Isuzu remains resilient with strong sales performance

PORT ELIZABETH

uch like the resilience of Isuzu’s bakkies and trucks on the continent’s roads, the vehicle manufacturer has shown grit with solid sales figures despite the challenging economic conditions this year. At an online media event hosted today Isuzu Motors South Africa newly appointed CEO and MD Billy Tom said Isuzu was well-placed to operate in the current rapidly changing environment despite the impact of Covid-19.

“Given where we have come from, we have a proven track record of resilience which is enabling us to navigate through the current disruptions in our environment. Testament to this is the sales performance which we have delivered over the past few months,” he said.

Isuzu’s flagship D-MAX bakkie sales in South Africa reached a new high in August, with a market share tracking at 17.3% August YTD.  “During the month of August, we had the best Isuzu D-MAX August sales month in 14 years. Isuzu D-MAX was the second best-selling bakkie in the market for May, June and August.

On the truck side, our share of the medium and heavy commercial market – excluding van and bus, is currently tracking at 12.7% year to date. So far, we have retained our number one position in the commercial market -, excluding van and bus - and plan to retain this position in 2020,” emphasised Tom.

These positive sales performances, despite the current downward trend in domestic vehicle sales in South Africa, Tom attributed to the Isuzu team’s agility, flexibility and resilience to proactively and positively respond to change. Another evergreen reason for the success of Isuzu’s bakkies and trucks in the local market is the reliability, durability and capability which the vehicles have become known for over the decades.

“The reliability of our bakkies are legendary. In fact, we have a customer whose bakkie is on its way to achieving two million kilometres on the odometer. If you speak to many of our customers, they will tell you that we do live up to our tagline of being with you for the long run,” said Tom.

One of Isuzu’s strengths in keeping customers on the road for the long run is the expert local engineering capabilities of the Isuzu team, who specifically engineer Isuzu vehicles for conditions in South Africa and further afield on the continent. 

With a network of 108 dealers across Sub-Saharan Africa, Isuzu’s footprint is rapidly growing on the continent.

“It is worth noting that our sales in Sub-Saharan Africa markets outside of South Africa are only down by 4.7% during the first eight months of this year versus the same period last year. And when you think about this, given the impact of Covid-19 and the global downturn, this is quite a remarkable achievement,” said Tom.

Isuzu has held the number one position in the Zimbabwean market since the start of the year, with a volume increase over 51% versus August YTD 2019. The brand’s popularity in the market is growing from strength to strength with the Isuzu D-MAX recently winning the 2020 Zimbabwean Online Car of the Year Award.

Isuzu has also maintained market leadership in Kenya, where semi-knocked down bakkies are exported to from Isuzu’s Struandale manufacturing plant in Port Elizabeth.

Towards the end of last year Isuzu Motors Japan announced that it would be investing R1.2 billion in the next generation bakkie programme in South Africa.

“Project teams from Japan, Thailand and South Africa are currently working full steam ahead on this project with a priority focus on engineering the vehicle to meet the requirements of our customers in the Africa markets and also in terms of increasing localisation opportunities,” said Tom. “Additionally, we are in discussions with Isuzu Japan to bring the assembly of the next generation of trucks to South Africa.  It is still early days but once the programme details have been confirmed, we will share this with our stakeholders 

A promising housing project for Itsoseng community

“Our vision is to get rid of all the shacks in Itsoseng community,” said Codevco Developments Director Adam Masonganye during a Malibongwe Ridge Housing Project ceremony held on 3 September 2020 in Itsoseng community.

Local business forum, social facilitators, the contractor and other stakeholders attended the ceremony alongside Ward Councillor Mapule Mosito. During the ceremony, stakeholders signed a pledge to ensure commitment to make the project a success.

“The eradication of informal settlements is very necessary,” Masonganye said, “because they are a manifestation of a lot of problems including poverty and inequality. Hence, this project aims to instil a sense of dignity in the community. The community needs proper housing and sanitation.”

Malibongwe Ridge Housing Project was implemented in 2012 with an aim to develop Itsoseng informal settlement to a township. Itsoseng community, popularly known as ESKOM, is in Ward 100 just outside Cosmo City.

 The project is already underway with 569 housing units being constructed. Qualifying community members have already been registered on the housing subsidiary system to be beneficiaries of the project, said Masonganye.

“A lot is going to happen after finishing these 569 units,” Masonganye said. “Residents of this community have been eagerly waiting to see their community developing. Now the waiting is over. We are bringing one of the best designed, high quality apartment blocks. It is going to be a beautiful self-contained community. Our aim is to develop an estate. We are targeting finish next year in December.”

The project is also going to help the community create employment, he said.

“We are happy with the developments so far,” said Ward 100 Councillor Mapule Mosito. “The only challenge is that a few years ago, some residents illegally occupied other houses in the community. However, the housing department is working on solving the situation.”

WHO urges countries to sign COVID-19 vaccine pact

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged countries to desist from the nationalisation of COVID-19 vaccines and has requested that they join a vaccine pact.

The call from WHO comes as countries across the world race to find a vaccine for COVID-19.

Following a letter to all member states requesting them to join the vaccine arm of the Act-Accelerator, WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus announced that 172 countries have signed up to COVAX Global Vaccines Facility.

The facility is a critical mechanism for joint procurement and pooling risk across multiple vaccines so that whatever vaccine is proven to be safe and effective – all countries within the facility will be able to access them.

The facility has both the largest and most diverse COVID-19 vaccine portfolio in the world.

“New research outlines that global competition for vaccine doses could lead to prices spiking exponentially in comparison to a collaborative effort such as the COVAX Facility.

“It would also lead to a prolonged pandemic as only a small number of countries would get most of the supply. Vaccine nationalism only helps the virus,” said Ghebreyesus.

Presently, there are nine vaccines that are part of this dynamic portfolio; which is constantly being reviewed and optimised to ensure access to the best possible range of products.

“Even now discussions are ongoing with four more producers and a further nine vaccines are currently under evaluation for the longer term,” said Ghebreyesus.

The success of the COVAX Facility hinges not only on countries signing up to it, but also filling key funding gaps for both the research and development work and to support lower-income economies within the facility.

“Investing in the COVAX Facility is the fastest way to end this pandemic and ensure a sustainable economic recovery,” said the WHO DG.

Through the allocation framework, COVAX will ensure that low-, middle- and high-income countries all receive the vaccine in a timely way as soon as there is supply of a safe and effective vaccine.

Initially, when there will be limited supply, WHO said those at highest risk around the world will receive the vaccine.

This includes health workers, as they are on the frontlines in this pandemic and critical to saving lives and stabilising the overall health system.

It also includes people over 65 years old and those with certain diseases that put them at higher risk of dying from COVID-19.

As supply increases, the next stage of the vaccine rollout would be expanded based on an assessment of each country’s vulnerability to the virus.

“A number of vaccines are now in the final stage of clinical trials and we all hope we will have multiple successful candidates that are both safe and effective.  

“In order to be able to secure enough doses to rollout the vaccines, the next step for the partnership is for countries to make binding commitments in support of the COVAX Facility,” said Ghebreyesus.

While funds have already been committed towards the COVAX Facility, WHO said more is urgently needed to continue to move the portfolio forward.

The goal of the mechanism is to deliver at least two billion doses of safe, effective vaccines by the end of 2021. – SAnews.gov.za

Woza Matrics provides free TV based support for learners

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has launched Woza Matrics, a free-to-air television initiative aimed at supporting the matric learners of 2020 following disruptions caused by COVID-19.

The 12-week Woza Matrics campaign will start on 1 September 2020 and will support Grade 12 learners in the build-up to their final matric exams by providing quality educational content.

Subjects covered by Woza Matrics include Maths, Life Sciences, Geography, Physical Science, Accounting, Economics, Maths Literacy, English First Additional Language, History and Business Studies.

Woza Matrics will be broadcast on SABC 3, on all DStv packages and on Openview (Channel 122) from 8:00 - 10:00 and 13:00 - 15:00, seven days a week. It will also be available for free on the DStv Now Catch up app. 

A wide-reaching communications campaign will ensure learners, parents and teachers across the country know exactly where to find the subject and content they need each week. A link to support materials will also be made available on 1 September 2020.

While all learners have lost school time, this is most acutely felt by Grade 12s, where marks are important for career and university choices and where the content to be covered is fixed and externally examined.

Woza Matrics is led by the DBE, assisted by the National Education Collaboration Trust and developed in collaboration with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Multichoice and eMedia Investments, as well as with a number of educational content providers including Digicampus, Mindset and Monyetla Trust, the Programme for Improved Learning Outcomes (PILO), and other educationalists.

“This initiative has come at the right time when we are working to get schooling back on track. Matric is always stressful but 2020 has been filled with unusual stresses. I want to congratulate all our Grade 12 learners and their families for the perseverance and determination.

“It is abundantly clear that additional support is required for learners and we will continue to provide this. There are a few months left before the end of the year and Woza Matrics will give learners the support they need to prepare for the final exams,” said the Minister.

Motshekga conveyed a message of gratitude to all the partners and sponsors for the role they have played in the development of the programme and availing their platforms for education purposes, particularly for Grade 12 learners.

“I am most grateful to SABC, Multichoice and eMedia Investments, who have so generously made their broadcast networks and expertise available to Woza Matrics; and to the content providers including DigiCampus, Mindset and Monyetla Trust, who have shared all their excellent content with Woza Matrics,” Motshekga said.

As partner of the Woza Matrics campaign, the SABC said their role is not only a social responsibility but a commitment to fulfil a constitutional mandate of delivering content that is intended to restore the dignity of the South African citizens. 

“As the SABC, we are pleased to be one of the key role players in saving the 2020 matric year through the Woza matric campaign. Education forms an integral part of our mandate, and it is for this reason that we have availed our platforms to advance the education agenda in our country.

“As a public service broadcaster, we are duty-bound to ensure that our content includes a significant amount of educational programmes, particularly during a period when it is most needed,” said SABC GCEO Madoda Mxakwe.

Of their involvement in the campaign, MultiChoice Group CEO for General Entertainment and Connected Video, Yolisa Phahle, said they are committed to ensure that they minimise the impact on youth by empowering them through knowledge and skills. 

eMedia Investments CEO Khalik Sherrif said the positive impact of Woza Matrics 2020 will be realised when the matriculants of this year receive their National Senior Certificates timeously.

“Congratulations to all stakeholders involved in Woza Matrics 2020, an initiative that is sorely needed in a year in which normal or expected behaviour and activity have been altered by COVID-19,” said Sheriff. – SAnews.gov.za

Change your SASSA grant payment method next week

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

SASSA will reopen its system for approved applicants to change their preferred method of payment for the special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant (SRD).

SASSA CEO Totsie Memela announced that the window period for preferred method of payment is scheduled for Monday, 31 August 2020 to Sunday, 06 September 2020, 24 hours a day.

“During this period, beneficiaries can change from receiving their grants at the post office to receiving them through their personal bank accounts. They may also change from one bank to another if they prefer to,” Memela said on Tuesday.

Approved beneficiaries of the grant can change their payment method by visiting https://srd.sassa.gov.za during this period.

This development is an effort to address challenges some beneficiaries have experienced in trying to access their special relief grant from the Post Offices.

She said it is important for beneficiaries to understand that they should not go to the Post Office before they have received the SMS notification that says funds are available.

“The SMS notification is used to limit the numbers of people reporting to a Post Office on a particular day and also to ensure that sufficient cash is available,” Memela said.

When choosing a bank account, Memela said beneficiaries should ensure the account is in their name. SASSA cannot pay money for one person into an account held by another or if the bank account is closed.

“The payment process is delayed if money is sent to a closed account, as SASSA has to wait for the funds to be returned before sending it to the Post Office for collection. Clients who update their details are advised to ensure that their information is captured correctly to avoid any further delays,” Memela explained.

The payment of the COVID-19 grant is quicker if paid into a bank account, and applicants without bank accounts are encouraged therefore to open accounts.

“There are many entry level, inexpensive options on the market – some of which can be opened online. Clients who have just been approved for the relief grant by SASSA and have received an SMS to upload and verify their bank details can do so at any time and need not wait for the window period.

“The sooner the details are uploaded, the quicker the payments can be made,” Memela said.

Cash transfer

The CEO announced that clients who opted to receive their special COVID-19 SRD grant through cash transfer will get their August 2020 payment through this preferred method.

“They must ensure that the cell phone numbers they provided to SASSA to receive payments, are registered in their own names and not names of other people like relatives or neighbours. It is mandatory that the cell phone number should have gone through the RICA (Communication-Related Information Act) process in order for payment to be done through it.

“Any citizen who does not update their information during this window period, or who provides incorrect banking details will have the payments for the remaining months sent through to the Post Office,” Memela explained.

Responses to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 SRD grant can be found on the WhatsApp platform on 082 046 8553. – SAnews.gov.za ith;��(&��

Brand loyalty lets Mitsubishi customers return

CAPE TOWN. Mitsubishi Motors South Africa dealerships experience an influx of returning customers, highlighting a kind of customer loyalty envied by many of its competitors.

“They keep on coming back thanks to our quality vehicles, and many are kept in families for many years,” says Nic Campbell, General Manager of Mitsubishi Motors South Africa.

This was evident at most of the 40 dealerships all over South Africa when the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 1.5 TURBO proved to be the most popular model since its launch.

“Here at our dealership the Triton pick-up was most popular during lockdown, but after we have returned in May customers are also opting for the ASX as well,” says Mark Africa, Dealer Principal at Mitsubishi Motors Paarden Eiland.

New Vehicle Sales Manager Charl Smit, who has been at the dealership since inception, says the quality of all Mitsubishi models is key to loyal customers staying with the brand.

“Mitsubishi is one of the brands in South Africa that experiences the highest return business in the country – once a customer has owned a Mitsubishi, many of them come back to upgrade or expand their Mitsubishi experience.

Smit says the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in Japan and Mitsubishi Motors South Africa supply “outstanding quality products” and as it operates in a niche market, customers appreciate the fact that the model range offers “something for everybody” without flooding them with choices.

“We have a very loyal following. It is unbelievable,” says the veteran Sales Manager .

As the first contact between MMSA and Mitsubishi owners, the sales staff have a close relationship with existing customers.

“We have a lasting relationship with them and many return to buy a second and even a third vehicle for their family, passing the older models on to adult children,” recalls Smit.

Another kind of loyal customer are people who have owned a Mitsubishi “for years”.

“One of Mitsubishi Paarden Eiland’s most loyal customers is an older lady who bought a Pajero LWB a few years ago. Her vehicle has done over 800 000 km and she still brings it back for each and every scheduled service.”

Africa says many customers “upgrade” their vehicles as they progress in life. “Many then keep their ‘old’ vehicle and buy another, bigger model, and, as we have experience with many families, eventually pass it on to their children or family.”

1 2 3 11