A Gauteng provincial government skills empowerment programme, in the car manufacturing industry, has been commended by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for contributing to job creation and youth empowerment in the province.
The incubation programme which identifies young people and women with formal engineering qualifications and puts them through specialised training where they acquire skills in manufacturing automotive components of vehicles which they supply to some of the country’s big car manufacturers, was described as “a good story to tell”, by Ms Masefako Dikgale, House Chairperson for International Relations in the NCOP.
Ms Dikgale made the comments during an oversight visit to the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AICD)incubation in Rosslyn, Tshwane, as part of the Taking Parliament to the People Programme that is currently underway in Gauteng.
AICD is a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) and it supports the development and growth of the automotive and automated components industries in the province.
“After our oversight visit to the AICD we can safely say we have a good story to tell, we have heard how the centre assists students from Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Tvet) colleges, and through the incubator programme has managed to create 130 people, these are the kind of government initiatives that brings hope and we commend the Gauteng Economic Development Department.
“Very often, during our oversight visits as Parliament, we receive complaints and negative reports about government failing to assist the people, but here we are we see the work of government, and when we come across such a good story to tell we need to commend it,” she said.
The House Chairperson was a leading a joint delegation of NCOP Members, Members of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature and other legislatures.
Mr Alfred Tau, the acting Chief Executive Officer of the AICD told the delegation that the incubation programme was a partnership between the Gauteng Provincial Government and the private sector which seeks to empower youth, contribute to the province’s economic development and was also part an ambitious long-term plan to establish and automated city in Rosslyn.
The incubation programme also involves assisting the SMMEs to manage their finances and save to develop their business further and be self-sustainable after the incubation period.
Currently they manufacture components for Ford and Nissan, and negotiations are underway to also partner with BMW (all these car manufacturers are based in Gauteng).
“This is the beginning, overtime we hope to produce components that we are currently not producing, such as engines, and to be the biggest manufacturer of vehicle components in Africa,” said Mr Tau.
The centre was also planning to expand its partnership with the Tvet colleges by creating space for students, because some of the colleges do not have the latest technologies that is required in the training of students.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.