National Economic Challenges
While noticeable progress has been made since 1994 to-date, there is still a lot to be done to move closer to the democratic ideal of a free and prosperous South Africa for all as was envisioned with the dawn of democracy in 1994.
Members face severe limitations that serve as a barrier to achieving, marginal business growth. These are a consequence of the challenges faced by our members. The challenges range from by-laws compliance issues, lack of adequate and sustainable skills, capacity limitations, procurement of contracts, inadequate business management skills, limited promotion and awareness, limitation of support from existing enterprise development agencies and the private sector, limited access to funding and technology, limited access to markets and critical business infrastructure, undeveloped networks and economic value chain to list a few.
In a desperate attempt to make a living, members operate in areas which are not demarcated for the kind of business practiced. In some instances their business clashes with the environmental standards of the emergency management system.
The costs of a proper, accredited or acceptable workshop with the necessary equipment like spray booths, chassis straighteners etc is ranging from R1.3m – R1.5 m. This is not easy if not impossible to find such workshops in the townships. Government has placed SMME development and job creation high on the list of priorities in many of their strategic documents and we believe it is now time to action this. There are good international case studies where township support is evident, where the townships have been industrialised e.g. United States of America and India. .
Another challenge facing our members is the lack of adequate and sustainable skills. Furthermore, most members are not certificated or do not have formal education or qualifications. They have been self taught on the job. The challenge is that industry requires certification, qualifications or there is no work. This negatively affects our members especially from the potential clients whose cars are insured and under warranty. The area of capacity and business skills is another challenge.
Adequate infrastructure as highlighted earlier is another challenge. Members do not have the equipment at the level that is required by dealerships and insurance companies. The proposed new centres would boast the state of the art workshop that will be accessible to the members. The focus however is to get the companies that can invest into this venture. Procurement is another challenge that hinders the development of the members. There is still a huge imbalance and favouritism that takes place in the industry. So once our members have been trained, finance will be organised for them to be part of this interesting project.
We create “Awareness” in the Consumers, Artisans as well as in the entrepreneurs, about their rights and responsibilities enshrined in the “Guidelines for Competition in the South African Automotive Aftermarket “and in the “Automotive Industry Transformation Fund”. We are adamant that these two guidelines if implemented correctly they will surely create most needed viable and sustainable SMME’s and create decent job opportunities assist in fighting back the frontiers of poverty.