Backyard mechanics believed they could fly – and they did – to Brazil

Lao Tzu once said that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. For a group of ambitious township mechanics in the Free State, this single step began with approaching the merSETA for funding to get training and qualify as artisans.

Jabu Madela and some of his fellow mechanics’ fortune and achievements stretched far beyond qualifying as an artisans. In 2018, they were selected by the Department of Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA) in the Free State to train for Master Automotive Technician qualifications for eight months in Brazil. This qualification is a combination of motor trades such as motor mechanic, panel-beating, spraypainting and auto electrical.

This group of mechanics had previously approached government requesting to work on their fleet vehicles in a bid to grow their businesses. Their efforts turned fruitless because they were not qualified mechanics, but the merSETA came to their rescue.

“We approached the merSETA in 2017 after we stumbled upon the challenge of not being able to secure business from government. Through the merSETA funding, we were able to undergo training and write Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning (ARPL) trade tests and qualify as mechanics. The aim was to breach this barrier and meet the requirement from government, which we accomplished,” explains Madela.

By Temana Masekela. Read the full article here: