Meet the winner of Motor Mech 2024
Jonathan Brady Du Toit (centre) scooped first place with Tjaart van der Walt second and Ashley K. Tom third.

On the 15 June twelve talented young students battled it out for top honours at the Port Rex Motor Mech show.  There can however only be one winner and this year top honours went to 19 year-old Grade 12 student, Johnathan du Toit from Daniel Pienaar Technical High, who travelled all the way from Kariega to compete in the competition.

Du Toit, who is still reeling with excitement says it truly felt like a dream coming true and enjoyed the stiff competition from the other competitors.

“Winning the Motor Mech Competition is a step forward to a brighter future.  Life is challenging. One always hears about other people who win.  This time, I have won!  I can now start my future with a smart tool set (my prize) which makes my life easier already,” notes du Toit.

Johnathan is used to being around cars as his dad runs a workshop in Kariega and he spends many hours during school holidays working at the workshop. This experience definitely benefited him. “My dad always reminds me one makes mistakes when one becomes anxious so I remembered this during the competition and managed to stay calm.”

The competition is run nationally by the Motor Industry Workshop Association, a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI). MIWA spent some time with Johnathan and this is what he had to share:

Could you share what the most exciting and challenging parts of the competition were for you?

I found the diagnostics to be the most exciting and challenging part.  It doesn't matter how well you know your trade - if you don't know where to look, then you have a problem. 

Best advice for other young people who are interested in entering the motoring sector

Always remain calm.  Trust yourself and trust and believe in the service you render.  Never fear the unexpected.  Set your goals.  Maintain your standards.

How important is support from others?

It makes a huge difference. I wish to personally thank my teachers from Daniel Pienaar Technical High School, namely Mr Ludeke, Mr Vermaak and Mr Welgemoed.  And, a special word of thanks to my father who travelled with me to the Motor Mech Competition.

What is next on the cards for you?

After I have completed Grade 12, I would like to qualify as a Petrol and Diesel Mechanic.  Further studies also include studying to be an Architect and an IT Specialist.  I truly believe in lifelong learning.

You’ve set a new benchmark for these talented young competitors. How does that make you feel?

I feel absolutely great! Knowing that I have set the new norm against which future competitors will be judged has boosted my confidence and has left me feeling absolutely amazing.

Despite the fact that you are living with a hearing disability, you’ve shown that it’s not an obstacle if you have the confidence. Can you share more about this experience?

Don't let anything in life try to get you down.  Live with it and make something of it.  Even with my hearing problem, I am gifted (as my parents always say) because I not only service cars, but can also play the guitar and piano.

“We are exceptionally proud of Johnathan and all the young students who competed in the competition. The standard is getting better every year. This is exactly the kind of competition the show needs to showcase and attract upcoming and aspiring mechanics, and to demonstrate how passionate our industry is about training and drawing young talent into the sector. We are serious about fostering future careers in the automotive industry and it is a privilege to have collaborated once again with Port Rex Technical High School on this event and to have contestants from our other Motor Mech school in the Eastern Cape, Daniel Pienaar, also competing,” concludes Teresa Spenser Higgs, MIWA Regional Vice Chairperson for the Eastern Cape.