lerato matebese

South African motoring journalist Lerato Matebese. Image: Supplied

South Africa increases representation on World Car Awards jury panel

Johannesburg motoring editor secures jury seat for 2021 World Car of the Year Awards.

lerato matebese

South African motoring journalist Lerato Matebese. Image: Supplied

South African motoring journalist Lerato Matebese is set to join the prestigious World Car of the Year (WCOTY) jury for the 2021 edition of the competition.  

Matebese is the editor of TCB Media’s Driven Magazine.

No 1 awards motoring awards for eight years in a row

The World Car Awards (WCOTY) is an automobile award selected by a jury of 82 international automotive journalists from 24 countries.

Cars considered must be sold in at least five countries, on at least two continents prior to 1 January of the year of the award. The contest was inaugurated in 2003, and officially launched in January 2004.

According to the 2020 media report by leading research and analysis firm Cision Insights, it is the No 1 awards programme of its kind, an acclaim it has held for the last eight consecutive years.

The official launch of the 2021 WCOTY instalment will happen via virtual ceremony on August 26.

From September 2020 to January 2021, the testing and scoring process is underway, culminating in the World Car finals in February. This will be followed by the announcement of the top three on 2 March, with the winners scheduled to be revealed on 31 March.

Image via Twitter @LeratoMatebese

Matebese’s ‘track record’

Matebese entered the motor industry at the beginning of 2006 as the then South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) bursar student and in the process contributed to a vast number of motoring titles, comprising both magazines and newspapers.

Between January 2007 and September 2018 Matebese was employed as a senior motoring writer for Business Day‘s weekly motoring supplement, Motor News, a position he had held for just over 11 years.

He joined TCB Media in October 2018 as editor of its premium motoring magazine title, Driven Magazine. Bringing with him a wealth of media automotive experience, he has been instrumental in growing Driven Magazine, both in terms of reach and status.

Matebese has been a SAGMJ South African Car of the Year Jury member for eight years, having served as an assistant for two years prior to that. He has also been a juror for the Wesbank-sponsored Cars.co.za Awards for 2019 and 2020 respectively.

‘Honour and a priviledge’

“It is truly an honour and privilege to be selected as one of the jury members of the WCOTY competition, representing Mzansi, and it is an opportunity I look forward to relish and cherish with due diligence.

“I’d like to thank the entire WCOTY committee directors for the opportunity, and more importantly, my TCB Media colleagues for their unwavering support,” said Matebese.

Flying the South African flag

Matebese is among four South Africans to serve on the judging panel of the organisation, alongside respected automotive journalists Hannes Oosthuizen (Cars.co.za), Charleen Clarke (freelance) and Brenwin Naidu (Sowetan Motoring and Sunday Times Lifestyle Motoring).

TCB Media CEO Wilhelm Loots commented: “The company as a whole, and the Driven Magazine team in particular, are exceptionally proud for our editor, Lerato Matebese, to serve as a jury member for the 2021 World Car of the Year Awards (WCOTY).

“Over the years, I have followed the WCOTY with keen interest, never thinking that one of ours would become a part of this prestigious international competition. I have every confidence that Lerato will serve the whole of South Africa with distinction, and we pledge him our full support.”