As the rest of the world was celebrating Father’s Day yesterday, panel beater Tsakane Baloyi had all the reason to be grateful to her father who taught her how to work on car. Today Baloyi is the business owner of Chivite Panel Beat and Respray in Soshanguve.
The 25-year-old is the daughter of a panel beater who passed on the skill to her from a very young age. “I always loved cars, started driving at the age of nine. Every day after school I would change my school uniform and help my dad,” Baloyi tells Spot-On. Her business was found in 2018 but registered in 2020.
Baloyi’s passion for cars led her to starting her own business where she and her three employees render services in panel beating, spray painting, welding and press bearings. Given that this is a male-dominated industry, Baloyi says she finds herself challenged by customers who doubt her credibility. “Always, because this is a male dominated industry, some people think I don’t know the job,” says the Soshanguve born and bred Baloyi.
“Running a business in a township is difficult because there are competitors and clients always ask for discounts and that makes the business not to grow because people expect good quality but don’t want to pay,” Baloyi speaking of some of her challenges.
Her father, Sam Chivite taught her most of the things she knows but she supplemented all that knowledge with formal education. Baloyi is Tsakane’s maternal surname, and she named her business by her paternal last name. She says Covid19 had a big impact on the business, as most of her clients weren’t able to bring their vehicles to her workshop. “I lost clients and I had to start with marketing.”
Tsakane runs the business from home in Sosha. “I work from home and I am also signed by AIDC (Automotive Industry Development Centre ) in Winterveld and it is a professional automotive hub, and I am the only one who is under the age of 30 and of course the only female at the hub”
The Chivite Panel Beat and Respray received a grant from consulting and training company Beulah Africa and Tsakane that says if she had more funds, she would build a professional automotive workshop. “I want to expand the business and open branches in other provinces, and I want recruit women and acquire them with skills within the automotive industry,” says the businesswoman about her future ambitions.