The highly successful Motor Mech show, hosted by the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), was once again back in East London this year. Significantly it was held on Youth Day – a day specifically selected as a symbol of youth empowerment, at Fort Rex Technical High School.
Over the years Moto Mech has grown in popularity in the Eastern Cape serving to highlight the industry’s potential to future young employees.
Teresa Spenser Higgs, MIWA Eastern Cape Vice Regional Chairperson who arranged the show with fellow MIWA Training Representative Cliffie Jacobs, says that this year’s show was no different and was supported by RMI sister associations, TEPA and NADA, who also took part in the event, displaying their parts and accessories and new vehicles respectively.
A wide range of other exhibitors also took part in the one-day show ranging from parts suppliers and manufacturers to tool and garage equipment suppliers and aftermarket warranty specialists. “The presence of other industry stakeholders, like MerSeta, MISA and Motorhealth turned the show into a one-stop shop for everything related to the trade,” says Spenser Higgs. The stalls themselves were highly interactive, and it was exciting to see stallholders try their utmost to add a dash of creativity and entertainment to their exhibit.
The junior Motor Mech competition is always a highlight of the event, and this year was no different. The 12 contestants who entered the competition were eventually whittled down to six participating in the semi-final round, and then three in the finals, where the winner was the entrant who was quickest to find three faults that prevented a vehicle from starting, then finding a way to get it to idle. Huge congratulations go to Ashley Joel who secured first place, Jaco van der Merwe who came second and Devin Dreyer who came in third.
The competition also incorporated the Electude Training System, with contestants asked several questions around spark plugs. The winner of this section won a prize sponsored by NGK.
Joel, Van der Merwe and Dryer each took home a complete toolbox sponsored by Autocare & Diagnostics, Ronnies and Midas Quay. Not that the other contestants walked away empty handed either. Each received two goodie bags filled with gifts from MISA and MerSeta. “We hope that next year’s Junior Motor Mech has even more to offer entrants, and to this end are working to secure a bursary as a prize for the top achiever,” says Spenser Higgs.
Higgs says visiting school children got a glimpse of the opportunities offered by the industry, with the Department of Higher Education setting up a stand along with several local TVET Colleges – an exciting chance for them to engage with real stakeholders in the industry and find out what it’s all about.
A very big thank you also went 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,” she says.
“Feedback from both visitors and vendors has been overwhelmingly positive. Several vendors have already booked stands for next year, and our sponsors have promised an even greater commitment on the day,” she concludes.