VW Citi Golf days numbered

Volkswagen VW Citi GolfGerman reports suggest that the Volkswagen Citi Golf — currently produced only in South Africa — will end production in the coming months to make way for Uitenhage to concentrate on the new Polo and Jetta production from 2010.

“After nearly 32 years, Citi is clearly nearing the end of its life cycle,” the report quotes VWSA boss David Powels.

The ’70s Citi is the last of the cult model Golf 1 to be produced, but that production will cease as Uitenhage prepares for production of the latest VW Polo and Jetta from the plant.

“There are a couple more innovations up our sleeve before the legend bows out,” a VWSA spokesperson confirmed to Cars in Action Online. Which will certainly not be in 2009.”

Volkswagen is reported to be investing R3.5-billion in preparing the Uitenhage works in preparation for a new Polo and Jetta export deal and that will require Citi to end production to make way for the new line. The report also confirmed that VWSA will import the Argentinian-built Robust one-tonne bakkie to the South Africa — the third biggest pickup truck market in the world.

The report goes on to confirm that one in four new cars sold in SA is a Citi and that a record number of 28000 Citis was sold as recently as 2005. Citi is almost structurally identical to the original Golf 1 built in Germany from 1978 to 1983 and was introduced to the SA market as a low budget option in 1984. It remains on the market today, the report concluded.

Most interesting are the comments from internet surfers who are either amazed with VW’s audacity in selling so old a car or saluting the life of a legend…The report however fails to name a successor to Citi, an aspect we have already pondered.

source: iafrica Motoring

Large funeral for founder of Uitenhage UDF

POLITICAL activists and ANC supporters are expected to turn out in large numbers for the funeral of liberation struggle veteran and former Uitenhage councillor Nosipho Dastile, who will be buried on Saturday.

The funeral will be held at the Roman Catholic Church from 9am, while a memorial service will be held at the Babs Madlakane Hall in KwaNobuhle at 5pm today.

Dastile, 71, became a well-known political figure in the region as a founder of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in the town, the first president of the Uitenhage Women‘s Organisation, and chairman of the ANC Women‘s League in the town after the liberation movements were unbanned in 1990.

Dastile was one of the first councillors in the democratic Uitenhage Transitional Local Council from 1994 to 1999 with figures like current deputy Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Bicks Ndoni and the late Sanco leader Fikile Kobese.

Dastile‘s community involvement took shape while she was a teacher at the Little Flower Primary School and as a volunteer teacher at the Roman Catholic Mission School in Uitenhage.

At the time of her death after a long illness, she had retired from active politics and was a volunteer at the Ruth Dano Creche.

source: Weekend Post

Bay United crash out after spending R40m

Sipho PityanaDETAILS have been revealed of how Nelson Mandela Bay PSL soccer club Bay United – now likely to be sold and moving out of the Eastern Cape – spent R40-million. Meanwhile, finger-pointing between Umlilo and the municipality continues with club owner Sipho Pityana expressing disappointment “in the lack of support from the local municipality and the provincial government over the past year”.

After playing one season in top-flight football, the club has revealed there are four prospective buyers for the First Division franchise, should management decide to sell. Both the coach, Khabo Zondo, and the players, whose contracts expire at the end of this month, nervously await a final announcement on the future of the club on May 27.

The club revealed that of the four prospective buyers Uitenhage businessman Butityi Konki was the only bidder who had indicated he would be willing to keep the club in the province. The other three bidders are from Gauteng and the Western Cape. At a board meeting at the weekend, Pityana revealed that R40-million had been invested over the past two years in the club, which has failed to remain in the Premier League.

Pityana expressed the club‘s disappointment at the lack of support from the local municipality and the provincial government over the past year.

“This is not the time to point fingers at anybody, but … we feel we were seriously let down by those entrusted with the responsibility of managing recreational public facilities like stadiums,” he said.

“There‘s no way of sustaining a professional football franchise in the Nelson Mandela metro without some serious infrastructural support and involvement by the local and provincial spheres of government.”

According to club spokesman Vuyo Mvoko, United paid up to R108000 to the EP Rugby Union to host each of the two Premiership home games it played a month. The club was also required to erect a temporary fence around the stadium as well as hire a huge security personnel contingent, at an additional cost of about R150000.

Municipal spokesman Kupido Baron came to the defence of the metro. “The municipality did extremely well in supporting the club. Bay United never paid a cent for the usage of the stadium.

“The municipality paid all the money that was owed – R1,5-million – and assisted with the security fencing – about R70000 per game. We have proof of these payments and invite anyone wanting to see the evidence to come to us.

“We take the development of soccer very seriously, and jumped at the opportunity when Bay got promotion, with the hope that they would perform.

“We are still committed to the development of soccer in the region. We will go out once again to canvas to bring back top-flight football to the metro,” he said.

Safa NMB president Johnson Kula called for the intervention of the sports ministry in the possible departure of Umlilo from the region.

“Such a move would have disastrous consequences for soccer, not only in Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch, but in the entire Eastern Cape Province.

“Bay United was well on its way to becoming a legacy builder for the entire province, not only providing opportunities for our budding young talent but also administrators and technical officials.

“ Safa will be contacting the Minister of Sport, Makhenkesi Stofile, the MEC of sport, as well as the Nelson Mandela metropolitan municipality.

“We would like to have urgent meetings with them to see what can be done to salvage the situation. Bay United can bounce back and return to the Premier League,” Kula said.

Losing the team could spell bad news for the new stadium, but Baron gave his assurance it would continue to see top football in the future. “That will not change. Obviously it won‘t be on as frequent a basis as in the past year.

“But we will continue hosting big matches like some of the PSL games, Bafana Bafana and the Vodacom Challenge which we will be hosting in June,” Baron said.

source: Weekend Post

Work on R3,1 Million Clinic Site in KwaNobuhle Starts Today

The contractor, appointed by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to build a R3,1 million clinic in KwaNobuhle (Uitenhage), will start with the clearing of the site on Monday, indicating the beginning of better Primary Healthcare Services to the community of Gunuluza. Construction is expected to start a week later.

The building of a new 460 square meter clinic, to be situated on erf 21957, 75 Bantom Street, was necessitated since the Mabandla Clinic with three consulting rooms became too small to accommodate the more than 10 900 clients that visit the clinic monthly. As a result nurses shared consulting room space and the inadequate pharmacy room space and small waiting areas did not add value to a visit to this facility as well.

This is now a thing of the past as the new clinic will have six (6) consulting rooms, two waiting areas, a treatment room, a pharmacy, office space and more to enable dignified services to a community with a high prevalence of TB, HIV and High Blood Pressure.

Addressing an appreciative crowd at the sod turning this week, Public Health Standing Committee Chairperson, Cllr Nancy Sihlwayi, encouraged the community to immediately take ownership of the project and to act if they see anything untoward happening on the building site. She said the community is responsible for protecting the new building since it will impact their lives directly in a positive way.

“I appreciate the fact that we can give hope to this community today,” she added.

Sihlwayi also reminded residents that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is the only municipality in the Eastern Cape that deliberately budget and build clinics since the erection of Primary Healthcare Facilities is the constitutional responsibility of Provincial Government.

Dr Ebrahim Hoosain, Acting Executive Director of Public Health, said it is an honour to deliver the clinic and that efficient health services will be provided to so many people.

source: Posted by MyPE on Monday, May 11 @ 12:04:26 SAST

VWSA’s Polo production milestone

Volkswagen South Africa marked the production of its 400 000th Polo at its factory at Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape last month, with demand for the car being boosted by an earlier export order destined for Europe. Launched in South Africa in 1996, the second-generation Polo is top of the Ao hatch segment for the year to date, with a 19.8% market share.

“In addition, over the past two years, the Polo brand has claimed the title of South Africa’s most popular passenger car with sales far outnumbering its nearest rivals,” VW South Africa said in a statement last week.

Approximately 70 000 Polo hatchbacks have been exported to countries in the Asia Pacific region since 2002, while the company also secured an order for an addition 6 000 units for export to Germany.

“The new generation of this successful Volkswagen marquee will arrive in South African showrooms in 2010, having just been launched into the European market,” VWSA said.

Export markets

Volkswagen South Africa said earlier this year that 40% of its total planned production volume in 2009 would be exported. Its initial export of vehicles occurred in the early 1990s with the clinching of an export deal for 12 500 left-hand drive Jettas destined for China. It then proceeded to win orders for third-generation Golf GTIs to the United Kingdom, a significant order for fourth-generation Golfs to Europe and, in 2004, started exporting Polos and new Golfs to the Asia Pacific region.

Following on its Jetta export heritage, the company secured the order to export the latest Jetta model in May last year to countries including Australia, Japan and Great Britain.

source: SAinfo reporter, South African Information website.

Goodyear invests R70m locally

By Roy Cokayne

Despite the troubles in the automotive industry, global tyre company Goodyear Tire and Rubber Holdings has decided to invest R70 million in its Uitenhage plant.

The investment will equip the factory to produce three new and apparently technologically superior tyre products, including one specifically aimed at the minibus taxi market.

Jean-Jacques Wiroth, the managing director of Goodyear, said last week that this investment, in difficult economic times, reinforced Goodyear’s commitment to South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, which was regarded as an important and independent hub in the Goodyear world.

Wiroth said it was investing not only in its Uitenhage plant to produce the new products with new machinery, new moulds and various continuous improvement projects, but also in people and distribution channels, through continuous training and development.

He said the factory made products of world-class quality. It was proud that 90 percent of its production was sold locally, through a wide footprint of well-established distribution channels across sub-Saharan Africa.

Wiroth said new products were the lifeblood that ensured the consistent improvement of any business. New product drove Goodyear’s business and consequently it would increasingly produce new products.

Myles Dent, Goodyear’s marketing and communications manager, said the new products covered three different areas of application, with each representing a specific innovation.

Through the launch of the new products in South Africa, he said, Goodyear was comprehensively extending its range.

Goodyear said its new Duramax G22 could take on the most demanding road and traffic conditions and had been “engineered specifically for South Africa’s bright, brash and breezy minibus taxis, which are particularly hard on their tyres”.

Its new DuraGrip had been developed to cope with all the stop-start pressures of constant city driving in all weather conditions. The third new product, the Wrangler AT/SA, provided exceptional on- and off-road performance in wet and muddy conditions, while high-tensile steel belts improved the tyre’s strength and resistance to punctures.

Published on the web by Business Report on April 27, 2009.