In a landmark boost for the development of black automotive industry component suppliers and ultimately the industry as a whole, Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) has officially launched its R86-million black supplier fund.
Established last year, when Volkswagen also hosted the automotive industry’s first openday event for black suppliers, the Volkswagen B-BBEE Initiatives Trust was launched at the company’s People’s Pavilion in Uitenhage yesterday.
Drawing high-level support and praise from the Eastern Cape government, the event was attended by Economic Development MEC Sakhumzi Somyo.
The trust will be managed independently of VWSA by a board of trustees.
It will provide financial assistance and, where required, non-financial assistance such as business development growth and accessing markets through supplier development relationships.
The trustees are Siphamandla Ndawonde, an entrepreneur and part of the government’s Black Industrialist Programme, Frans Nortje, a strategist and researcher who has recently concluded research on the implementation of culture-sensitive improvement and transformation models in South Africa, and Nonkqubela Maliza, VWSA’s director of corporate and government affairs.
A panel discussion during the event also provided insights into original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) expectations and requirements of their suppliers and the challenges faced by new and emerging suppliers.
The host of challenges involved in finding, developing and funding new black entrants into the vehicle manufacturing sector was also a topic.
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