“How much progress have we made since the launch of the guidelines, and what challenges do we still have to address,” is the question the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA) reflected on during an event it hosted at the recent Automechanika Johannesburg.
MIWA, in partnership with Right to Repair South Africa, hosted a very successful conference at Automechanika on 6 September to discuss both the achievements of the Right to Repair campaign since the Competition Commission launched the new Guidelines to Competition in the South African Automotive Aftermarket, as well as the challenges ahead.
Hosted by radio personality John Walland, the conference kicked off with a presentation from Right to Repair CEO Kate Elliott, which helped to shed light on how to understand and use the guidelines correctly.
This was followed by input from Daniela Bove, a Principal Analyst at the Competition Commission.
Having worked in competition regulation for nine years, six of which have focused on compiling the guidelines, Bove was well-placed to comment on the intended outcomes of the guidelines, especially in terms of transformation and inclusivity. She explained that the objectives of the guidelines include encouraging greater participation from SMEs and historically disadvantaged individuals by lowering barriers to entry as well as stimulating innovation and price competition. The guidelines further serve to increase consumer choice and create awareness around product options. Bove’s presentation finished with a summary of the progress made to date in these areas and the way forward. Delegates were also informed that the Competition Commission is set to update the guidelines in 2024, based on a survey conducted in September and October.
Next, Stuart Charity, CEO of the Australian Automotive Association Aftermarket, dialled in to discuss the benefits and challenges presented by data sharing, which has increased since legislation was passed on 1 July 2022. Charity’s overall message is that data is helping to grow association membership and, most importantly, is helping to increase the industry’s competitiveness.
MIWA’s Marcia Modiba closed the conference with a look at what aftermarket readiness entails and how the industry and MIWA’s members are embracing it. The event concluded with a Q&A from the panel.