I have always been passionate about motoring, from as far back as I can remember. The sound of a V8, the sleek contours of a sports sedan and the very engineering itself, is how I found myself studying mechanical engineering in my early years and why I am so excited to serve within the RMI.
It is this very same passion that drives me (motoring pun intended) to view South Africa’s automotive retail and aftermarket as a key pillar of the sector and the economy. With a contribution of 2% to the country’s GDP and more than 300 000 jobs, South Africa’s automotive aftermarket provides hundreds of thousands of consumers with access to quality vehicles, parts, and automotive services across RMI’s more than eight and a half thousand strong accredited membership base nationwide. It is key that this perspective is embedded into the minds of all our stakeholders in 2024.
The onus is on us as a collective retail and aftermarket to position ourselves as the very engine of consumer delight and socio-economic impact and change. Our key role is centred around driving business growth in the retail and aftermarket environment which significantly impacts job creation and assists in attracting, developing and retaining specialist talent in the sector. It also allows us to upskill the current workforce in alignment with future trends, align gaps in skills shortages with curriculum development and create meaningful impact through real transformation and the progression of the informal economy into the formal economy through entrepreneurial development. Joining hands with government, labour and business has significant potential to drive these objectives, as demonstrated the world over through successful private-public-partnerships.
It is also important to note that to look ahead, we must also look back and recognise that we stand on the shoulders of giants. The RMI staff, members, leadership team and board cannot be thanked enough for building such a strong organisation over the last 115 years, and more so over the past decade. This very foundation allows the automotive aftermarket to thrive in a challenging, but opportunity filled 2024 year ahead.
February Automobil: Automobil February 2024 (publuu.com)