Small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa employe an estimated 660 000 people and have long needed an official body to champion their rights. As South Africa’s economy reels from mining strikes that have negatively affected the vehicle industry, the Motor Traders’ Organisation (MTO) has been formed to aid SMMEs.The MTO, an employer’s body registered under the Labour Relations Act, is geared at representing speak to government on SMMEs behalf and, according to orginsers it is working with the Collision Repair Association, to act as an “umbrella body within the industry”. 'FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT'The MTO offers its members guidance regarding existing laws and regulations, particularly the Consumer Protection Act. MTO marketing manager Noel De Robillard said: “Importantly, as we seek to fight the good fight on behalf of small business owners we are determined to keep membership fees lower than they have traditionally paid to trade organisations while offering a much better service.”“One of MTOs main functions is to negotiate with trade unions on labour matters and this is covered by the membership fee.“It’s already enjoying the support of large dealerships, fuel stations, franchise workshops motor body repairers and auto electrical businesses. A call centre handles prospective member queries.”De Robillard said: “Now that we are up and running the response has been fantastic, we already have 263 members signed on and anticipate having 1000 registered within the next six months.” The initial joining fee is R1000 and annual Membership costs R3000.