to be tested on a regular basis. “New vehicles are manufactured to the highest safety standards, and while new vehicles coming off the assembly line are safer now than ever before, in South Africa, our response to in-use vehicle inspection controls is not adequate. Vehicles can age without changing ownership, and no vehicle test is required. Socio-economic factors are adding to this problem and vehicles are not being maintained,” she says. While the legislation for more frequent testing of vehicles has been gazetted, this is yet to be implemented at a date to be determined by the Minister of Transport. Other countries have shown a decrease in road deaths with the implementation of periodic vehicle inspection. “We strongly believe this should be included in the National Road Policy for implementation but until then it is our responsibility to ensure our vehicles are roadworthy,” says Olivier.
“We also, however, need to see a change in driver behavior. Driving responsibly goes a long way to extending the life of your vehicle and its parts and will, without a doubt, reduce deaths on our roads.”
He says now is the time to start practicing better behavior while driving. “We can’t wait until the Easter weekend is here to start making changes. Stick to speed limits and keep a good following distance. Just because others are speeding, it doesn’t mean you have to. The far-right lane is the fast lane. Stay out of this lane if you are feeling pressured by other drivers to break the speed limit. The same applies to the yellow emergency lane. This lane is intended for emergency vehicles, vehicles that have broken down or an escape route for vehicles to use to avoid an accident. You should not be in this lane otherwise, irrespective of what others are doing.”
He also suggests leaving earlier to avoid rushing. “You’ll find you are far calmer and accommodating when you have time to spare. Be forgiving if people make mistakes and let’s all be less aggressive towards other drivers.”
Lastly, he reiterates that the onus is on you to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive. “It’s important to regularly service and maintain the vehicle and request a full safety inspection from qualified mechanics and technicians preferably from an accredited-RMI member.”
Olivier supports Magadzi’s drive to implement additional and new programmes that will strengthen speed enforcement and vehicle roadworthiness measures. “We wholeheartedly back more law enforcement operations and the prioritising of solutions for fatal hotspots to reduce accidents. Yes, something drastic has to be done. As citizens, we too need to internalise and understand what these deaths are doing to our country and make a change,” he concludes.

Who is SAPRA?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Learn more about the South African Petroleum Retailers Association and how we represent the interest of all petroleum retailers in South Africa and help make fuel retailing a business of choice for investors.
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NADA urges retailers to embrace growing presence of digital disruptors

According to Mark Dommisse, National Chairman of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA), the retail motor industry needs to embrace the ever-growing presence of digital disruptors, now more than ever.

“These disruptors are competitors to the traditional dealer model, used car supply and F&I departments,” says Dommisse. “According to recent research conducted by NADA USA, almost 100% of cars are researched and specified online and following up with the purchase and final decision in-dealer.
“In South Africa, the trend of consumers using the internet when planning a purchase or service is on the up. We see a growing number of people or businesses researching their vehicle purchase on line, only walking in to dealerships to test drive the vehicle, check on the credibility of the dealer and its facilities, and then conclude the purchase.  We encourage dealers’ to look at their current marketing plans and to evolve and align with this new generation of customer,” Dommisse continues.

“New vehicle sales have a challenging year ahead. We were privileged to attend a presentation by WesBank’s Chris de Kock, where he shared WesBank’s predictions for 2019. In summary, the predictions are:

“With a multitude of challenges facing us this year, we need to relook the way we do business. We can’t continue to offer solutions on the same basis as we’ve done before,” concludes Dommisse.
 

SAMBRA: Ensuring sustainability in motor body repairs

Members of The South African Motor Body Repairer’s (SAMBRA), a constituent association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) and their short-term motor insurer business partners in South Africa, two umbilically- linked industries, face an extremely challenging short-term future “during which we will undoubtedly see a paradigm shift,” says Richard Green,  National Director of SAMBRA. Green believes both partners are overtraded and require substantial overhaul to remain relevant and profitable.
He says in both industries there exists a cost structure that can no longer be maintained. “The cost structure has accumulated over time and contains irrelevant and duplicated costs. Unless these structures can be revised to ensure they add value to the entire system, they need to be removed,” he says.
Green’s concern centres around the slow erosion of margins and transfer of costs from insurers to the motor body repairers. Although this has happened slowly Green says they have now reached a point where he believes the viability of the members’ business is under threat. These businesses currently carry out repairs on over 80% of all insured repair claims in the country.
The erosion of margins can be attributed to a number of different factors including:

“As we see it, the short-term insurance industry faces equal or greater challenges in their sector. The industry is also completely overtraded, with many entities trying to profit from the same small insured sector. To their credit, insurers have morphed, offering Life Insurance and many other products that were previously not considered their domain. In so doing they have created alternative income streams that allow substantial cross subsidisation. This is something the repair industry has been slow at doing unfortunately.”
“Our focus in 2019 will be to create an optimal trading environment while remaining collaborative with business partners and pursuing the goal of sustainability. Like the short-term insurers, motor body repairers will need to take back their eroded profit margins from the affected areas of the business and become substantially more innovative within their businesses to ensure improved profit margins,” concludes Green.

Partinform to visit Krugersdorp

The next Partinform Trade show will be held at the Mount Usambara Plot 35, Honingklip, Krugersdorp and you are invited. RSVP to Charmaine 0823819026 or E mail charmsevents@mweb.co.za.