The Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport has launched a state-of-the-art Panel Beating and Apprenticeship Training Workshop, which is set to benefit graduates, informal businesses and entrepreneurs.
Addressing the launch on Friday in Johannesburg, Department of Roads and Transport Director of Fleet Maintenance Unit at g-FleeT Management Sifiso Mhlongo explained that the new Panel Beating Workshop will offer full cycle panel beating services for all g-FleeT vehicles involved in accidents.
G-FleeT Management is a Trading Entity of the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport and is a provider of vehicle leasing and fleet management services for the public sector in South Africa whose clients include National, Gauteng Provincial and local government departments.
Historically, accident repairs have been outsourced through the RT46 Transversal Contract by the National Treasury of South Africa.
“Accident repairs are one of the major cost drivers for g-FleeT. Therefore, the main objective of the New Panel Beating Workshop is to assist g-FleeT to be in total control of a major part of its value chain, which impacts on the quality of fleet, turnaround times, customer satisfaction and g-FleeT’s self-sustainability,” Mhlongo said.
The anticipated benefits of the workshop include improved cost control, quality of repairs, skills development for qualified artisans and experienced staff as well as satisfied clients and self-sustainability of the entity.
“The Panel Beating facility would be manufacturer approved, and this would enable all repairs to be carried out at the manufacturer’s strict criteria and standard, with a plan to obtain industry Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), South African Motor Body Repairers' Association (SAMBRA) and Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services SETA (MERSETA) accreditation.
“It also has a built-in Training Facility for technical training and skills development, which would help g-FleeT contribute to the development of technical skills categorized as critical and scarce in the country.
“The Entity plans to operationalise the panel beating workshop, gradually build up internal capacity, and consider adopting a hybrid approach for in-sourcing and outsourcing of accident repairs,” he said.
G-FleeT has partnered with the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) to operationalise the Panel Beating Workshop, as the entity does not have the necessary skills internally.
“AIDC is a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, which is an agency of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development. They specialize in both Automotive Hub establishment and Technical Skills Development, which made them a strategic fit for the operationalization of the Panel Beating Workshop, with an In-house Training Facility,” Mhlongo said. –SAnews.gov.za