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Volkswagen commits support to fund and develop black-owned suppliers

Mar 22, 2019
Volkswagen commits support to fund and develop black-owned suppliers

Uitenhage - Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has committed to continue supporting and developing black owned suppliers through the Volkswagen B-BBEE Initiatives Trust.

The Board of Trustees of the Volkswagen B-BBEE Initiatives Trust hosted a special event to present the report on the performance of the Trust since its establishment in 2016. The event was attended by the MEC for Finance, Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Affairs in Eastern Cape, Oscar Mabuyane.

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 accessing markets through supplier development relationships.

The advice and support provided by the Trust is offered to qualifying black-owned suppliers as well as white suppliers that are interested in becoming black-owned.

Volkswagen B-BBEE Initiatives Trust is managed by an independent Board of Trustees even though it carries the name of VWSA.

To date, about R70.9 million of the R86 million invested by VWSA has been committed. Currently four companies have been funded, namely, Acoustex, 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, an 18-month intensive business-based mentoring and coaching programme.

Sally Marengo, owner of KPL Die Casting commented: "The support we have received from the Trust goes beyond anything we received from any commercial bank.  We have been able to increase our production capability as well as achieve leading edge technical capacity which has unlocked new markets."

Thomas Schaefer, Chairman and Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa said: "Volkswagen is fully committed to the transformation of the supply chain of the automotive industry as this is the right thing to do. It is important for the OEMs to collaborate in developing new black suppliers to ensure that their businesses are sustainable and competitive."

 "We appreciate the sterling work and contribution that the Board of Trustees has achieved in a short space of time. We are also grateful for the ongoing support from the DTI and Eastern Cape government," added Schaefer.

During his keynote address, MEC Mabuyane said: "We welcome the outcomes of this programme.  The success of this programme earns VWSA and its MD, Thomas Schaefer a new name, Dala'Mathuba -Creator of Opportunities.  This initiative is in line with our programme to grow our economy and we are happy to have partnered with VWSA."

"Our government is working on aligning the curriculum of TVET colleges with the requirements of local OEMs, like VWSA, to ensure that we develop right skills that are required for our economic growth," concluded Mabuyane.

Andrew Charman from the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation gave insight to the delegates on local economic activity and micro enterprises and what the future investment pathways and opportunities were in township economies.

Charman presented research results on the state of township economic activities within the communities of Kwa-Nobuhle, Langa and Rosedale in Uitenhage. Twelve potential investment projects have been identified. The next step will be a consultation process with relevant stakeholders for support.

Image: Nonkqubela Maliza, Director: Corporate and Government Affairs at Volkswagen Group South Africa, Oscar Mabuyane, MEC for Finance, Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Affairs in Eastern Cape, Sally Marengo, owner of KPL Die Casting and Thomas Schaefer, Chairman and Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa.