The South African Auto Repairer and Salvage Association (SAARSA) was formed in April of 2004 to support small and medium enterprises in the Motor Body Repairer Industry (i.e. Panel Beating and Spraypainting Industry)
The Association was formed by a few concerned Panel Beating Entrepreneurs in the Western Cape in an attempt to eradicate all the barriers that prevents small business to freely participate in the mainstream economy. Since then we have established a national footprint representing most provinces.
These barriers presents itself in the form of a grading system which gave rise to a Preferred Insurance Service Provider System and ultimately a Motor Manufacture Factory Approved System, which limited small and medium size body shops thatâ€™s been in existence for up to fifty years, to access procurement opportunities. This system is designed to streamline the industry and insure that the previously advantaged body shops remains advantaged. It also does not allow for new entrants and the transformation policy of our country to become a reality.
This particular business model was replicated from the UK by the sole industry association which existed in the past and was widely sold to Insurance Companies and Motor Manufacturers who embraced it, knowing full well that the system failed in the UK and resulted in the closure of 50% of the shops in the UK. One can only assume that if you implement a failed model, that your intend is to achieve exactly what the model achieved elsewhere, which is to corner the market to insure that the status quo of old remains.
The devastating impact on most small shops and the potential to destroy these longstanding businesses prompted a few to establish their own association [SAARSA] to represent them and take back ownership of our Industry.
It is clear from our mission statement that SAARSA wants to add value to the industry. SAARSA championed the formation of the MITF [Motor Industry Transformation Forum] by engaging government in the form of the Department of Trade and Industry to facilitate the forum to find constructive and permanent resolves to the problems facing the industry. SAARSA was also instrumental in the formation of an Industry Interim Measure to prevent further business casualties whilst we seek a permanent solution.
We are currently representing in excess of 300 body shops nationally and growing daily. We are a non racial organization, but understand that race too needs to be addressed to truly transform all industries. Our main aim is however to narrow the gap between Big and Small business by creating a free and fair business environment in which to trade.
If you own a panel beating business and want your voice to be heard, your business interest taken care of, SAARSA is the home for you. We currently have our head office in Cape Town and a regional office in Durban, Johannesburg and Bloemfontein with full time staff to offer assistance with your day to day needs. You are encouraged to contact us.