Two new black-owned suppliers have joined the Volkswagen Group

South Africa (VWSA) supplier base after completing a mentoring programme offered by the company.

KPL Die Casting and Thekwini Wire, both beneficiaries of VWSA’s Project Ntinga, have begun supplying parts for the Polo and Polo Vivo models, built in Kariega, in the Eastern Cape.

Project Ntinga was launched in 2017 to develop black-owned suppliers to the automotive industry through an intensive mentoring and coaching programme. 

Five winners were originally selected to participate from a group of more than 300 suppliers.

“We were fortunate to be trained by the VWSA team, and we also had an automotive expert appointed as our mentor, who guided us to become a more valuable supplier within the automotive sector’s supply chain,” says Thekwini Wire director Bala Moodley.

The Durban-based Thekwini Wire, which opened in 2009, is currently a second-tier supplier, providing parts to one of VWSA’s direct suppliers, which, in turn, provides parts for the Polo. 

“The insight from the VWSA production site visits helped us to implement newer ways of working, and improved our ability to streamline our processes,” says Moodley.

“We also gained the confidence to approach other automotive manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers for work.”

KPL Die Casting has been supplying a component to VWSA for the Polo Vivo model. 

“Through Project Ntinga, KPL gained more capacity to respond to market demands, and learned the importance of using globally recognised quality business processes,” explains KPL owner and MD Sally Marengo.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, KPL was also assisted by the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Initiatives Trust, which was established by VWSA in 2016 with the mandate of driving transformation in the South African automotive industry, by investing in black-owned suppliers and offering post-investment support to these companies.