Media Release

South Africa's Leading International Trade Fair for the Automotive Industry targeting Trade Visitors from the Sub-Saharan Region

6 - 9 May 2015
Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec

26th May 2015

Roger Houghton
Fax          +27 11 494 5004


The winners of the South African competition to find the three people to represent the country in the automotive categories of the 2015 World Skills championships in Saõ Paulo, Brazil, in August, had to travel a tough road with the deciding contest taking place over three days at the recent Automechanika Johannesburg.

First there were regional events and then semi-finals which took place over three days at the 2014 SA Automotive Week when two finalists were selected for each discipline automotive technology (motor mechanic), body repair and car painting (spray painting).

"This format ensured that the winners proved they are able to handle pressure over several days, which is very important if one wants to do well in Sao Paulo," explained the person ultimately responsible for SA's participation in the three automotive disciplines at World Skills, Marwaan Davids, the RMI's national training director who is also responsible for Organisational Development and Transformation.

The finalists who did battle at Automechanika Johannesburg were: car painting: Ntebaleng Seema and Rabelani Malema; auto body repair: Bongani Nkosi and Thabiso Mohale and automotive technology: Willem Nel and Jason dos Santo Maraou.

Committee and mentors were involved with each of the categories to ensure the finalists were not only well-prepared for the final, but also for the World Skills Competition itself.

Supporters of this year's SA round of World Skills were, RMI and the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC), which were both platinum sponsors, BASF and Gondolier, which were gold sponsors and Aer-O-Cure and Sabona, which were silver sponsors and Imperial, 3M, Leaderquip, Nissan and Volvo, which were bronze sponsors.

Held over three days at Expo Centre, the spraypainting competition saw experts overseeing panel preparation, body spraying and design where the contestants had to produce a replica of the entire Brazilian flag with base coat, clear coat plus polish for their final finished work this year. SAA technical candidate Rabelani Malema came out top in this category.

Body shop repair contestant Bongani Nkosi, an apprentice at Auto Body Specialists, and Thabiso Mohale, an apprentice at Dent Doctor Randburg, also had to weld and straighten a full car body. They are both part of the NF Apprentices programme.
Nissan donated panels for the competition and Car-O-Liner and Celette were sponsors for the car benches that the prospective winners worked on. Aerocure further assisted with updated training on Mig Brazing and other new joining techniques.

The winner was Thabiso Mohale, while ABS Auto Body were the expert judges in this hard fought category in the competition.

Willem Nel edged out Jason dos Santo Maraou to win the right to represent SA in the automotive technology category at the World Skills championships.

Background information on Automechanika Johannesburg

Automechanika Johannesburg is part of the global group of Automechanika automotive aftermarket business- to-business trade shows and business events with its portfolio of 15 trade fairs in 14 countries (4 continents).

Automechanika Johannesburg is licensed to SA Shows Messe Frankfurt (Pty) Ltd, part of the Messe Frankfurt Group. It is the largest event of its kind on the African continent and serves South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa since 2009

For more information visit

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is one of the world's leading trade fair organisers, generating around €550* million in sales and employing more than 2200* people worldwide. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 28 subsidiaries and around 50 international Sales Partners, allowing it to serve its customers on location in more than 160 countries. Messe Frankfurt events take place at more than 30 locations around the globe. In 2014, Messe Frankfurt organised a total of 120* trade fairs, of which more than half took place outside Germany.

Comprising an area of 578,000 square metres, Messe Frankfurt's exhibition grounds are home to ten exhibition halls. The company also operates two congress centres.

The company is publicly owned, with the City of Frankfurt holding 60 per cent and the State of Hesse 40 per cent.

Further information on the company can be found at
* preliminary numbers (2014)

Stuart Parmenter, the Technical
Manager of 3M, who was a mentor in
the spraypainting category with
there, Rabelani Malema.
Lee Da Sousa, Support and Operations
Manager at the Imperial Technical
Training Academy, who was a mentor in
the automotive technology category with
winner Willem Botha
Greg du Preez, of ABS, a mentor in
the auto body repair category with
the winner Thabiso Mohale.

For more information contact:

Roger Houghton on 012 998 1771 or at

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