Real African Works (RAW) was launched in Johannesburg last week.
RAW is South Africa’s first 100% black-owned Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Company in the automotive industry.
The company specializes in city buses, with a strong focus on Bus Rapid Transit Systems (BRT), which are being rolled out by various municipalities across the country.
Real African Works complies with both local and International regulations in the manufacturing of buses.
Industry leader and entrepreneur, Dr Vuyelwa Toni Penxa, is at the helm of Real African Works (RAW) and one of too few females in a notoriously male-dominated economic sector.
In 2016, at a time that the traditional transportation sector was moving towards a new era, a vision was born to launch RAW, with the intent being to lead the automotive transport manufacturing sector in South Africa to greater heights.
RAW is a company with a focus on design, development, manufacturing, marketing and selling of automotive drivetrains, particularly commercial vehicles with payloads in excess of three tonnes.
It engages in the exploration of local development of future technologies, thus ensuring job creation in South Africa.
With a mission to provide versatile commercial vehicles, RAW specializes in diesel powertrain systems with the support of multinational company, Cummins – a global leader in diesel engine manufacturing – and ZF, a global leader in transmissions and drive axles.
Real African Works plans to become the first local company to manufacture city buses to support the Gautrain in Gauteng.
In line with South Africa and the United Nations’ commitment to climate change and reducing carbon footprint, RAW at its core, is driven by sustainability and a quest for zero emissions.
It is steadfastly committed to the establishment of commercially viable and environmentally sustainable public transport systems, which will pave the way to a greener future.
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In 2016, RAW began producing and selling flexible drivetrains built into 12-metre city bus bodies. These drivetrains are powered by Euro 5 diesel engines, which are flexible and which can be exchanged with more suitable power options when these become available in future.
In the short term, Real African Works is focused on delivering on its current contract obligations with Busmark, whilst working on its own manufacturing facility within the Gauteng Industrial Zone in Ekurhuleni.
“My vision is to transform the public transportation industry, creating a system on par with leading motoring organisations,” says Dr Penxa.
“We plan to identify new avenues and integrate advanced manufacturing solutions, while meeting consumer needs sustainably,” she adds.
“The foundation of our business is anchored on strong support from the Gauteng Provincial Government, which not only presented an opportunity, but also incorporated us into their research into the 4th Industrial revolution.
“The legislative framework for local content, as well as preferential procurement, the black industrialist programme and other incentives, are additional support measures supporting the growth of our business.”
“We started by researching Tuk Tuk manufacturing and today are delivering advanced buses that are on par with global industry standards,” concludes Dr Penxa.