Gauteng, Ford in skills partnership

first_img30 June 2010The Gauteng provincial government and Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa have jointly established a world-class Supplier Incubation Facility outside Pretoria as part of a R100-million investment in skills development in South Africa’s vehicle manufacturing industry.The public-private partnership between Gauteng and Ford serves as a blueprint for future projects, and the provincial government says it will continue to promote such partnerships in the manufacturing sector.Primary growth sectorBlue IQ, the provincial agency responsible for flagship projects such as the Gautrain, Newtown and the Nelson Mandela Bridge, facilitated the new training facility at Ford’s assembly site in Silverton.Blue IQ chief executive Amanda Nair says the agency considers the automotive industry as a primary growth sector in the future of Gauteng.The Supplier Icubation Facility will be attached to the Ford Motor Company’s production facility following its recent R3-billion investment to produce the T6 next-generation compact pick-up truck.An economic impact report recently concluded that Ford’s T6 Model will contribute R79-billion to the Gauteng economy over the next 15 years and create around 700 000 direct and indirect employment opportunities.Skills development and trainingThe Gauteng Government has committed R50-million for the construction of the facility and an additional R15-million for start-up costs for black economic empowerment (BEE) companies. A further R32-million is allocated for training and development programmes at the assembly plant.More than 400 people will be trained during 2010 and a further 50 people will benefit through the incubator programme. A four-year training and development plan is in place to develop skills and ensure the growth of a globally competitive workforce.Government investmentThe Gauteng provincial government has demonstrated its commitment to growth in the automotive industry by including this sector in its industrial policies and future strategies.It has provided the land adjacent to the Ford facility upon which a 7 200 square metre factory will be constructed. At least four new black businesses will be established at this factory to perform value-add sub-assembly work to main suppliers on the vehicle production line.“Our objective is that these [BEE] companies will acquire the skills and experience to eventually become full-fledged suppliers to the South African automotive sector,” said Nair.Supporting economic growth, jobsHuge setup and investment costs have, in the past, limited opportunities for smaller enterprises to participate in the industry, and the new initiative will assist prospective suppliers to overcome these hurdles.A governance board will be established between Ford, its major suppliers and government to evaluate applications, award opportunities to participate and monitor their performance.Blue IQ and its subsidiaries in the automotive sector will provide business training and mentoring while Ford and its suppliers will be responsible for the technical training, quality control and the monitoring of safety standards.At the conclusion of an initial 10-year period, the Supplier Incubation Facility will either be transferred to Ford or continue in its existing form, depending on the requirements of the company at that time.Nair said the project confirmed the value of Blue IQ as a facilitator of strategic infrastructure that supports economic growth and job creation.“The [public-private partnership] model we have put in place is working well. We are delighted that Ford has continued to expand their manufacturing commitments in the province of Gauteng.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Bharat Chettri to lead Indian hockey team in Olympics

first_imgGoalkeeper Bharat Chettri was named captain of the Indian hockey team for the London Olympics on Monday.The 16-member squad and two stand-bys were announced by Hockey India (HI) after a two-day (June 6-7) trial at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune.The trials were witnessed by HI selectors B.P. Govinda and Balbir Singh, with chief coach Michael Nobbs, assistant coach Mohammed Riaz, exercise physiologist David John and government observer Harbinder Singh.Sarvanjit Singh and Kothajit Singh are the two stand-bys while Sardar Singh has been named as the vice-captain.Eight-time champions India have been clubbed with Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea, New Zealand and Belgium in Group B. Australia, Great Britain, Spain, Pakistan, Argentina and South Africa are in Group A.India start their campaign against the Netherlands, July 30 at the Riverbank Arena. They next face New Zealand, August 1, Olympic champions Germany (August 3), South Korea (August 4) and Belgium (August 7).All the matches will be played on blue artificial turf with yellow kookaburra balls. The pitch has pink runways.The Indian team will reach London July 19 after its Europe tour of France and Spain.India, who missed the 2008 Beijing Games for the first time in 80 years, qualified for the 2012 London Games beating France 8-1 in the final match of the qualifier here earlier this year.The squad for the Europe tour:Goalkeepers: Bharat Chetri (captain) and P.R. SreejeshDefenders: V.R.Raghunath, Ignace Tirkey, Sandeep SinghMidfielders: Sardar Singh (vice captain), Kothajit Singh, Gurbaj Singh, Birendra Lakra, Manpreet SinghForwards: S.V. Sunil, Gurwinder Singh Chandi, Sarvanjit Singh, Shivendra Singh, Danish Mujtaba, Tushar Khandker, Dharamvir Singh, S.K. UthappaadvertisementTeam officials: Michael Nobbs (chief coach), Mohammed Riaz (coach), Clarence Lobo (coach), David John (physiotherapist), Shrikant Iyengar (manager), Hari Shanker Narayanan (video analyst)last_img read more