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RMI celebrates 100 years in SA

2008-10-22 10:00
The Retail Motor Industry (RMI) will use the Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS) as part of its centenary celebrations.

Sir Albert Atkey formed the South African Society of Motor Traders (SASMT) with 17 members in 1908 and the RMI was born nine years ago when its predecessor, the Motor Industries’ Federation (MIF) was completely restructured. The industry body currently has around 7 800 members.

One of the key roles of the RMI is to address the lack of skills in the industry.

R5m towards training

It is estimated that there is currently a shortage of about 9 000 petrol vehicle technicians and 2 500 diesel specialists, and the RMI recently pledged a further R5m towards training that will close this gap.

The RMI is part of a joint initiative by Naamsa (National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa) and Naacam (National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers) to train more than 36 000 people in technical disciplines – either as technicians or artisans – until 2012.

This programme has the backing of MerSETA and the final cost was expected to be in excess of R1bn.

“The RMI will use JIMS to highlight the opportunities for employment within the broader motor industry, with the growth of the vehicle population contributing to a widespread skills shortage which is exacerbated by the sophisticated nature of modern product,” said Jeff Osborne, the RMI's chief executive officer.

“Momentum is gathering to attract school-leavers and career-seekers back to the technical side of the business,” Osborne added.

Focus on safety

A new area of focus for the organisation is the promotion of a road safety initiative through endorsement of the Road Safety Foundation, an organisation established recently by motoring personalities Dr Phillip Hull and Petro Kruger.

The organisation would be re-branded as the RMI Road Safety Foundation.

The Johannesburg International Motor Show takes place at the National Exhibition Centre, Johannesburg, from Saturday November 1 to Sunday November 9.


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