GUD Filters have made a substantial investment towards the start up fee for a BBEEE enterprise development company, Filpro (Pty) Limited. Filpro is dedicated to the development and training of backyard and road side mechanics within the informal sector. Through education and empowerment Filpro aims to contribute towards the growth of South Africa’s economy through job creation and the development of small businesses.
GUD Filters are the market leaders in automotive filters and have set the example by partnering with NGK Spark Plugs to uplift informal workers within the automotive industry. Filpro General Manager of Operations, Mboneni Magada, is no stranger to informal business development, having previously worked as a project manager at the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC).
Filpro began its grassroots phase in the Gauteng region in Soweto and the East Rand where Filpro project co-ordinators identified and classified all informal mechanics and spares shops. These groups have been sub-divided into four categories namely, informal mechanics with no formal business structure, the mechanic with minimal structure to his business, workshops and spares shops.
120 informal mechanics attended Filpro’s first product technical training on 7th– 8th March 2012 and basic business training during 14th-29th March 2012. They were taught basic business principles to add value to their business. In May basic business management skills workshops were carried out in Vosloorus and Daveyton.
Kwa-Zulu Natal followed in May 2012 in Umlazi, Isipingo, Illovu, Mbumbulu, Adams Mission, Kwamakhutha, Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu. Local Counsellors were informed and involved with the process; they endorsed the Filpro programme and got the buy in from the community.
Filpro have to date conducted six training sessions where basic business skills training and product training on GUD filters and NGK spark plugs were carried out and each attendee received tools to assist them with their business.
The interest from the automotive industry has been overwhelming with many vehicle manufacturers offering their assistance. GUD Filters and NGK Spark Plugs recognise the importance of developing the informal market segment in South Africa and provide support to these businesses to garner loyalty to the brands but also actively contribute to the growth of South Africa’s economy.
A group of the informal mechanics with Filpro Co-ordinators at a training presentation