Serving your industry – a word from RMI’s CEO

This month signals the start of our bi-annual RMI Regional and Constituent Associational AGMs – and once again I would like to emphasise just how important this process is when industry is electing office bearers to represent the organisation over the next two years.

Once elected, office bearers become the face of the industry and are empowered with the responsibility of driving growth and change in the sector. Office bearers fulfil a very key role to ensure that our industry, the automotive aftermarket, remain sustainable and profitable. In fact, through the efforts and drive of our elected and appointed governance structures, the RMI and its associations keep the economy’s wheels turning – without vehicles and all the related activities to keep these vehicles on the road, the economy would come to a complete standstill.

I would like to sincerely thank those members who have been elected to serve. We greatly appreciate the time and dedication this requires and the hugely valuable role they play in the organisation. Members who are willing and able to make a difference, are encouraged to consider standing for office. We also look forward to hearing from anyone who may not be elected, but believes they have the skills and experience to add value to their association. We need the support of as many of our members as possible.

The elections thus far have left me deeply encouraged because of the diversity we are attracting with the appointment of a number of highly experienced women and members of colour. This strongly supports our strategic transformation imperatives.

The current and unprecedented environment that we find ourselves in, creates the ideal opportunity for Team RMI and our elected office bearers to embrace the future challenges.

On a personal note, and on a different topic, I would like to express how blessed we are as a nation to finally have safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, which are now available to most. There are several important reasons I gladly took the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition to my own personal safety and peace of mind, I took the vaccine for my immediate family and friends. Nothing is more important than our own health and the love we have for our family, which made taking the COVID-19 vaccine such an easy choice for me. By the time this magazine is available, I should have received my second dose.

The other important reason why the RMI executives and I took the vaccine was for the protection of our fellow RMI colleagues. At the RMI we expect our employees and members to live our mission, vision and values, and to lead by example every day. As the leaders of our organisation, I felt it was incredibly important to demonstrate, very publicly and transparently, that we have taken the vaccine and are doing our part since we are encouraging our members and their employees to do the same to protect each other. The media headlines are unfortunately filled with news about the alarming slowdown in the number of vaccines being administered. Five months after administering its first vaccines, SA is still far from meeting its target of reaching 70% of the population. Just over 13% of the citizens have been vaccinated and only 7% have been fully vaccinated with two doses of the Pfizer jab or the Johnson & Johnson single dose.

The pandemic has come at a huge cost for so many of us – personally, as a community and a nation. We have the opportunity to bring this virus under control and getting vaccinated is the first step.

Together we can help eradicate COVID-19, but it will require each and every one of us doing our individual part.

Thank you for your support and continued interest in taking care of your loved ones.

Jakkie Olivier