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The MIWA and Port Rex team behind the highly successful 2023 Motor Mech show in East London.

Another successful year of Moto Mech

Prizes and loads of participants made for a spectacularly successful edition of Moto Mech.

Moto Mech is always one of the most exciting highlights on MIWA’s calendar, and this year’s event held on the 16 June on youth day, certainly lived up to expectations.

Over the years Moto Mech has grown in popularity in the Eastern Cape serving to highlight the industry’s potential to future young employees. Our East London economy is largely based in the motor industry with the Mercedes Benz South Africa production plant based in East London. We are also fortunate to have The Automotive Learning Academy where students in the motor Industry can now do their trade qualifications locally.

The show attracted a regular stream of spectators to watch participants from Richard Varha High School from Dimbaza and hosts, Port Rex Technical High School, battle it out. Kusile Comprehensive School from Duncan Village also sent a team to observe the competition and we hope they will participate next year. 

A nail-biting competition!

This year’s competition was shortened and took place over three rounds with six question sections. Twelve students participated in the preliminary round. Six competitors were then eliminated leaving the remaining six to battle it out in the semifinals.  NGK once again participated in the competition and the 1st round included a spark plug question section sponsored by NGK.  The contestant with the highest score took home a hamper sponsored by NGK.

The six semi-finalists

The six students in the semi-final were asked to identify light issues on a replica model car and fit a timing belt and set the timing. For the final, the students were then whittled down to three who participated in a nail-biting duel. The three were each given a vehicle that didn’t start, and they had to identify and solve the problem. The contestant that solved the problem in the fastest time won.  

Competition winner

Winners of the 2023 Motor Mech competition. From left Amila Ngalo in 2nd place (Port Rex), Cliffie Jacobs (MIWA), Pieter Niemand, MIWA National Director, winner Okuhle Matota (Port Rex), Alfred Kabeya in 3rd place (Port Rex), Peter Van Mosseveld and Teresa Spenser Higgs (MIWA).

The competition was fierce but ultimately it was won by Okuhle Matota, a Grade 11 pupil from Port Rex Technical High, with schoolmates Amila Ngalo and Alfred Kabeya in second and third place respectively, all taking home toolboxes and goodie bags filled with items from suppliers and sponsors.

Each of the 12 contestants who participated were given three goody bags filled with gifts from suppliers and sponsors like MerSETA, Moto Health, and MISA. MISA also sponsored our first prize comprising a toolbox; Cliffie’s Auto Repairs the second prize toolbox and BMG sponsored the 3rd prize toolbox. During the day 150 lucky draws with an estimated value of over R50 000.00 were also given away. 

Toolbox raffle raised over R3 000

QSV raffled a toolbox for one of the schools. Over R3 000 was raised and Justin De Coning from QSV handed over the prize to Port Rex High School principal Mr Ettienne Theron on the day.

Visitors were also able to win by taking part in a virtual car game from Nascom or entering one of several lucky dips. Proceeds from the Nascom car races were donated to Pet Pals Charity, while all proceeds from the event itself went to event hosts Port Rex Technical High School. Further charitable donations were made from the proceeds of the children’s entertainment area, run by members of the local Roundtable No 1 East London. 

Organisers pleased with the successful event

The MIWA and Port Rex team behind the highly successful 2023 Motor Mech show in East London. Back row (from left): Tim Kirby, Mark Hammond, Waldi van Greunen, Jason Bekker, Kevin Karshagen, and Jeremy Alexander. Front row (from left): Cliffie Jacobs, Teresa Spenser Higgs, Paul Rogerson, Alton Beckman, Ken Malgas, Keith Lutge, and Precious Ulana.

Organisers Teresa Spenser Higgs (MIWA Eastern Cape Regional Vice Chairperson and Chairperson of RMI Eastern Cape), Cliffie Jacobs (MIWA Training Representative), and Peter van Mosseveld (RMI Regional Manager and MIWA Associational Representative in the Eastern Cape) were exceptionally pleased with attendance at the event; not only from interested parties but also from members of the industry.

RMI’s sister associations TEPA (the Tyre, Equipment, Parts Association) and NADA (National Automobile Dealers’ Association) all showed their support, offering attendants a chance to learn more about their offerings, while HaynesPro – MIWA’s special project providers – gave a demonstration of their software and hosted a special basic maintenance workshop for women. Also present were Moto Health, MISA (Motor Industry Staff Association), merSETA (Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Association), the MIBCO (Motor Industry Bargaining Council), as well as Bell Equipment.

Bell Equipment scouting for potential talent

The team from Bell Equipment who attended the show manned a stand and were also scouting for potential talent. Riaan De Klerk, 1-BELL Technical Training Manager – Apprenticeships and Factory Skills, says the Bell Trainer, Romeo Magengele, who attended the show as well as Anati, a 2nd year Bell EM apprentice, was very impressed with the calibre of participants and the interest shown by the scholars and parents in their stand and the opportunities available.  “In fact,” says Magengele, “many of the young people even requested if they could visit the East London facility to see the typical daily activities of an Artisan and Apprentice in the Earthmoving (EM) Heavy Equipment Mechanic (HEM) industry.”

We hope visiting school children got excited about the opportunities that exist in the sector and will seriously consider this as a career with great potential. 

Thank you, Port Rex Technical High School

Last but not least, a very big thank you once again to Port Rex Technical High School, whose dedication, partnership, and hard work made the day possible. We are proud to say that all proceeds from the event have been donated to the school.