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Meeting the members: The Central Region 

Meet the powerhouses behind the Central Region Committee.

Every month, we get to meet members of our regional committees. This month, we’re getting to know more about the members of our Central Region. This is a large region and it is a pleasure to introduce you to the team.

MIWA Exco member Anthony (Tony) Andrews joined the industry in 1992, honing his skills first at Hyundai and then Ford. He started his own business, Mr Mechanic, after qualifying in 2017. Having started as a small enterprise in Florida Hills, the business has grown and evolved until, in 2021, Tony relocated to new premises able to accommodate more vehicles. He hopes to open another shop soon and to see his company keep growing. As a MIWA Exco member, Tony is serious about seeing RMI placing greater emphasis on repair and service for clients. A devoted family man, Tony enjoys fishing in his free time.

Nico Grobler took over the family business started by his father in 2005, having joined the team in 1990 – by which time it was already 20 years old. Having earned an N6 diploma and qualified as an artisan at Olifantsfontein Training Centre, he was eager to expand the business and soon introduced a truck repair service. A MIWA Exco member, Nico is passionate about encouraging engagement from MIWA members. He is very serious about promoting quality service and upholding standards and is proud of the work done by Right to Repair in this regard.

MIWA vice chairperson Nathanial Lesenyego is proud to be sharing his knowledge and making a mark on the industry. A qualified electrician, Nathanial commenced his apprenticeship in 2001, and is now a specialist with key skills as both a diesel and petrol mechanic. Nathaniel has worked for some of the industry’s largest brands, including General Motors, Mercedes Benz SA, BMW SA, Nissan and KIA, and has developed his skills base through training in Germany, the United States, Dubai and China. He opened his own workshop, based in Akasia, Pretoria, in 2019, and is looking forward to seeing it grow as he provides employment and empowers other South Africans.

Martin Mboweni established his workshop, Lux Auto Tech, in Silverton in Pretoria in 2019, but moved to the Limpopo village of Nkoankoa during the pandemic – not only because the workshop had grown to the point where extra space was needed, but also because Martin wanted to support the government in its efforts to bring more support and business to South Africa’s townships and villages. A member of RMI’s Transformation Committee, Martin maintains that his current studies have helped to strengthen the symbiotic quality of his relationship with MIWA: as much as the association has helped him gain access to key data required for his thesis, he is eager to share his learnings to benefit all members.

A qualified motor mechanic, Les McMaster has been an invaluable member of the motor industry for more than 50 years. He joined RMI in 1990 and has been a member of the Exco for 20 years, serving as MIWA Chairman as well as RMI Regional Chairman. Les owns two workshops: the five-star graded M-Centre in Centurion, as well as the more recent Move in Hyde Park, where he is a shareholder. As a pioneer of Right to Repair, he is especially excited by the changes Right to Repair is bringing to the industry, and is looking forward to seeing the movement gain greater traction. He would also like to see aftermarket workshops gaining more control over their own futures – an area where Right to Repair certainly has a positive influence.

Jerry Pillay’s passion for cars saw him join the industry 30 years ago, working first as an apprentice and then, after qualifying, as a mechanic for Mercedes. His eagerness to learn about different makes of cars and grow his knowledge saw him take on a post as a workshop manager until he was given a chance to run the parts division of Hyundai. Realising the market demand for quality repairs at an affordable price, he established his own workshop ten years ago; an entity which evolved into JP Motors in 2016. Jerry is honoured to be a member of MIWA’s Exco and would like to see greater involvement with RMI members so that a network of knowledge sharing and assistance is created.

Living by the motto “Every day is a new day; every day is a learning day”, Happy Tabane is a qualified mechanic with more than 15 years’ experience. He opened his workshop, TD & HB Repairs, in 2017. 

Founder of Secunda-based mechanical works specialists Womech, Dineo Glomane is also the workshop manager and director. Dineo is a qualified auto electrician, having started her career in the trade after completing her studies in electrical engineering in 2002. Dineo switched her focus to auto electrical, then completed her apprenticeship between 2005 and 2008. Dineo’s experience includes stints at MAN Truck & Bus as well as BMW (where she worked as a technology trainer) and CTC, finally taking on a post as a trainer at SG Coal. She set up her company in 2017, and started operating full-time two years later. Dineo is proud to be flying the flag for women in an industry which is still dominated by men – every day, she works to prove that women are just as adept, if not more so.

Andrea Bogner Botha is another woman breaking industry stereotypes. She is the MIWA Regional Chairperson for the Central Region and also serves on the MIWA National Executive Committee, merSETA, MIBCO, and serves as the national representative of  MIWA’s training committee. Andrea is the proud owner of five-star graded Bogner Motorway and Transport, a workshop that was established by her father 30 years ago. She took over the family business seven years ago and deepened her involvement in the industry in 2015. Andrea is proud to head up a woman-run workshop, but she’s also incredibly proud of her outstanding staff, many of whom have worked with her for 20 years. Always forward-looking, the team will embark on gas training, to facilitate gas conversions, next year.

Alvin Main has been part of the Kigima Auto Electrical Training Centre, previously known as Caelex Training Centre,  for 10 years. In addition to his post as Training Centre Manager for Kigima, he is also Procedures Manager for Caelex Chris Auto Electrical. While Kigima specialises in auto electrical training, Caelex’s focus is on parts. Alvin enjoys sharing his passion for training with other members of MIWA’s Exco, and believes that as electric vehicles become more common, extensive training will become a must. At the same time, he is eager to see extra mechanical training offered to mechanics who wish to grow their skills base. Alvin is proud of the dynamic nature of the Exco team and looks forward to seeing them make a significant impact on the industry.

Drawing on his 30 years’ industry experience, Carlo Du Plessis’ team works on all cars and makes (including electrical work) at his Bosch service centre, Cencar/Cendiesel. Carlo is a qualified Bosch system technician, served as Chairman of the Bosch Marking Forum and was a member of the Bosch network for 12 years. He joined MIWA’s exco so that he could play a part in solving industry problems and finding solutions, and because he believes that unity is power – but, at a personal level, being part of this team also provides an opportunity for personal growth.