MIWA is a long-time supporter of technical training. We’re always excited to embrace an opportunity to expose more young people to our sector and to instill a passion that may lead to a fulfilling career. That’s why we are eager for any chance to invest in grassroots talent, and the Technical Skills Specialisation Competition (Welding and Metalwork), hosted in September by Wimpie Ludewyk – Manager: vocational schools for technical and agricultural schools Free State Province – was the perfect platform for this.
The competition was first introduced in 2018, as part of an initiative by the Free State to develop the skills of learners at technical, vocational and agricultural schools. This strategy is in line with the NDP’s national goal of producing 30 000 artisans by 2030. The competition is held at school, district and provincial levels, giving learners a chance to hone their practical skills. All of this leads up to the 2023 World Skills Competition when our students will be able to show off the skills they have learned in their various areas of specialisation.
MIWA has been involved with the initiative since 2019, when the automotive component was first included. Reemo Swartz (MIWA Regional Representative for Free State and Northern Cape) joined Sizwe Sishuba and Viwe Malgas to judge the automotive section, which had 82 learners taking part in various district competitions. These participants – most of whom are in grades 10 and 11 – were assessed on their ability to remove spark plugs, reset gaps according to the manufacturers’ specifications, label various parts and refit accordingly. They also had to bleed the braking system to get rid of all air.
The winners were awarded industry-specific tools and have the chance to go on to compete in the finals taking place in Bloemfontein in October, where Reemo will, once again, be judging. A huge congratulations to all who participated, helping to further our goal of providing training and skills development, as well as to main sponsor Sasol, which donated R300 000 in support of the event.
Every month, we introduce our members to one of our Right To Repair Tier One sponsors. This month, the spotlight falls on AutoZone.
AutoZone, a leading distributor of auto parts, spares, and car accessories in southern Africa, and is the destination, for essential car parts to fix any vehicle or get the latest accessories (such as pedal pads, tyre rims, sound systems etc.) to customise it. The largest auto-parts dealer and retailer in South Africa is set to provide the right parts at the right price for independent service providers (ISPs), professionals and individuals needing expert help to keep vehicles performing at their best.
With the introduction of Right to Repair, consumers are now empowered with an important choice, when purchasing a new vehicle – whether to include a service plan with the purchase of their new vehicle with their car make dealer or select one from quality RMI accredited independent providers. AutoZone (which is RMI accredited) is positioned to take ISPs’ offerings to the next level and to take full advantage of providing the OE quality auto-parts necessary in servicing in-warranty vehicles. In addition to their own acclaimed, dealer brands, AutoZone also stocks over 700 major leading brands’ products.
An unbeatable track record of quality automotive products and services has already earned AutoZone a loyal client base. As part of Right to Repair regulations, ISPs can count on the fact that the organisation sells parts from reputable suppliers and recognised quality parts. This results in minimising the risk of a manufacturer refusing to honour a warranty.
Within this newly competitive market, AutoZone is a one-stop-shop for long-term relationships, providing everything needed under one roof to compete in this changing environment.
AutoZone – the right parts at the right price.
For more information on vehicle care and product ranges, visit their website by clicking here.
It always makes us proud to see our MIWA members getting involved in their communities – which is why this Facebook post from the Durbanville Children’s Home, thanking AL Service Centre for the donation of two brand new stoves, gave us big smiles. WP Automotive also gets a big thumbs up for its donation of 10 new doors. Keep up the good work!
It’s extremely satisfying to be ‘caught out’ doing something positive! Beverley Malek of Samuels Service Centre was recently congratulated not only for providing excellent service; her customer was also impressed to see her selflessly feeding five hungry children.
On a post spotted this month, the customer mentioned that once the children approached Beverley, she asked what they would like to eat, then bought them KFC. The customer finished the post saying, “My goodness the happiness in their faces. I’m telling you their faces literally lit up as the food arrived. Wow, Beverley wow.! Such acts of kindness are what will make this world a better place.”
Leigh Nel of Leigh’s Auto Clinic has proved that he is as talented a carver as he is a mechanic. Leigh’s passion for woodwork started when he was still at school, working on projects for woodworking class. He started making furniture during his holidays, and since the bug had well and truly bitten, the hobby continued well into adulthood. The fact that Leigh’s wife shares his interest has fueled it further, and the two enjoy challenging themselves to find new, complex items to craft. For instance, he once made her a present of a breadboard that included several different types of wood, and on another occasion, created a set of wine glasses as a birthday present.
His favourite item to make? Wooden puzzle pieces, which he gives his children to paint. The look on their faces when they see these treasures is priceless, he says.
Given our current economy, most motorists are trying to save where they can – which means that cutting down on wear and tear is a major priority. Keeping the clutch in a good condition is key here and, while some factors remain beyond control (a motorist driving over rugged terrain or on roads in poor condition will have to replace their clutch more frequently than someone whose driving conditions aren’t as rough), there’s a lot that can be done to preserve this vital piece of equipment.
Avoid using clutch control to regulate your speed in heavy traffic. Rather, use the park brake while the car stopped at robots, keeping the car in neutral until it is time to pull off.
Allow the car to warm up before driving so that power transfers power from the engine to the wheels slowly.
Avoid using the clutch pedal while driving or when the car is stationary, unless necessary.
Keep the vehicle’s revs per minute as low as possible.
Make a quick transition when you pull off from a standstill.
Don’t try to pull off in any gear except first gear.
Avoid overloading the car. For example, pulling a heavy trailer will place strain on the clutch.
Where possible, avoid launching the car in areas that require extra effort, such as muddy conditions or up hills.
Keep the hydraulic fluid topped up with the brand recommended by the original equipment manufacturer.
Flush out the hydraulic system every 40 000 kms, or when you hear the gears grate during gear changes.
We’re so pleased to be able to share stories of MIWA members helping out this month. It’s plain that an act of kindness helps the community involved – but did you know that being altruistic serves you on an individual level, too? Read on to find out why you benefit from showing kindness.
It boosts mental wellness: Studies show that it’s not just the recipients of your altruism who feel good when you’ve been kind. You’ll also benefit from increased self-esteem; what’s more, science tells us that there are links with happiness and kindness in the brain.
It creates connections: If you took part during a food drive or collection during lockdown, you’ll know that being part of a community that cares helps to create a sense of belonging – something we all crave right now.
It helps you focus on what counts: Sure, each of us faces challenges – and for many of us, those are pretty big. But giving back to people in need reminds us that we are not alone in experiencing problems.
Nelson Mandela said it best when he noted that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow – so, where will we be in the future if we don’t start investing in our young people right now? That’s one of the reasons driving our support for the important Free State Technical Schools Competition – we love seeing the passion grow amongst the people who will take our industry forward, and giving them the skills they will need to do just that.
We also love seeing how our members are playing a role in their communities. This month’s newsletter is full of stories of workshops that are helping out in different ways. Thanks to you all – your efforts are greatly appreciated. We’re especially grateful as we all know that customers enjoy supporting brands that contribute to their communities – so any good you do comes back to us all.