Trade Hand positions available at Transnet

50 positions available as a Trade Hand (Transnet), assisting technical
staff with servicing maintenance & repairs on mechanical equipment.

Must have Matric & 1 – 2 years experience with basic tools. Must be mechanically & technically minded. Salary R8300, shift work.

Male & female. Please email CV to wendys@towergroup.co.za

(closing date: 5 Sept 2012)

KwaNobuhle farm taking off

by Sipho Masondo HERALD REPORTER masondos@avusa.co.za

Uitenhage KwaNobuhle farmersTHERE is a sweet smell of success about a project in Uitenhage that was started to help alleviate the misery of a group of impoverished people – it is now helping to add flavour to German cuisine

While many farms have failed under the government‘s land reform programme, the Uitenhage-KwaNobuhle Farm community project is providing shelter, food and a steady income for its 55 beneficiaries.

Administrative manager Mlamleli Maseti said failure was not an option for the group.

Besides supplying Port Elizabeth export company Dynamic Commodities with sweet baby peppers, the beneficiaries pride themselves on having developed the 38ha farm into a productive operation.

They supply retailers like the Fruit and Veg and Spar groups, BC Brothers and the Uitenhage and Motherwell markets, as well as hawkers, with fresh vegetables like cabbage, spinach, carrots, green beans and beetroot.

Maseti said the secret to making the farm work was listening to the people. “You can‘t make it without the people. When we started in early 2003 the land was bare. There will always be ups and downs where many people are involved because they bring different minds and backgrounds. But we constantly remind them about the purpose of coming together. It‘s about teamwork and having a good support system.”

Maseti said Dynamic Commodities supplied the farm with sweet baby pepper seedlings, which are planted on 10ha. “The produce that we export is huge and the profit is very good. We get about R4 for 1kg, and we are looking at more than 15 tons a hectare. The sweet baby peppers are ripe and we started harvesting last week. This is agriculture and we do experience ups and downs, but generally we are doing well.”

However, he said the crop had not done quite as well last year, when it was piloted for the first time on 5ha after they had entered into an agreement with Dynamic Commodities.

“It was trial and error last year. In the end we managed to break even – we made a little profit. We made mistakes but we have learned.”

Maseti said the farm employed about 50 permanent staff, which escalated to more than 200 people during harvesting season.

He said the farm‘s success was due to the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, which leases the land to the group, and to other role players like the Uitenhage-Dispatch Development Initiative, VWSA and the Eastern Cape agriculture department, which assisted in various ways.

VWSA donated about R3- million, which the farm accesses in stages. The agriculture department assisted with farming implements, including a tractor, fencing and irrigation infrastructure, while UDDI provided project management expertise.

UDDI project manager Sandile Adam said the farm was divided into two phases. The 20ha first phase is for conventional farming of vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, sweet baby peppers, spinach and beetroot, under drip irrigation.

Phase2 involves organic and greenhouse farming. “We will have high-value crops like tomatoes and cucumbers in greenhouses on about 18ha. We are already putting up fencing and irrigation systems.”

Uitenhage celebrates Women’s Day Inspiration

This is the story of the first conference where I was the MC, the event organiser, the host and everything else.

“Yes!!! I did it.” I, Yusuf Moses, pulled it off…

I overcame my fear of speaking on a stage. When I got on that stage I felt that I had the power to change the world just with the words that I conveyed and that was frightening. That’s the one thing that made me tremble with fear and made me stutter; however, I knew if I didn’t get onto that stage at that moment I would disappoint all the people and most of all I would disappoint my mother, Halimah Moses, and Mrs Elizabeth Muller. Moreover, I would surely not want to disappoint  Ramon Thomas and make him lose  trust and confidence that he had in me. I believed I had a message, and it was an important one: I wanted to inspire Uitenhage, I wanted to educate them.

That is why I had to get onto that stage. The morning of Saturday, 9th August 2008, I was nervous and in a moment of near panic I felt like running away but deep down inside of me I knew that it would haunt me for the rest of my life. Running would become much easier next time … I would never achieve my dream of standing in front on people and changing their lives.

I am happy that I went through with it because I learned some valuable lessons:

Lesson 1

It is possible for an individual to change the world like Thomas Edison, Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale. I read and heard such stories about these great people in history, changing the world, but that was “history” to me. It seemed unreal; even Nelson Mandela too far fetched because I had never before experienced that power of speaking to the world. I did not realize that when I stepped onto that stage but…. when I got down after my last words I realized that one person can change the world.

Lesson 2

People want to help you succeed. There were people that I met not long before my big women’s inspirational day who went out of their way to help me succeed. Every time that I had to ask someone something, I reflected on whether I would be willing to do that for someone else? Then I would answer, “Yes, but that is not me.” That’s when I started to doubt them. Yet that’s when I learned to put my trust in what people say and to believe that they would follow through. (I learned to trust people again.)

Lesson 3

I learned to appreciate everyone I knew. For the first time I really appreciated the people that came and I could help them to help themselves even more. But the greatest reward was seeing the faces in the crowd wanting to hear more of what I had to say. It was people like Mr Antony Larter, telling Ramon, “It will help Yusuf if we clapped a bit.” It was Mrs Muller nodding her head when I said, “Never let anyone take away your dignity”.  Women are dream builders.

It was Mrs Olwen Carson running around at the very last minute for me, Yusuf Moses, whom she had met just a few days ago; she had known nothing about me, yet there she was helping me find a “tea pot” for the event. I can still feel the lump in my throat and tears welling up in my eyes but I kept them back because I felt that I would still need to approach a thousand more people and I had to be strong when I met them.

There was Mrs Gretal Olivier who came all the way from Alexandria telling me that it was not my fault that this public speaking was a fear to me; at her school it was part of the curriculum and if it had been a part of my curriculum a few years back it would not have been a fear. It was people like Mrs Karen telling me, ”You did a great job organizing this much needed yet so neglected event”. I could see the pride in my mother’s eyes. Only a few days earlier I had told her that I was resigning and I could see her dream of me working at a factory for 10,20 or even 40 years being shattered.

Now she proudly told me, “Yusuf, my son, you are now an adult and I can no longer choose for you. But remember I will stand behind you in whatever you choose to do with your life, because you have never let me down before”. I will never ever forget these timeless words that she said. It was for Mrs Lizy of the friends of the Uitenhage Library just smiling with appreciation. It was for Gareth whom I work with for telling me, “Hey, bro, just relax”

Jobs boom follows R1bn plan to boost local content at VWSA

UP TO 1000 motor industry jobs could be created in the next nine months in the Eastern Cape following a R1billion investment plan unveiled yesterday by Volkswagen SA and component managers for Uitenhage.

VWSA managing director David Powels said the investments were being taken to “step up to the challenge and opportunity presented by the new automotive production and development programme (APDP) by attracting several key national and international component manufacturers to set up operations in Uitenhage”.

Powels said the R1bn investment came as a result of VWSA challenging components suppliers to “significantly improve processes and productivity levels to both survive and grow in the medium term”.

As a result, five suppliers were already establishing manufacturing facilities in the Nelson Mandela Bay logistics park established by the Coega Development Corporation, adjacent to VW’s Uitenhage factory. A sixth supplier would set up operations at the entrance to the Uitenhage industrial area.

The suppliers are interior plastic components manufacturer Faurecia Interior Systems, metal pressing parts manufacturer Bloxwich Industries, side mirrors and cables manufacturer Flextech, bumper systems manufacturer Rehau Polymer, and headliner and door panels manufacturer Grupo Antolin. Nelson Mandela Bay’s Bel-Essex Engineering was also in the process of constructing a new facility directly opposite the Volkswagen plant.

Volkswagen itself announced earlier this year that it would be investing more than R3bn in its own manufacturing and related activities from this year through to the end of 2010. That investment would also create several hundred jobs, Powels said at the time.

Yesterday, Powels said: “Our company has instituted an unprecedented focus on dramatically increasing manufacturing depth and extent of the local component supplier industry.

“The new APDP presents the opportunity to revolutionise the South African supplier component industry which has a long way to travel before it can claim global competitiveness.

“In terms of cost competitiveness, there’s an approximate 20% gap to manufacturers in Western Europe. The gap widens to more than 30% when comparing domestic automotive manufacturing cost structures to those in emerging automotive power houses such as India, China and Russia. There is only one way in which the automotive manufacturing industry in SA will be able to survive in the medium to long term – by securing much higher levels of local content. This includes the need to introduce new technologies and increase the use of local materials in the domestic component manufacturing industry.”

CDC chief executive Pepi Silinga said the initiative would send a positive message to the auto industry and strengthen the position of the region in the sector. “The positive impact of these developments to the economy of the Eastern Cape will be huge. They will bring dramatic shifts in people’s lives in the metro and in the province far sooner than expected.”

The VWSA announcement comes only days after General Motors in Port Elizabeth announced that it would shed 1000 jobs by the end of year, and Ford, with operations in Port Elizabeth and Pretoria, said it would be shedding 800 jobs.

GM shed more than 400 jobs earlier this year and is now in the process of reducing its head-count by several hundred more, with more cuts planned through to the end of the year.

Source: The Herald, Avusa Group News