The Automotive Manufacturing Industry Certificate (AMIC) has been the benchmark for vehicle manufacturers in South Africa for many years, but this certificate has not been aligned to unit standards. This has meant that learners who have gone through the learning process have achieved valuable skills, but have not received any form of recognition for these skills. Various interventions have been entered into over the years to try and align the AMIC programme with SAQA unit standards and qualifications, but it was found that the AMIC programme was more complex than a SAQA qualification and covered various unrelated areas. This difficulty has been addressed by focusing achievement of this qualification on the essential elements of vehicle manufacturing and allowing manufacturers to choose additional existing courses for their learners in more generic areas such as logistics, administration, quality assurance and technical non-production. This means that a qualification can now be developed to give recognition for all people who work in a vehicle manufacturing plant in any of the areas identified as a specialisation for this qualification.
South Africa has adopted a much more labour intensive approach to manufacturing vehicles in order to provide jobs and meet economic requirements. Each of the above countries use skilled artisans to manufacture vehicles, and focus on advanced technology and robotics more than the South African manufacturers. These countries also only employ qualified people in the manufacturing plant, whereas South Africa employs unskilled labour that can be trained to this qualification in a manner that integrates learning and work. Where additional training is required in the other countries, training is conducted off the production line, whereas the training in South Africa is conducted in the plant.
Elements of the Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) in the UK have been used in benchmarking best practice procedures in some of the unit standards used in this qualification. The NVQ qualifications offered in the UK cover all the same objectives of this qualification but at a higher level of complexity. The qualifications are offered as an internship wherein the learner enrols with a college or training centre for the theoretical component, and achieves the practical component in-house. The qualifications are all based on specific levels of performance, and lead to progressive levels of complexity, but are identified as separate qualifications.The qualifications offered in Germany are also vocational qualifications with theoretical components being achieved through a specified period at a training centre. The qualifications are aimed at achieving complete competence in all aspects of vehicle manufacturing through a progressive series of qualifications and includes mechanical, electrical and coach works. The training programmes are progressive qualifications of one-year duration each and include ongoing training through workbooks in which the trainee is required to complete evidence of understanding for each month of the registered year of learning. Germany has a requirement that competent people be licensed to operate under the meister (master craftsman) programme, and this licence is valid for a period of two years.
America uses a system of specialisation areas, with a master technician
being identified as a person who is competent in all areas and will be
able to assemble any part of a vehicle. The learning is conducted
through apprenticeships and has specialisation areas for engine
technicians, transmission technicians, steering and suspension
technicians, brake technicians, electrical system technicians, heating
and air-conditioning technicians, driveability and performance
technicians and lubrication technicians.
Other African countries do not have full manufacturing plants, but
import semi knocked down units that are then assembled by trained
operators without a formal qualification. It is anticipated that this
qualification will have a strong appeal within the African market and
will provide qualifications for people that would otherwise be
unrecognised for their skills and knowledge.
Registration as vehicle manufacturer or importerShould you want to manufacture, import or build motor vehicles in South Africa for profit, you must first register with the provincial department of transport. Once the department receives your application, it will send an inspector to determine if you comply with the relevant regulations. Your business will also be subjected to South African Police Service (SAPS) clearance.
- Go to the provincial department of transport and submit the following:
- a completed application and notice in respect of manufacturer/importer/ builder of vehicles (MIB) form
- certified copy of the applicant’s identity document (ID)
- certified copy of the proxy’s ID (if the applicant is a body of persons)
- certified copy of the business certificate (if the applicant is a body of persons)
- letter of proxy if you represent a company
- custom code number from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) (if you are an importer)
- proof of VAT registration from SARS