The Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) in Gauteng has produced the first graduate from its Automotive Incubation Centre project at Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant.

The Incubation Programme was established by Gauteng provincial government, in conjunction with the AIDC, which is a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), an entity owned by the provincial government’s Department of Economic Development.

Its aim is to provide manufacturing opportunities for small and medium enterprises to enter the automotive industry.

Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has proudly been part of this initiative since it was launched at the company’s Silverton Assembly plant in 2011.

“The incubation programme is focused on enterprise development support to empower SMME’s to run sound and sustainable businesses through structured training and mentoring programmes aimed at giving the entrepreneurs the required technical and business acumen skills,” said Jeff Nemeth, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company of Sub-Saharan Africa.

The first graduate of this successful Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) programme is Caiphus Mokotedi.

“This project has been an extremely valuable stepping stone for me and I am very grateful for the opportunity that the AIDC and Ford have given me through the Incubation Programme,” Mokotedi said.

“The training and support have given me the solid grounding to start up my own new business, which will now become an integral part of Ford’s manufacturing operations,” he added.

Zig Enterprises, headed by Mokotedi, has been awarded the tender for Ford’s new Vehicle Personalisation Centre (VPC) which is located adjacent to the Silverton Assembly Plant. This facility will give customers  of the South African-built Ford Ranger the opportunity to equip their vehicles at factory level to suit specific needs and requirements.