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The MTA (Motor Traders’ Association) was a constituent association within the then MIF (Motor Industries’ Federation), the frontrunner of the RMI, which represented the service stations and non-franchise workshop industry. At the time it was compulsory for service stations to have a workshop as part of the business model, hence the reason why these two sectors were hosted under the MTA. One of these owners, Andy Goetsch, who was instrumental in this process, proposed the association be called Motor Industry Workshop Association, MIWA for short, and that was the beginnings of what today is a 2500 member-strong association. Goetsch was appointed as its first national chairman in 1998. Fast forward to 2018 and Dewald Ranft is at the helm. “We are a thriving association growing annually and making a difference in improving industry standards, skills and communities,” he says.
New MIWA representatives take up the reins
Keeping up with the times and remaining relevant with personal service to members is one of MIWA’s main objectives. As part of the RMI’s New Thinking Model, MIWA has appointed six representatives around the country whose responsibility it is, among others, to connect with MIWA members. The latest addition to the team is Reemo Swartz who joined in August 2018 and will be based in Bloemfontein. Being the largest association in the RMI it has been a challenge connecting with over 2500 members nationwide. To meet this challenge, these newly appointed reps now visit MIWA members in their area updating member details, keeping them informed of the latest news, and insuring members are aware of the value proposition that MIWA offers. “We have an enthusiastic and knowledgeable team. We believe this will make a big difference for members,” says Ranft.
Exciting training opportunities
Being the largest association in the RMI, MIWA believes it has the largest responsibility when it comes to training and upskilling in the industry. With this in mind, MIWA joined forces with Bidvest Automotive Artisan Academy regarding training needs and possible solutions for its members. A training project was launched during October 2017 and special funding was obtained from the Gauteng Department of Education and the National Department of Public Works involving 18 companies and 22 apprentices with a further nine Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning applications.
MIWA also got involved with Imperial Technical Training Academy through its National Skills Fund (NSF) funded Apprentice Programme which has awarded ITTA 600 grants for training of apprentices in Gauteng, Bloemfontein and Cape Town. MIWA workshops can participate by accepting apprentices and acting as host businesses where apprentices can complete their workplace experience over a period of three years. Participation from the Western Cape has been great, and it is exciting to see how businesses are starting to embrace these initiatives and opportunities.
MIWA representatives were also thrilled to attend the official opening of the Imperial Technical Training Academy in Bloemfontein in June 2018. Ranft says this Academy will certainly meet the growing apprentice and technical training needs in the Free State. “Training opportunities for workshops in the smaller regions has always been a challenge and we are proud to say that this is also now being addressed.”
Workshops in East London and the surrounding areas of the Border region now also send their apprentices to the Mercedes-Benz Learning Academy which offers state-of-the-art training facilities for apprentice training. The Academy also assists workshops to upskill their staff with offerings such as specialised modular diagnostics and a testing training system which is the only one of its kind in the country.
The Centres of Specialisation (CoS) project was initiated by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). The RMI was awarded the role of Occupational Team Convener for both the Automotive Motor Mechanic and the Diesel Mechanic trades. A number of applications from both RMI member and non-members were received for the Automotive Motor Mechanic and Diesel Mechanic trades, by completion of Expression of Interest (EOI) forms to partake in this DHET-funded project. It was highly encouraging to see how many MIWA members formed part of the businesses who are committed to this training initiative.
Grading of workshops takes members to the next level
MIWA has been working hard to ensure all its members are graded and accredited. During the grading process a workshop undergoes a thorough assessment. Aspects including the health and safety operating procedures are scrutinised as are the premises, equipment, administration, waste removal, staffing and so on. Even aspects of the business such as parking facilities, lighting, ventilation and uniforms are inspected. The MIWA accreditation and grading process includes a document of proof of compliance to Health and Safety policies.
The level of staff training is also an important aspect of the accreditation process. To achieve a MIWA accreditation, workshops have to prove their staff have sufficient training and on-the-job experience as well as specific qualifications to meet the needs of their customers. The grading process has also received a major make-over allowing a much quicker turnaround time with regards to results of audits completed and the presentation of grading certificates. Having MIWA representatives in the regions allows for personal feedback to MIWA members as well as guidance on where to improve on the overall results.
Of the MIWA workshops graded so far many have achieved four- and five-star level. “We are exceptionally proud of the quality and standards of our workshops.”
HaynesPro deal secured for MIWA members
MIWA secured a deal with HaynesPro to make the workshop software data package affordable for MIWA members. Prior to this agreement, the costs of workshop software data were expensive, and out of the reach of most of the smaller MIWA workshops.
The agreement offers a solution to the problem of ‘Repair times’ or ‘Flat rates’ for our members. The ‘Flat rates’ are no longer available in printed format, and are now only available as a module in a software workshop data package. This means that in order to provide a ‘Repair time’ software program it must be tied up to a HaynesPro software package.
Four MIWA members can access the package through a single licence.
There are 2 deals available to choose from:
• Technical Workshop Data package –1 user licence R1125.00 annually (VAT included)
• Ultimate Workshop Data package – 1 user licence R2992.50 annually (VAT included)
MIWA members need to contact their regional MIWA representative to sign up for the deal.
As the founding member of the Right to Repair campaign, MIWA remains committed to the cause and plays a pivotal part in the Section-21 company, Right to Repair SA. “At this point we are eagerly awaiting the second draft of the Automotive Industry Code of Conduct gazette by the Competition Commission which is due to be released soon.”
“Just as Andy Goetsch and the founders of MIWA envisioned years ago that MIWA should become the biggest association, they also believed that customers need to come first. There is a need for a fair and competitive regulatory environment that enables freedom of choice for consumers and gives aftermarket Small Medium Enterprises a chance to stay in business.
The Right to Repair Campaign is working towards making this a reality. We are on the verge of big change in our industry and are proud to be leading the way,” concludes Ranft.
Number of EOI forms received up to 30 June 2018:
• College of Cape Town – 11 employers with 34 apprentices
• Port Elizabeth College – 10 employers with 30 apprentices
• Mopani South-East TVET College (Phalaborwa) – 6 employers with 42 apprentices
• ORBIT TVET College (Mogwase) – 5 employers with 26 apprentices