• Background
  • Challenges
  • Solution
  • Results

The Rand West Brake and Clutch started operating in 2010 and was registered in 2011 as a Close Corporation. The business is owned by Mr. Thabo Linus Sihlangu. Through the help of his family, Mr. Sihlangu bought a Jewellery franchise. He bought and distributed jewelry from 1997 to 1998. In 1999, he inherited the family business, a taxi and transport business operating within the local routes between Randfontein, Joburg and North West. The business then expand- ed to include gross boarder transit between Westonaria and Musina in Mozambique, but due to the escalating running costs and the complexity of the passenger transport industry, Mr. Sihlangu subsequently exited the business to take advantage of the networks and opportunities established within the vehicle repairs and spares fitting industry. The services offered by the business are brakes and clutch supply, repairs, fitting & maintenance. It also does reconditioning of old brakes & clutches to resell them. Major clients currently include Wesbank Auto and the West Rand District Municipality (WRDM). The company operates within the Central Business District (CBD) in Randfon- tein Town and has the capacity for 18 light-duty vehicles. The monthly rental is R7200 (R4200 for workshops and R3000 for the office space. It also caters to residential clients from the surrounding areas and to lesser extent local taxi drivers. GEP provided business development support and the company received marketing material in 2011. In addition, GEP assisted 2013) through GEP assistance. The business buys parts from reputable suppliers that sell quality products at discounted rates. The following are some of the suppliers that is Safeline, Sachs, KBC and Luk Clutches. The auto repair and maintenance industry is highly competitive with a variety of players. Rand West’s core competitive advantage lies in its ability to deliver superior services and good customer services. In addition Rand West has been recognised as an accredited fitment and service center by major insurance and fleet management organisations. The company is registered with Innovation Group, Motorite Insurance Administrators, Wesbank Auto and Standard Bank Fleet. The company has invested approximately above a million Rand in machinery, equipment, vehicles, office furniture, property development, security, parts and workshops etc. The amount also includes money spent on outsourcing some equipment they do not currently have. Rand West employs over 10 employees. Through the assistance of GEP the company was able to access the services of a specialist to conduct property valuation in 2014 in order to acquire a property for expansion purposes. The expansion will increase the vehicle handling capacity as well as efficiency to deliver quality services to the clients.

The company lacked Human Resources policies to ensure compliance with Labour Relations Act. The business did not have sufficient equipment, financial support, property valuation and Business development training.

GEP conducted a thorough assessment of the business operations and the owner was advised to implement interventions provided by GEP. Those interventions were in the form of marketing tools and electronic financial management systems. The market- ing project consists of signage and other printed marketing material. The owner and team members were also advised to attend GEP training to further develop their basic business skills. The property valuation report was able to assist the company to acquire funding from GEP financial support to the value of R1 379 412. Renovations are currently underway at the new property to finalise the workshops in terms of erecting the structure and roofing.

The business turnover has increased from R300 000.00 in 2013 to R1 800 000.00 in 2014. By acquiring the property the company was able to save R4200.00 in monthly rental, which will now go towards the payment of GEP loan. The property also provided a sense of security since the company now owns it. Additional machinery will also supplement the capacity to deliver good quality services and products. The company now employs about 10 people.