KZN jump starts entrepreneurs' entry into automotive sector

Monday, September 5, 2022

In a move that will drive economic transformation in the automotive sector, KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, has met with emerging entrepreneurs to assist them to unlock bottlenecks that are hindering business growth.

The strategic engagement follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the South African Technicians Association (SATA) with Ithala Development Finance Corporation Limited and its subsidiary, Ithala SOC -- the financial service provider.

The MoU, signed in 2020, paved the way for the provincial Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs and its entities to collaborate with SATA to ensure that more than 36 members of the organisation are able to provide fleet service and maintenance; panel beating and spray painting; automotive mechanical workshops for heavy duty vehicles, and agricultural maintenance to all tiers of government within the fleet management value chain, amongst others.

Following up on these commitments, Dube-Ncube’s engagement with the association aimed 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 flood disasters.

During the meeting, SATA raised some challenges including 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.

Dube-Ncube committed to work 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,” Dube-Ncube said.

She noted that there are over 7 000 unemployed graduates, and the provincial government believes that the automotive sector is an area where jobs will be created to absorb thousands of unemployed youth, as well as people who lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

“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,” the Premier said. –