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DAC Launches Applications For Transformative Business Accelerator



DAC Launches Applications For Transformative Business Accelerator

DAC Launches Applications For Transformative Business Accelerator. The Durban Automotive Cluster (DAC) is thrilled to announce the commencement of applications for this year Business Accelerator Programme, in collaboration with prominent industry stakeholders and the esteemed support of the eThekwini Municipality. Geared towards advancing localization efforts and empowering Black industrialists, this Accelerator presents Black-owned SMEs in the automotive sector nationwide with a unique opportunity for expansion, mentorship from industry experts, and access to significant customers and investment prospects.

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DAC Launches Applications For Transformative Business Accelerator

A business accelerator program has been launched by the Durban Automotive Cluster (DAC), supported by the eThekwini municipality and local automotive companies like Toyota South Africa Motors, Hesto Harnesses, and Toyota Boshoku South Africa.

DAC Launches Applications

The DAC Accelerator stands as a pioneering initiative led by the unwavering backing of the eThekwini Municipality and key players in the automotive industry such as Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM), Hesto Harnesses, and Toyota Boshoku South Africa (TBSA). Designed with a focus on driving localization initiatives, empowering Black entrepreneurs, and fostering strategic partnerships within the South African automotive landscape, this programme aims to facilitate positive commercial and transformational outcomes for both lead enterprises and participating SMEs.

Importance of DAC in Driving Sector Growth

Takalani Rathiyaya, Head of the Economic Development Programmes department at eThekwini Municipality, underscores the critical role played by the DAC in propelling sectoral growth. Collaborative initiatives like the DAC Accelerator, in tandem with governmental support, serve as linchpins in bolstering industries, enabling them to capitalize on opportunities for sustainable expansion. Rathiyaya expresses excitement regarding the emergence of talent from the 2024 Accelerator, expressing confidence in its ability to uphold the programme’s legacy of success.

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Benefits of Applying to the 2024 Accelerator

Kyle Ballard, Head of the Accelerator, describes the 2024 programme as a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity for SMEs across South Africa to elevate their enterprises to new heights. Ballard emphasizes the unique value proposition of the DAC Accelerator, offering established Black-owned SMEs a pathway to supply industry giants in the local automotive sector, accompanied by extensive mentorship and various additional benefits.

How Does the Programme Work?

Ballard provides a comprehensive overview of the programme’s structure, outlining the steps for interested SMEs:

  1. Qualification Criteria: SMEs must meet specific eligibility criteria, including South African ownership, Black ownership of 51% or more, annual turnover of R50 million or less, and compliance with regulatory standards.
  2. Vendor Criteria: SMEs aspiring to become suppliers to participating customers must demonstrate capabilities in engineering design, quality assurance processes, cash flow management, and manufacturing leadership competencies.
  3. Screening and Capacity Building: Shortlisted SMEs will undergo screening and participate in capacity-building activities, culminating in a pitching opportunity to industry decision-makers and investors.
  4. Business Upgrading: Identified commercial opportunities will lead to phases of business upgrading focused on enhancing sales and scaling operations.

Closing Remarks and Application Deadline

The DAC, with its rich history of supporting regional automotive industry growth, underscores the importance of ongoing support from stakeholders. Interested Black-owned SMEs are encouraged to apply before the closing deadline of 15th April 2024, embracing this opportunity for growth, investment, and industry collaboration.


The Durban Automotive Cluster’s Business Accelerator Programme presents a transformative opportunity for Black-owned SMEs in the automotive sector. With a focus on localization and empowerment, this initiative promises growth, mentorship, and access to industry resources. Apply now for a chance to elevate your business!

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