Informal motor businesses making progress in development initiative

Forty-two members of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation’s (RMI’s) development association, National African Association of Automobile Service Providers (NAAASP), have completed the Business Communication module of the National Certificate New Venture Creation (Level 2).

Louis van Huyssteen, RMI Training Director, says it has been very exciting to see the Business Development programme underway and to see such enthusiasm from those selected to participate in the Gauteng pilot project.

As part of the programme, the selected businesses have been registered on the New Venture Creation (NCV) L2 and, through an incubator approach with mentors and coaches, will need to complete the required credits to receive a qualification. The first being the Business Communication module, which has been completed. The project will also assist the members with a business plan, funding, training staff, and ensuring the property and business meets all compliance criteria. 

A NAAASP member is typically in business and trading in one or more of the areas of mechanical repairs; motor body repair and spray painting; automotive parts sales and tyre fitment.

“The RMI is working closely with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) and Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) on this project,” says van Huyssteen.


A NAAASP member is typically in business and trading in one or more of the areas of mechanical repairs; motor body repair and spray painting; automotive parts sales and tyre fitment. The learners on the programme work with qualified members already in the mainstream automotive repair and maintenance sector.

The first meeting was held in May at RMI’s national offices. Isaac Boshomane, a long-standing NAAASP informal small enterprise owner, motivated those present at the meeting. He emphasised key areas of the journey which need to be completed in order to be found competent by the programme assessors and moderators at the end of the programme. He included the following: attendance, discipline, interaction with fellow learners, and willingness to share lessons learnt and engage the facilitator and guest lecturers.

“Participants then split into groups and were encouraged to create pledges in support of the programme. The pledges included strong values and promises such as integrity, honesty and transparency, dedication, respecting everyone’s time, and resource sharing,” explains van Huyssteen.

The participants then met again in August to complete the Plan and Prepare Meetings part of the Business Communication module. This covered the ability to demonstrate and have a sound understanding of meeting agenda items. It also included the the purpose and objective of minutes of meetings and how to act as a scribe in meetings. Facilitator, Chuene Johannes Tolo, included four role-play exercises in the meeting agenda.   

“Transformation of the sector is a priority for the RMI,” says Jakkie Olivier, CEO of RMI. “There is so much potential for job creation and new businesses. It is encouraging to see this development initiative underway and already making a difference in the participant’s businesses.”

“The main objectives of the programme are to ensure participants qualify, with the assistance of coaches and mentors. We want to provide support for the advancement of automotive repair and maintenance aftermarket enterprises, more specifically the small and developing black-owned enterprises. We also need to address challenges faced by SMMEs so they can play a meaningful role in the mainstream of the automotive repair and maintenance aftermarket sector,” he concludes.