Lesego Mokae

LFA Holdings t/a LFA Mining and Automotives

What does your company do?

LFA Auto is a division of Lfa Holdings which is a BBBEE level 1, female youth-owned Engineering company. It was started after the trauma that our founder went through. As a hijacking and rape survivor, I did not want women to go through what I went through. I started an autobody repair shop with a difference. We equip women with the skills and knowledge to better understand their cars and be safe at home, work and on the roads. We are passionate about women empowerment and rural upliftment. Our purpose is to minimize the gender-gap and prioritize the inclusivity of women in STEM. We have 3 divisions: 1. Automotives -Panelbeating -Bulletproofing -Minor and Major service -Car accesories -Vehicle diagnostics -24-hour roadside assistance 2. Mining -Blasting and rock drilling -Mining consumables -Fabrication -Maintenance of mining machines -LHD buckets rebuilds -Supply of artisans 3. Safety training. -Self defense -Firearm training -Anti-hijack prevention -Safety products such as pepper-sprays and tasers

What is your biggest success?

-As a hijacking and rape survivor, the safety training and automotive division was introduced as a healing mechanism and to empower women with safety skills in order to spot harm and not go through the trauma I went through. Our success include introducing trauma counsellors and seeing more survivors coming forward and forming a safe space for them to thrive. -Leaving my job as a bank manager to focus on the business full-time. -Being able to see women being confident, not being victims of pink tax and being able to put the training to the test such as checking oil on their own or changing a tyre has been our biggest motivator to date. -Being offered an international scholarship to broaden my knowledge on Mining and Leadership. -Winning awards and being nominated for making a difference in people's lives. -Being able to see the impact that our training does and getting positive feedback for our service and product is a pat on our back for our passion. -Having our workshop in a rural area proved to be difficult as many people did not want to drive to us, so we introduced a mobile mechanic which offered convenience to clients (as we drove to them) and that increased our profits. -We were fortunate enough to be offered a grant that helped us start our workshop and buy equipment for the business.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

-Finding collaborative partners has been our biggest hurdle. We ended up setting up our own workshop which proved to have its own challenges. -Securing funding, however after closing identified gaps and finding a wonderful accountant we were able to get a grant. -Although we service every motorist, we would like to have more women to take up safety services such as firearm training, self-defense classes or even buy safety products as GBV stats are increasing. -Accreditation with regulatory bodies taking longer. -Access to new markets.