NAACAM manufacturers recognised at inaugural Black Industrialists and Exporters Conference
(L to R) Renai Moothilal (NAACAM, Executive Director); Deshan Naidoo (CEO, Microfinish); Jabulani Selumane (CEO, AITF); Kevin Pather (CEO; Delta Automotive Technologies)

ational Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) member, Microfinish, manufacturers of precision-machined automotive components including critical engine components, has won the Black Industrialist Exporter Award at the inaugural Black Industrialists and Exporters Conference.

The company, an early beneficiary of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) Black Industrialists Scheme (BIS), operates a manufacturing facility in Durban, which primarily supports exports into European markets. Key customers of Microfinish include Porsche, Toyota and Mercedes Benz.

Microfinish’s Deshan Naidoo, NAACAM National Executive Committee (NEC) member and one of the youngest automotive component CEOs, received the award from President Cyril Ramaphosa and Gauteng Premier, David Makhura. “This has been a long journey for us. Over the last eight years, our youth-dominated leadership team has worked hard to create a culture of excellence and become a world class, lean manufacturing outfit that thrives on change and technological innovation while delivering meticulous, quality products timeously,” said Naidoo.

A number of NAACAM members participated in and were recognised during the conference, including Adient/P Pather Investments, Formex Industries and Steel Best Manufacturing Services.

“Supporting the development and growth of Black-owned automotive component suppliers is one of several objectives delivered on by NAACAM. In supporting the South African Automotive Masterplan (SAAM 2035), the association provides interventions to improve the competitiveness of these suppliers; identify new opportunities; and develop critical technical skills, to ultimately support unlocking much-needed localisation and greater export levels in the sector,” NAACAM executive director Renai Moothilal said.

Speaking at the conference he said, “Local component sector growth and increasing levels of inclusivity requires proactive intervention, which NAACAM has a long track record of delivering on, in a way that supports our wide membership base, as well as the full South African automotive manufacturing sector.”

NAACAM has collaborated with the Automotive Industry Transformation Fund (AITF) to unlock transformative opportunities in automotive manufacturing. The AITF facilitates transformation across the sector through the provision of access to developmental funding, access to markets in the OEM value chain, and access to capacity development for qualifying Black-owned entities. AITF CEO, Jabulani Selumane reflected on the positive outcomes. “The AITF is excited to see how Black-owned component beneficiaries of our support, like Steel Best and Formex, are taking their place in this competitive value chain.”

Steel Best Manufacturing Services, a high pressure die caster of automotive components participated in the exhibition. Reuben Olifant, Steel Best’s Executive Chairman and NAACAM NEC member, congratulated Minister Ebrahim Patel and the dtic on prioritising the needs of Black Industrialists and providing tangible tools to support their development. “It was a pleasure to see how Black-owned manufacturing companies have started to showcase innovation and excellence in their operations and become leading industrial players. Particularly in the automotive component sector, where our components make their way into vehicles destined for global markets”, said Olifant.