Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles Centurion recently delivered seven Actros 3344S/33 trucks to seven owner-drivers of Coca-Cola Shanduka Beverages SA’s owner-driver programme.
It was a proud moment for Shanduka managing director, Mr Mlu Mathonsi, when the drivers were handed the keys to their Coca-Cola-red Actros trucks. Mr Mathonsi has been the driving force behind the programme for the past four years.
Shanduka’s owner-driver programme aims to provide assistance to previously disadvantaged drivers in Shanduka’s employ to start their own businesses. The company provides entrepreneurial support in the form of a learnership programme, on-the-job training, coaching and mentorship. Shanduka also provides start-up capital to enable the drivers to purchase a vehicle and provides ongoing business support.
“The programme has been in the making for some time, as we wanted to establish a true empowerment initiative and ensure that the drivers were well equipped to become successful,” says Mr Mathonsi. “It has been a resounding success and has provided many of our employees the opportunity to become independent business owners.”
Each owner-driver is allocated a route on which to deliver the company’s products and this has proved so successful that productivity has doubled since the inception of the programme.
“The owner-drivers have managed to establish excellent relationships with their customers and some customers prefer to deal exclusively with the owner-driver they have come to know and trust,” says Mr Mathonsi.
The owner drivers boast increased self-confidence and have grown on a personal and business level. They have gained the respect of their communities and are now recognised and admired as capable business people.
“The previous owners of the Coca-Cola bottler, now managed by Shanduka, had an established relationship with Mercedes-Benz and we have decided to continue the association,” says Mr Mathonsi. “Shanduka shares the same business ethos as Mercedes-Benz and the company’s favourable BEE credentials also counts in their favour.”
“Shanduka looked for a dealer that would best meet our needs and support our owner-driver programme,” says Mr Mathonsi. The company followed a very diligent process and Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles (MBCV) Centurion met the criteria.
“Customer service is extremely important to ensure that our drivers get the support they need, and I am confident that MBCV Centurion will deliver,” concludes Mr Mathonsi.
Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles is the market leader in a competitive transport environment offering transport solutions that meet today’s operating and environmental conditions.
The Actros 3344S/33 offers optimum payload, unbeatable quality, maximum safety, superior reliability and environmental compatibility. The Actros 3344S/33 trucks are sure to serve the Cola-cola Shanduka drivers well!