Car Clinic: On The Road To Mechanic-Dom

Car Clinic: On The Road To Mechanic-Dom


What course can you recommend to someone wishing to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to work on cars; and where are such courses offered?
— Fanie


Fanie, if you wish to become a qualified mechanic, I recommend that you first do a matric with technical subjects — more about that below. Thereafter, you should apply at one of the training academies established by the major motor groups to be enrolled as an apprentice. Some of the better-known academies in the Johannesburg area are:

• Barloworld Academy Johannesburg, 13 Diesel Road, Isando. Tel 011 573 2200, email:
• Bidvest Automotive Artisan Academy (McCarthy Group), Corporate Park, Midrand. Tel 011 314 8775, website
• Imperial Technical Training Academy, Germiston. Tel 011 824 4290, email: website

These institutions will require a matric certificate with at least mathematics (full mathematics, not math literacy), physical science and some draughting subjects (such as engineering graphics & design). Some also insist on a mark of 50% or higher in maths and science, because their experience has shown that’s what you need to have a realistic chance of success.

Aspirant mechanics can submit an application with the necessary supporting documentation to these academies. If all requirements are met, you will be called in for an aptitude test, and depending on the outcome thereof, you will be offered a four-year training contract. The academy will also assist you to find work as an apprentice in an approved workshop, where you can do the practical part of your training. You will receive a (modest) salary from the workshop employing you, and, once a month or so, you will spend a week at the academy for courses.

Thus you will advance through the four levels of the training scheme approved by the certifying body Merseta, at the end of which you will be a qualified mechanic. The life of an appie is not an easy one. You may find it helpful to enrol at one of the excellent American institutions offering internet courses for motor mechanics. At least then you can go home at night and immerse yourself on the internet course to forget the frustrations of the day.

-For all your motoring queries, please contact Gerrit Burger: