Volkswagen SA help tackle pandemic

Assisting in the national efforts, Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has begun the production of medical equipment desperately needed in the testing and treatment of COVID-19 cases.

After receiving preferable results during the trial process, Volkswagen SA and Gusco, previously a beneficiary of the Volkswagen’s Community Trust, has joined forces in producing fabric face masks needed by healthcare workers as well as essential staff during the pandemic. In the coming weeks, Volkswagen and Gusco plan to produce a few thousand masks and deliver them to the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. The inspiration behind the initiative stems from the global shortage of masks experienced due to the pandemic.

Furthermore, Volkswagen SA has tasked its engineers to join an international Volkswagen Group team in developing different ways in which the company can assist during the global crisis. Locally, VWSA’s Research and Development team has been producing parts for ventilators utilizing 3D printing technology at the Uitenhage plant while VWSA is continuously working with the National Government Task Force team on producing medical equipment such as ventilators.

“We are working with Dr John Black, who is the lead medical advisor on COVID-19 in Nelson Mandela Bay, Dr Adrian Wentzel, a local anaesthetist, and Quinton Uren of Jendamark Automation. Our Legal team is in the process of obtaining the medical release from the relevant authorities as South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), and the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications, which we need before we can commence with mass production,” Joost Kessels, Head of Technical Engineering, VWSA.

“We are continuously investigating ways in which VWSA can offer support to the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro in this time of crisis. We are working together as a business under the leadership of the Business Chamber in assisting Dr Black and his team with everything we can from engineering to logistics. It is very important for all the key stakeholders in the Metro to collaborate in order to flatten the curve of the infections whilst protecting the lives of our most vulnerable citizens. VWSA is made up of employees with diverse talents and qualifications. We have made these skills available to the country and the Metro to contribute to the fight against COVID-19,” Thomas Schaefer, Chairman and Managing Director, Volkswagen Group South Africa.

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