Ford implements pandemic support efforts

As the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, said during a national briefing, one of the biggest challenges South Africans are facing is the lack of medical equipment available to medical.

To assist in the mitigation of this problem, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) started producing protective face shields has started in the production of protective face shields which will be donated to front-line medical and essential services personnel. FMCSA has committed to the production of 57 000 protective face shields but would like that number increase to 500 000 units with the help of its suppliers and business partners. Furthermore, all South Africans are called upon to support the initiative as there is a critical shortage of personal protection equipment (PPE) world-wide. Currently, Ford SA employees that have volunteered is continuing the production of these masks at Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria.

“The coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented and is having a dramatic impact on the health of communities around the world while placing a massive strain on the medical resources of even the most advanced countries. With South Africa on lockdown and our plants not operating at the moment, we felt that it was essential for us to use our manufacturing capacity and expertise to contribute to the efforts of the South African government, private healthcare institutions and humanitarian organisations to contain the spread of COVID-19, and to care for those infected with the virus,” Ockert Berry, VP Operations, FMCSA.

The masks that will be made available to police, military and medical staff is considered crucial personal protective equipment by the World Health Organization and the South African Department of Health.

“With the face shields in critically short supply, we are dedicating our resources and manpower to produce the face shields as quickly as possible. We are urgently engaging with our component suppliers and business partners, and inviting them to come on board and assist us with raising funds for this important project. We welcome any contributions from individuals and companies across South Africa to support this initiative, whether it’s R10, R10 000 or R100 000, every little bit counts. Our goal is to produce at least 500 000 face shields, and possibly even more so that we can assist the healthcare efforts across the country and even beyond our borders if necessary,” says Berry.

The production efforts are conducted according to strict COVID-19 health and personal hygiene guidelines. During the process, all staff are screened and monitored for symptoms associated with the Coronavirus. Further assisting in the production processes is Trek Plastics which has started providing medical-grade materials at a discounted rate, enough to produce 15 000 kits per day. The shields will be packaged in Corruseal Group boxes at no cost with the help of Creative Graphics International which has donated materials. Both Trans-Atlantic Logistics and DSV are also committed to the cause as both companies will assist with the distribution of the masks at no cost to Ford. Feltex Automotive and Aeroklas Duys were also inspired and have provided the foam materials and labels for the shields.

The shields which help against the spreading of the virus covers the eyes, nose and mouth and is secured by an elastic latex fabric headband to keep it in place. Each unit is designed to be reusable with the correct sanitizing methods and packaged with clear instructions along with cleaning and storage guidelines. “Thank you for your offer to donate face shields which can be used in counteracting the spread of COVID-19. It is encouraging to see the efforts of Ford Motor Company not only here in South Africa, but globally as well,” Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition.

“It’s in periods of crisis, such as what we’re experiencing right now across the world with the COVID-19 pandemic, that the extraordinary efforts of people that are committed to making a difference in their communities stand out. We commend the remarkable efforts of every individual at the front-line of the battle against the coronavirus, as well as each company and organisation that is helping to contain its spread, tend to the sick and support the nation with the multitude of essential services during these challenging times. We also value the support of every person that can contribute to the success of this project,” Neale Hill, Managing Director, FMCSA.

Individuals and companies wishing to contribute to this initiative can send an e-mail to, using the reference: Ford SA COVID-19.

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