The Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), in partnership with automotive sector enterprise development company Filpro, has resumed its R2-million support programme aimed at growing the competitiveness of 137 informal automotive mechanics in Mdantsane, outside East London.
Launched in July 2019, the two-year programme was temporarily interrupted by Covid-19-related measures.
It has, however, resumed with a package of mentorship support packages under Level 2 lockdown restrictions.
The programme benefits 300 people, including the employees of the 137 business owners.
The 137 businesses include 106 motor mechanics, 18 panel beaters, four auto electricians and nine spares shops that received product training to improve their revenues and competitiveness.
Graduated enterprises are supported with workshop tools through a partnership with organisations such as Atlas Copco. Atlas Copco has provided tools worth more than R4-million to mechanics in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and in the Nelson Mandela Bay over the last three years.
ECDC CEO Ndzondelelo Dlulane says the entity is committed to co-funding the programme both in terms of financial and nonfinancial support.
For example, the ECDC will also offer marketing, marketing access and business development support for the auto mechanics through the corporation’s business support services.
“It was only logical that we start the programme in Mdantsane, it being the biggest township in the Eastern Cape. These auto mechanic informal businesses are employment creators and ECDC is committed to supporting any activity that contributes to a sustainable economic development of the province.
"The end goal is to build accredited businesses which are compliant and registered with industry organisations, this will contribute to expanding market access for these enterprises and therefore contribute towards their sustainability,” says Dlulane.