Toy­ota opens door wider for black em­pow­er­ment with R42m trust

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS NEWS - Roy Cokyane

TOY­OTA SA Mo­tors (Tsam) has cre­ated an em­pow­er­ment trust to which it has seeded R42 mil­lion for skills and en­ter­prise devel­op­ment.

Tsam pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive, An­drew Kirby, said this week that the trust would start its op­er­a­tions in Jan­uary and its first ini­tia­tive would in­volve sup­port­ing the train­ing of skilled tech­ni­cians in the au­toma­tion field.

Kirby stressed this ini­tia­tive was com­pletely un­re­lated to the one launched re­cently by seven orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers (OEMs) to cre­ate a R3.5 bil­lion trans­for­ma­tion fund.

“That is re­ally is to try and sup­port the mas­ter plan in terms of be­ing able to sup­port black in­dus­tri­al­ists pur­chas­ing into our sup­ply base as a pri­or­ity,” he said.

Kirby said trans­for­ma­tion was a key chal­lenge for Toy­ota SA and the in­dus­try and some­thing Toy­ota SA took very se­ri­ously.

“We have been ac­cel­er­at­ing the num­ber of ini­tia­tives over the last few years, but we need to do a lot more.

“There are two as­pects to it. We need to make sure that the broad-based black eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment (BBBEE) score­card does not de­tract from the real chal­lenges around trans­for­ma­tion and we also have to look at the whole value chain and not only our Toy­ota SA com­pany,” he said.

Kirby said the group would look at their value chain, in­clud­ing all their sup­pli­ers, Toy­ota SA as the as­sem­bler and OEM and also its dealer net­work.

“We have to think care­fully about how we go about this in a way that is sus­tain­able and can ac­cel­er­ate the rate of trans­for­ma­tion.

“We have more than 40 000 peo­ple who are ded­i­cated to sup­port­ing Toy­ota and our sup­plier base and that is where the largest por­tion of in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and grow­ing black in­dus­tri­al­ists can take place,” he said.

Kirby said Toy­ota SA had achieved re­cent suc­cess and had 17 sup­pli­ers that it had been able to in­cu­bate, of which 10 were only black-owned. Toy­ota SA al­ready had 248 black-owned sup­pli­ers, of which 101 were fe­male black-owned.

“But there is a lot of work to be done to sup­port that and our key ap­proach is to lo­calise more parts so we can also bring some trans­for­ma­tion into the com­po­nent sup­pli­ers,” he said.

Kirby added that Toy­ota SA had more than 7 500 em­ploy­ees and a num­ber of ini­tia­tives for th­ese em­ploy­ees.

He said the com­pany’s grad­u­ate trainee pro­gramme, for ex­am­ple, took on about 16 new grad­u­ates ev­ery year, of which about 85 per­cent were African fe­males or males.

“We have had some very good suc­cesses as we see them move up into mid­dle and se­nior man­age­ment and will con­tinue with that,” he said.

Kirby said Toy­ota SA also had a huge train­ing pro­gramme where it had more than 450 learn­er­ships, in­clud­ing pro­duc­tion learn­ers and pro­grammes to sup­port the dis­abled and un­em­ployed.

“We can’t ab­sorb all of those peo­ple and that is our con­tri­bu­tion to so­ci­ety and the in­dus­try at the same time,” he said.

But Kirby said Toy­ota SA’s big­gest chal­lenges from a BBBEE score­card per­spec­tive was on the en­ter­prise and sup­plier devel­op­ment side, where one of the key tar­gets was to gain points for us­ing the very small sup­pli­ers, the ex­empted mi­cro-en­ter­prises (EMEs) and qual­i­fy­ing small en­ter­prises (QSEs).

Kirby said EMEs had turnovers of less than R10m a year and QSEs R50m a year.

“We al­ready have 207 EMEs and 195 QSEs, but for us to get the full points, we need to grow that to 600 EMEs and 900 QSEs, which is enor­mous.

“Quite frankly that just doesn’t ex­ist in South Africa and we are go­ing to have to in­cu­bate a lot more of th­ese sup­pli­ers, de­velop the peo­ple, have some cre­ative ways in which we can de­velop more of those types of or­gan­i­sa­tions.

“Un­for­tu­nately the thresh­old does not re­ally work for the motor in­dus­try. That is some­thing we re­ally need to think about,” Kirby said.

He added Toy­ota SA would also from a ser­vice or even parts sup­ply point of view look at op­por­tu­ni­ties to bring in new small sup­pli­ers.

PHOTO SIMPHIWE MBOKAZI

TOY­OTA SA Mo­tors chief ex­ec­u­tive An­drew Kirby has re­vealed the group has got the wheels turn­ing for an ex­cit­ing skills and en­ter­prise devel­op­ment trans­for­ma­tion ini­tia­tive.

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