Twenty five motor mechanics operating informal workshops in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality received one million Rands worth of automotive tools and equipment on 21 February 2019.
Filpro, an Enterprise Development company, partnered with Tirisano Trust and Atlas Copco, a global manufacturer of industrial tools and equipment, to sponsor the motor mechanics with reciprocating piston compressors, 2T trolley jack, and impact wrenches etc, to support their workshops.
Filpro was established in 2011 by automotive component manufacturers, G.U.D. Holdings (Pty) Ltd and NGK Spark Plugs, to develop informal automotive service centres in previously disadvantaged communities. They empower motor mechanics that operate their businesses at roadsides, from their homes and semi-established workshops. The success of the programme has grown to over 1300 motor mechanics in Gauteng, Free State, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal,
Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape.
“We are pleased to continue our partnership with Atlas Copco, through their social development funding organisation, Tirisano Trust, who has recognized our commitment to support informal motor mechanics. In 2014 we expanded our programme to 106 motor mechanics operating their businesses in the Kwa-Nobuhle, Kwalanga and Despatch townships. The mechanics already possessed the technical knowledge and experience of their trade but lacked the range of automotive tools and equipment that would elevate their businesses even higher. This sponsorship highlights the significant role they provide as entrepreneurs in their communities, through their services and job creation potential.” says Bonnie Magada, General Manager, Filpro (Pty) Ltd.
In 2017, an additional 115 motor mechanics from Missionvale, Veeplaas, Zwide and Kwa-Zakhele joined the progamme in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. A variety of Soft Skills trainings such as, Basic Business Management, Finance and Bookkeeping, Sales and Marketing, Business Planning and Profiling and Business Excellence are offered to all programme participants. These trainings equip the motor mechanics to formally operate their businesses.
In addition, the programme beneficiaries received product training on automotive filters, brake pads, lubricants and spark plugs. The product training sessions highlighted the importance of fitting quality automotive parts to their customers’ vehicles. The success of the initiative is also attributed to various partner organisations such as the AA, Department of Labour, SARS, banking institutions and local municipalities.
The sponsorship beneficiaries were chosen based on a strict criterion which included participation in all Filpro programmes, formal registration of their business, conducting business improvements to support the transformation of their informal workshop to a semi-formal workshop etc. Atlas Copco also conducted training to the motor mechanics on the tools and equipment to ensure its correct application.