To date, R70.9-million of the R86-million invested by Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) in the Volkswagen Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Initiatives Trust has been committed to the development of black-owned component suppliers.
The aim of the trust is to increase the number of quality black-owned suppliers in the automotive sector value chain by providing financial assistance and non-financial assistance, such as business development growth and access to markets through supplier development relationships.
The advice and support provided by the trust is offered to qualifying black-owned suppliers, as well as white-owned suppliers that are interested in becoming black-owned.
The Volkswagen B-BBEE Initiatives Trust is managed by an independent board of trustees, despite carrying the name of VWSA.
The trust has funded four companies up to now, namely Acoustex Trim, Yenza Manufacturing, Production Logix and KPL Die Casting.
Acoustex Trim and Yenza Manufacturing are both VWSA suppliers, whilst Production Logix and KPL Die Casting are part of VWSA’s Ntinga Project, which is an 18-month intensive business-based mentoring and coaching programme.
“Volkswagen is fully committed to the transformation of the supply chain of the automotive industry as this is the right thing to do,” says VWSA MD and chairperson Thomas Schäfer.
“It is important for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs, or vehicle manufacturers) to collaborate in developing new black suppliers to ensure that their businesses are sustainable and competitive.”
“The support we have received from the trust goes beyond anything we received from any commercial bank,” adds KPL Die Casting owner Sally Marengo.
“We have been able to increase our production capability, as well as achieve leading-edge technical capacity, which has unlocked new markets.”
Eastern Cape Finance, Economic Development and Environmental Affairs MEC Oscar Mabuyane notes that the success of the programme earns VWSA and Schäfer a new name, namely ‘Dala’Mathuba’ – creator of opportunities.
“Our government is working on aligning the curriculum of technical and vocational education and training colleges with the requirements of local OEMs, like VWSA, to ensure that we develop the right skills that are required for our economic growth.”