Audi

For the first time ever, various key sector players assembled in the same room with a common goal. In an endeavour to grow and bring about the desired transformation in the sector, Ntuthuko Foundation, also known as NF Apprentices (NF), invited knowledgeable and experienced key sector role players to a brainstorming session. This was hosted at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg. The aim of the session was to conduct feasibility and garner support for envisaged programmes that will grow NF’s impact in the sector and thus the country.

Under the theme “Logical Sector Transformation”, delegates explored programmes that would propel NF to drive transformation in the sector. Invited were representatives from pertinent institutions in the automotive sector, such as the CRA, RMI, BASF, SAARSA, RAAF, MIBCO, NAMB, SAIA, TVET colleges, MerSETA and TETA setas and other relevant institutions.

Dr. Thabo Mosala, a leading strategy lecturer from Wits Business School, the facilitator of the session, was able to steer discussions to address important issues and extract critical information needed to build the effective programmes. After a presentation on NF’s impactful, exciting and rich journey by Busi Maile, a board member at NF, there was an assertion that if NF is serious about transforming the sector, they have to review their recruitment scheme, making provision to include more women and people that are differently abled.

Mike Muller, a retired NF board member commended NF on a great mentorship programme, stating that he believes that the calibre of the journeymen determines the quality of the artisan that comes out the apprenticeship programme. In an effort to assist NF to get the right calibre of shops to partner with,  Zanele Gigaba (SAIA) and Steve Kessel (CRA) committed to helping NF get access to their appropriate member companies. Then, one of our top performing alumni in Autobody repairs programme, Neo Mutshabela gave a brief account of the impact the programme has had in his life.

Eddie da Silva, a body shop owner and co-founder of NF, introduced NF’s envisaged programmes. These proposed programmes address the following:

– Growing NF apprentices reach;

– Recognising and qualifying experienced artisans in the sector

– Supporting the development of auto body repair shops that are struggling to stay alive.

Marwaan Davids from MIBCO, John Addis, and Themba Magwaza from Sure Grip Training have been very instrumental in guiding us in concretising ideas and accordingly devising a framework in preparation for this session. We believe that this session was the beginning of a process that will take the transformation of the sector forward. Although NF initiated it, buy in from the sector is needed if this process is to succeed. We are hoping to engage as many relevant stakeholders as possible to ensure that it is inclusive and a reflection of the sector’s needs.

We would like to thank everyone for their invaluable contributions and we are very excited about what the future holds.

By Yvonne Lushaba