NAACAM raises R400 000 for automotive scholarship in memory of Johan van Zyl
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The National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) has announced that it is offering a full manufacturing-focused MBA scholarship in memory of Johan van Zyl.
Van Zyl is the former chairperson of both Toyota South Africa and the Toyota Wessels Institute for Manufacturing Studies (TWIMS). He died in July at the age of 63 due to Covid-19 complications.
NAACAM raised R400 000 to provide the scholarship, and it will be for studying at TWIMS for the 2022 intake.
The 27-month MBA programme covers a part-time study format that allows the delegate to minimise time away from the work environment. GIBS, in partnership with TWIMS, has developed a range of manufacturing-specific courses for its manufacturing-focused MBA.
NAACAM President Ugo Frigerio said the scholarship honours Van Zyl’s passion for people and education.
As a token of the initiative, NAACAM leaders handed over a brake disc engraved with the names of the NAACAM members that donated to the initiative to Andrew Kirby.
Kirby is the president and CEO of Toyota South Africa and the new chairperson of TWIMS. The brake disc was locally manufactured by NAACAM member company Auto Industrial Group.
During the presentation of the disc, Kirby acknowledged the gratitude of Toyota SA for having van Zyl recognised in this manner.
He said this was another example of the supportive working relationship that existed between Toyota and its supplier base in South Africa.
“It is a wonderful way to honour and remember the remarkable contribution Dr van Zyl made in the field of industrialisation and education," Kirby said.
Speaking at the handover event, NAACAM executive director Renai Moothilal said: “Dr van Zyl was not only a leader of Toyota but contributed significantly to ensuring South Africa was increasingly positioned as a globally recognised producer of automotives. Domestic component manufacturers are better off because of those efforts.”
TWIMS was established through the support of the Toyota SA Education Trust.
Van Zyl initiated the establishment of TWIMS in 2015 and was a key driver of its establishment.
Justin Barnes, TWIMS’ executive director, said it was through Dr van Zyl’s vision and support that TWIMS was established. “It was under his inspirational leadership that we were able to grow and prosper.”
According to NAACAM, as the chairperson of TWIMS, van Zyl supported the need to start building a deep culture of manufacturing in Africa, noting that this had the potential to fundamentally transform African society.
"He saw the need for highly skilled engineers and production managers to lead and manage complex manufacturing businesses that could compete internationally. Hence, his drive to establish TWIMS and its associated partnership with GIBS, which delivers the only manufacturing-focused MBA programme in Africa," it said.
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