Prior to his appointment Mahomed, who attended Uitenhage High School, Graduated at TUKS, held senior leadership positions at Benteler, Grupo Antolin, Knitmesh SA, Tenneco Automotive, Bosal Africa and Firestone and SA Post Office. Mahomed pretty much started his Career as Industrial Engineer at Volkswagen of South Africa, then Joined Ford Motor Company. Mahomed’s 33 years of experience in predominantly the supplier community brings great wealth to the AIDC which no doubt will benefit the industry at large.

AUTOMOTIVE INCUBATOR OPENS IN MDANTSANE

With potential to facilitate township revitalisation, a first of its kind, automotive aftermarket incubator opened for business in Fort Jackson, Mdantsane in Buffalo City Municipal area yesterday (Tues 9 February).‍‍‍

With the partnership of big automotive aftermarket brands, including Powertech Batteries, Sharwoods Tyres, Universal Safety Glass and Grandmark Glass, the incubator has equipped and trained entrepreneurs and their new staff to service customers in one of South Africa's largest townships.

Additional businesses will also be added to the 700sqm facility, making the incubator a quality and accessible hub for automotive glass, battery and tyre sales and repairs.

The Automotive Industry Development Centre in the Eastern Cape (AIDC) says the incubator is not only servicing a growing robust and economically viable market, but will develop the economy within Mdantsane, where formal business development has lagged.    

Considered to be the first incubator of its kind in the country, it is being established by the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) , Eastern Cape - an agency of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation in partnership with Buffalo City Municipality and the Eastern Cape Province.

AIDC Eastern Cape acting CEO, Gordon Brink says the incubator, which also includes a food kiosk was a “stunning model for true public private partnership.”

“Powertech Batteries, Sharwoods tyres and other brands are investing into community with the prospect of later returns while the AIDC Eastern Cape, on behalf of the Eastern Cape government, has developed a vacant mini warehouse for the five businesses that would operate from the location and will mentor and support the entrepreneurs in their new businesses to ensure sustainability.’’

AIDC Eastern Cape Project Director Fred Weatherall-Thomas said the level of support in areas such as financial controls and procedures, procurement, stock taking, marketing and compliance with respect to company and tax laws were “essential for long term success.”

“The idea is that after three years of trading the new businesses will stand on their own, with the resources provided to them now released to assist in the creation of other new businesses,’’ Weatherall-Thomas said.

ABOVE: Khakalethu Mbete, 30, one of the entrepreneurs, is a qualified mechanical engineer from Mdantsane. Mbete runs a tyre and wheel replacement and fitment centre.

SUBSTANTIAL POWER SAVINGS STILL OUT THERE

Automotive suppliers can still extract significant further energy efficiencies.‍‍‍

That is the view of the AIDC Eastern Cape which has been successful in reducing energy consumption at the plants of participants in its Cleaner Production Programme by over 10% on average.

While South Africa's power supply has stabilised, (Eskom has ruled out load shedding for the remainder of the year) utilities remain the largest input cost for many manufacturers.

"While low hanging fruits may have been clipped we believe substantial further savings are available as companies analyse and more deeply assess the production system,'' says AIDC EC Supplier Development Manager, Hoosain Mahomed.

"Replacing bulbs does not constitute an energy efficiency or cleaner production programme, but an in depth view of the manufacturing process, its machines and controllers, usually unearths substantial additional savings.''

Any reduction in energy bill is highly significant given the ratio of power costs as a percentage of the total manufacturing input.

Whether you pay R50 000 or R50m a year on power , investment into reducing that produces handsome returns, considering that these will hold for a lifetime of production, with the correct controls, Mahomed says.

The AIDC EC's Cleaner Production Programme is successful partly as a result of the appointment of at least one engineer, assigned to work with employees on the shop floor at participating companies about three full days a week.

While cost savings are paramount the secondary objective would be to formalise the energy saving initiatives, projects or systems that the company has implemented,  through the implementation of an Energy Management System (EnMS) [Internal standards] or ISO 50001 [External standards].

NEWS

© 2016 | AIDC Eastern Cape | All rights reserved

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