Women Driving Change event

The RMI is hosting our annual Women event again this year. Last year it was hosted online only and in the month of August. This year we want to host the event in September paying recognition to Heritage Month and celebrating all the female leaders and influential figures within this industry.

We will be hosting the event as a hybrid event where a limited number of guests can attend in person and a virtual audience can join as well. The theme this year will be Women Driving change – with a theme of ‘Enough strength for the journey’ where we celebrate our heritage and diversity.

Please find the invite below. We hope to see you there. 

Artisan aims to plough back into the community

“When surrounded by great mentors, who significantly help shape one’s career, extending the same helping hand to others is a reasonable thing to do.”

This is according to Leon Nortje, a Machine Builder Technician at Filkraft in Paarl, explaining how he was able to ease into his apprenticeship training through guidance from the older generation of artisans he worked with.

“I was trained by great minds, who not only possessed a lot of experience but were patient enough to share their wisdom with young and aspiring artisans like myself,” explains Nortje.

Alongside making sure that he grabs every opportunity that will grow his career, he plans to mentor other aspiring artisans so that they can also build successful careers. “Launching a career can be difficult sometimes, especially if one does not have support. It was not always easy for me, especially because I had to leave behind my family, who have been my support system throughout,” Nortje says.

Having completed his matric in 2016, majoring in Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, Physical Science and Engineering Graphics and Design (EGD), Nortje went on to pursue a fitting and turning apprenticeship at HG Molenaar in Paarl, funded by the merSETA. He completed the training and is now permanently employed.

Read the full story here. By Geozann Matthysen.

SAMBRA driving Small Business Development for Motor Body Repairers

Uvashen Bramiah, national director of the South African Motor Body Repairers Association (SAMBRA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), says challenges with limited business premises, lack of access to resources and technology, poor infrastructure, bureaucratic hurdles and a lack of managerial competencies are some of the reasons that many informal Motor Body Repairers do not succeed.

As a key player in the motor body repair sector, SAMBRA remains committed to the continued professional development of SMME MBR’s in the industry and therefore actively encourages a free market system within which all aspiring MBR’s have every opportunity to succeed.

The RMI and SAMBRA have accordingly partnered with AIDC Eastern Cape (Auto Motive Industry Development Centre) to assist, uplift, and develop these small medium enterprise businesses offering various forms of management, technical, financial and procurement assistance.

Bramiah says to assist these businesses and develop a business plan, Arnelle Heynes, the AIDC Eastern Cape Project Manager – Auto SMME Support, and the rest of the AIDC team involved in this project conducted site visits early in June 2022 to do baseline assessments on pre-identified MBR’s to establish development and support requirements.

“This baseline data will be used as a starting point for gauging progress and measuring the level and direction of change and ultimate effectiveness of the programme,” he says.

Bramiah says certain key organisational components and habits have been identified and when all of these are in place and being utilised routinely, the organisation will have structure and purpose. “Employees will feel they know where the company is going and what their role is in helping it get there. They will know the boundaries of what is expected as acceptable behaviour and they will be aware that outstanding performance will be rewarded,” he says.

RMI/SAMBRA and AIDC EC will conduct regular internal project management meetings to ensure regular monitoring of implementation (scope, time, cost, and risk). “Project control measures have been embedded in the approach to ensure early detection of opportunities and issues, and identification/implementation of corrective measures,” he concludes.

Uvashen Bramiah, SAMBRA National director

Collective bargaining negotiations 22 Sept 2022

On 21 September 2022 the RMI received a set of default picketing rules together with a ruling from the CCMA-appointed commissioner overseeing the formulation of the picketing rules. The ruling and picketing rules is attached hereto for your attention.

By way of background, picketing rules is a legally binding document intended to regulate the conduct of employees and supporters when they picket at a workplace during the currency of a protected / lawful strike.

Clause 12 of the commissioners ruling states that the parties should meet at each identified site where NUMSA intends to picket and make final submission no later than 29 September 2022. The RMI received NUMSA’s final list of identified sites on 15 September and will be contacting the RMI employers identified in the list with the view at assisting them during the process of final submissions to the commissioner.

It is important to note that given the practicalities and the magnitude of this task, it would be very difficult and near impossible for the parties, not only the RMI, to conduct inspections at every site before 29 September 2022 which we will bring to the attention of the commissioner. The RMI will keep you updated throughout the negotiations process but if you do have any queries, kindly contact your local IR Specialist: IR Contacts – Retail Motor Industry Organisation (rmi.org.za)

Addressing the skills gap

Skills development in South Africa is a key driver for upskilling the existing workforce to keep pace with continuous technological advancements and to address the urgent need to create jobs and address inequalities in the workplace.

A current vocational campaign, TVETSmart, which is running in the Eastern Cape, is proactively addressing the current skills crisis by advocating for more Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges and shifting the focus towards more vocational and technical education.

The campaign is funded through the German Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) via a TVET partnership project between the Handwerkskammer Erfurt (HWK) and TVET institutions in the Eastern Cape. Birgit Mac Mahon, the resident project manager for the HWK, emphasizes the importance of skills training as a vehicle to creating a mobile work force for the future. “Young people need to be aware of the career opportunities in vocational skills, motor mechanics, electrics, hairdressing being just some of them. They are the backbone of any society. Germany has a long history of vocational training, as a life choice or a stepping stone to advanced careers in the future. By sponsoring this campaign we are hoping to reach the thousands of young people leaving school in the coming years, helping them to make informed choices,” she says.

Louis Van Huyssteen, Training Director of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation, concurs saying in the automotive sector specifically, they are sitting with a skills crisis of technicians. “As an industry we must address the automotive skills shortages, reduce unemployment, be part of real transformation and keep staff abreast of all new technological advancements.”

The reality is that skills have been outpaced by technology and there has been a loss of businesses and profits. Improved skills will result in increased productivity. It is all about professional standards and changing of perceptions and encouraging business owners to draw in new entrants into the sector.

Uitenhage’s Eastcape Midlands TVET College (EMC)  is one of the colleges in the Eastern Cape that is rapidly making inroads in training and only the second college to have applied for the new occupational certificate: automotive motor mechanic.

Almaine Horne, Acting Registrar: School of Occupation and Training for Eastcape Midlands,  says the college offers a three year NCV (National Certificate Vocational) that covers Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair. Students cover subjects such as Engineering fundamentals, Engineering technology, Engineering draughting and design, Material technology, Applied engineering technology, Engineering technology and Professional engineering processes. EMC also offer a two-year diploma programme, Report 191 (Nated) in motor mechanics, which covers from an N1 – N6.

Horne says the latest three-year intensive occupational programme affords apprentices an opportunity to be trained in the latest technology in the field of Motor Vehicle Mechanics. The on-job training aspect of the training ensures students get much needed practical exposure to make them work ready upon completion of their studies.

She believes a TVET qualification is so relevant in today’s world since it is a skills cantered training programme which equips unemployed youth with the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure that they are ready for the modern day work environment. ‘And,” she says, “our collaboration and partnerships with industry ensure that our learners are fully empowered to meet the needs of industry.” Many of the ECM students come from  poor disadvantaged backgrounds in Kariega, Gqeberha and surrounding areas and this is one way they can change their lives.

Commenting on the College’s partnership with HWK, to upskill their lecturers, she says, “The partnership with our German counterparts is extremely important because it is a programme centred on ensuring that Motor Mechanic lecturers and teachers in EMC are upskilled in Diagnostic testing methods, making it easy to transfer the knowledge and skills to students effectively. This programmes’ main focus is to reduce unemployment of the youth by making the graduates more employable.” 

The transfer of knowledge and skills becomes easy if there is an adequate balance between the theoretical and the practical component of the training. It makes it more effective for the students to grasp content because they are able to build on the knowledge and skills attained by continuously sharpening their skills and practicing and polishing up their craft in a practical workspace.

She admits that youth employment remains one of South Africa’s main challenges with approximately half of the graduates from the previous group only able to find employment in their field of Motor Vehicle Mechanics.  “One of the most encouraging pointers of the apprentice programme however has been the increase in the number of female apprentices whom have not only completed the programme, but are also outshining their male counterparts in a previously male dominated field.”

Useful link for applicants:

merSETA career guide – https://www.merseta.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/merSETA-Career-Guide-2020.pdf

merSETA career guide video – https://youtu.be/qZFH7imRYx4

Department Higher Education and Training (DHET) Career help – https://www.careerhelp.org.za/ 

TVET college career guide – https://www.dhet.gov.za/SiteAssets/TVET%20Careers%20Guide%202021.pdf

Bongani Hans Eastcape Midland College Automotive Lecturer NCV Levels 2,3 and 4
Dumisani Mkwebu EMC Motor Mechanic Facilitator

Franchise director leaving her mark in the tyre sector

Adeshni Sewbaran loves the automotive industry, from its engine to the four wheels that drive it. The 39-year-old Supa Quick franchise director believes long gone are the days women had to tread lightly in this industry. She’s discovered women shouldn’t aspire to be ‘one of the boys’; instead stay authentic, because that’s your ticket to success.

 Her role of Franchise Director for Supa Quick is a brand new one, the born-and-bred Kwazulu-Natalian explains, but cars have been in her blood since a young age.

“My dad had a passion for cars and I was his shadow as a small girl. I still consider myself a petrol head,” she says.

 “Bridgestone is where my career began in 2019 and I joined the Supa Quick retail team two years later as business development manager. It was my chance to explore the expansion of our franchise network and to create a competitive edge.

 “I soon learned there is a rich heritage that exists in the Supa Quick franchise business. This ignites excitement in me to take the brand to new heights while maintaining its legacy.”

On women in the automotive sector, Adeshni says from what she’s experienced, the tide is changing in the tyre sector – with men contributing positively to the inclusion of women into industries like these.

 “We are actively driving diversity through our network and already have many female franchise owners. Stereotyping does still exist, but what is important is that we constantly address this and learn new ways in which to overcome it so that women feel supported. Earning support in this industry is important,” she says.

 “Women are more likely to face adversity in this sector than in other career paths, but the teachings and learnings are fulfilling. I believe this adversity teaches you to know what you want and speak up to overcome obstacles.”

 Adeshni is not a franchise owner herself but armed with an honours degree in business management she is focused on driving profitable franchises and ensuring these businesses are set up for success.

 “Our franchise owners are entrepreneurs and will only buy into something that makes business sense. It’s my job to ensure our franchises meet their expectations,” she says.

Supa Quick is a proud member of TEPA (Tyre Equipment Parts Association), an affiliate of RMI (Retail Motor Industry Organisation).

 “There are many benefits of being a TEPA member, however, the biggest is being associated with a brand that promotes fair trade with integrity for our customers.”

Adeshni’s advice to women thinking of entering the automotive field is to go for it.

“Don’t be afraid if you’re offered an opportunity. We often second guess our capabilities and don’t just take that leap of faith. I encourage women to take on any role they are offered in this exciting sector without fear and see failure as learning, not a reflection of their abilities.”

Collective Bargaining negotiations 2022

The parties to MIBCO met on 13 September 2022 to finalise the picketing rules. In preparation for the process, the RMI submitted its proposals for the picketing rules on 9 September 2022, in writing, to the CCMA-appointed commissioner.

On 12 September 2022, late in the afternoon, we received an additional list of employers identified by NUMSA where they intend to picket. During the session on the 13th, we submitted that the RMI is not in a position to make final submissions as it had not had the time to consult with the additionally-appointed employers, and consequently requested time to do so.  After all the parties made their submissions, the commissioner undertook to reply to the parties within seven (7) calendar days as regards the way forward.

It is also important to mention that NUMSA did not attempt to engage in discussions regarding a wage settlement and appears to be delaying progress in that regard.

We will keep you updated throughout the negotiations process, including feedback from the commissioner. If you do have any queries, kindly contact your local IR Specialist:

IR Contacts – Retail Motor Industry Organisation (rmi.org.za)

IR seminar invite – The Main Agreement for the motor industry

We are pleased to announce that the RMI will be presenting an online seminar entitled – The Main Agreement for the motor industry

-When:  Wednesday 21 September 2022

-Time:  9h00 – 11h00

-Platform:  Microsoft Teams

-Cost:  See registration form below

-Presenter:  Ross Simon and Brent Barichievy

Some of the topics of discussion will be:

  • The status of the Agreement
  • The scope of application
  • The Peace Clause
  • Private work
  • The different contracts of employment
  • Parental leave, Annual leave, Sick leave
  • The resolution of disputes
  • Damages to property or vehicles

You are invited to secure your attendance by completing the registration form below. A certificate of attendance will be provided to each delegate.

Please find the banking details and registration form below.

We look forward to seeing you there.

EE Annual Roadshow

Please be informed of the Annual Employment Equity Roadshows which are done by the Department of Employment and Labour.

 “2022 EE Workshops on Published Code of Good Practice on the Prevention and Elimination of Harassment in the workplace; 2021 EE Provincial status (22nd CEE Annual Report) & Online Reporting; and CCMA Case Laws on all Types of Harassment”

N.B. First Come First Serve. See invite below

Extension Zimbabwean Exemption Permit Sept 2022

In our efforts to support our members with easy access to information on topics that are vital to their business interests, the RMI’s team of IR and Consumer Specialists have compiled a series of individual podcasts in answer to the most commonly raised queries from members.

Listen to the latest podcast on ‘IR Podcast: Extension Zimbabwean Exemption Permit Sept 2022’ here:

All Podcasts are available on the RMI website: RMI – Podcasts – Retail Motor Industry Organisation

Also read the newsflash here: