In a move that will drive economic transformation in the automotive sector, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube this afternoon met with emerging entrepreneurs in the sector to assist them unlock bottlenecks that are hindering business growth.
The strategic engagement which was attended by members of the South African Technicians Association (SATA) stems from a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that the association signed with the Ithala Development Finance Corporation Limited and its subsidiary, Ithala SOC- the financial service provider in 2020.
The MoU, paved the way for the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs and its entities to collaborate with SATA to ensure that more than 36 members of the organization are able to provide fleet service and maintenance, panel beating and spray painting automotive mechanical workshops for heavy duty and agricultural maintenance to all tiers of government within the fleet management value chain, among other services.
Following-up on these commitments, Premier Dube-Ncube’s engagement with the association today aims to reengineer economic growth in the automotive sector and boost confidence in the province’s economic recovery post Covid-19, the July civil unrest and the flood disasters.
Some of the challenges sited by SATA include inadequate financial support from Ithala, lack of access to market and unrealistic expectations from the association’s new business start-ups which affected their long-term growth and sustainability.
Premier Dube-Ncube committed to working with the relevant government departments and other organs of state in order to address challenges raised by SATA.
“Our focus as the Provincial Government is on reskilling people, be it unemployed graduates or those who have been retrenched or lost their jobs in both informal and formal economies. We want them to be re-absorbed in industries such as the automotive sector.There are over 7000 unemployed graduates and we believe that the automotive sector is an area where jobs will be created to absorb thousands of unemployed youth but also people who lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. We want rural and township based youth, who are trained as artisans and mechanics, to work in the automotive industry. We therefore commit that working together with the other government departments and the Ithala Development Finance Corporation Limited we will implement measures to ensure the empowerment of entrepreneurs in the automotive industry,” said Premier Dube-Ncube.