Real African Works launches as BRT OEM

Real African Works (RAW) launches in Johannesburg as South Africa’s first 100% black owned Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Company in the automotive industry.

Real African Works (RAW), the first of its kind in South African Automotive Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) industry, currently specialising in City Buses with a focus on Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) being rolled out by various municipalities, launched on 21 November at Melrose Arch, Johannesburg. RAW complies with both local and International regulations in the manufacturing of buses.

Dr Vuyelwa Toni Penxa, a black woman entrepreneur, is at the helm of Real African Works (RAW), participating in this notoriously male-dominated, mainstream economic sector.

In 2016, at a time when the traditional transportation sector was moving towards a new era, a vision was born to launch RAW, with the intent of leading 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 focusing on commercial vehicles of 3 Tons payload and above.

RAW 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 specialises in Diesel Powertrain Systems with the support of the multinational company, Cummins – a global leader in diesel engine manufacturing and ZF, a global leader in transmissions and driving axles. RAW is transforming into a ‘first local company’ that manufactures city
buses for public transport use such as the Gautrain, a mass transportation system operating 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 its quest for zero emissions. It is steadfast to the establishment of commercially viable and environmentally sustainable public transport systems paving the way to a greener future.

In 2016 RAW began producing and selling these flexible drivetrains built into a 12-meter city bus body. These drivetrains are powered by Euro 5 diesel engines that are flexible and can be exchanged with a more suitable power option when it becomes available in the future.

In the short term, RAW is focused on delivering on its current contract obligations by utilising Busmark, whilst it is working on its full manufacturing facility within the Gauteng Industrial Zone in Ekurhuleni.

“Over the years, my vision has been a focus on transforming the public transportation industry with a goal to create a system that was on par with leading motoring organisations in the world by identifying new avenues through integrating advanced manufacturing solutions with a priority to meet consumer needs within a sustainable future  society.” states Dr. Vuyelwa Toni Penxa.

“I want to acknowledge that the foundation of our business is anchored on a very strong support from the Gauteng Provincial Government, which not only presented an opportunity, but it also incorporated us into their research and enhancement of the 4th Industrial revolution, therefore introducing us to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Hydrogen South Africa Infrastructure (HySa), The Department of Trade and Industry (DtI) and The Department of Science and Technology (DST)” adds Dr. Vuyelwa Toni Penxa. “The legislative framework on local content, preferential procurement, the black industrialist programme and other incentives are additional key support  measures for the growth of our business.”

“We started by researching the manufacturing of ‘Tuk Tuks’, but today we are proud to say we are in Africa delivering advanced buses that are on par with global standards and in some ways even more advanced.” concludes Dr Vuyelwa Toni Penxa.

South African Original Equipment Manufacturer
RAW is currently focused on producing buses for an environmentally sustainable public transport system. This system would be able to move people around the metropolis in a safe, affordable, efficient way, and will form the backbone to a vibrant, successful metropolis in the future. RAW sees this sustainable metropolis that can become a hub of economic activity as a potential catalyst for the establishment of sustainable cities throughout Africa. RAW is currently operating within ‘smart city environments’ with the intention to move into intercity transport systems. RAW intends to provide versatile commercial vehicles for South Africa that can meet the future demands of a sustainable transport environment.

RAW aims to sell zero emission drivetrains to the South African market through the localisation of technology and manufacturing, thus contributing to the accelerated commercialization of South African technology innovations. RAW further intends to add value by domestically transforming raw materials such as such as iron ore, aluminium and composites into niched goods; one of the most efficient paths to sustainable job creation and economic growth in
South Africa.

RAW intends to localise as much as possible, by only importing components that are not commercially feasible to produce locally. The goal is to initially grow in the South Africa market and then to further expand into African markets.

Dr Vuyelwa Toni Penxa