Boost for tyre repair businesses

THE Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality will partner with tyre manufacturing giant Apollo Tyres – which represents the Dunlop brand – to develop small tyre repair businesses in the townships.Four informal tyre repair businesses in Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage will benefit from the training and mentorship by Apollo Tyres in this financial year, in a bid to bridge the gap between the formal and informal businesses.

The four small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) are Bells Tyre Repairs in KwaNobuhle, Isiqalo Sethu Tyre Services in Motherwell, Dees Tyres Similo in New Brighton and All Sharp Tyres and Repairs in Motherwell. The businesses are currently operating either from their backyards, municipal buildings or containers.

In a report by the acting executive director of economic development, tourism and agriculture, Lulama Mxenge, to the portfolio committee yesterday, she said the partnership would "reduce the chance of failure of start-up companies and create decent and sustainable jobs" in the metro.

The report states the containers would be branded in Dunlop colours to associate the business with the brand and hopefully boost their credibility. Apollo Tyres would also provide staff with Dunlop clothing, help with marketing the container business locally and provide tyre technical training to the owners and workers.

"[The benefits include] facilitation of business skills training for the container owner, ongoing mentorship to the owners, assisting them in finding markets, procurement within government, parastatal and BEE-conscious customers in the area.

"[Apollo Tyres will] coordinate customers around the country into a single family with a national footprint that can handle tyre breakdown services for those big multinational transport companies [and] offer container/tyre dealers direct competitive pricing to compete in the market place," Mxenge said in the report.

"[The] Dunlop initiative could be an essential element in building and strengthening our drive to develop township automotive businesses and a reservoir for innovation".

Councillors agreed to the municipality's partnership with Apollo Tyres.