Motoring News

Stitched up! VW SA making masks to join Covid-19 counter-attack

UITENHAGE, Eastern Cape – VW SA has set up a new production line but it has zip to do with automobiles and everything to do with saving lives during the Covid-19 emergency.

The Port Elizabeth automaker has partnered with Gusco (previously a beneficiary of the company’s Community Trust) to produce fabric face-masks to help to corral the spread of the potentially lethal Covid-19 virus. The anti-viral team’s ”sales target” is to produce several thousand masks in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

There is a national and global shortage of such masks.

NEEDLE WORKERS: New production line at VW South Africa… but the crew is not making car parts. Image: Supplied

Joost Kessels, head of technical engineering at VW SA, told The Corner: “We”re working with Dr John Black, 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 seeking a medical release from authorities such as the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority and the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications – needed before we can start mass production.”


Thomas Schaefer, VW Group SA’s chairman and MD, added: “We’re continuously investigating ways for VW SA to support the Metro by working with the Business Chamber in assisting Dr Black and his team with everything we can from engineering to logistics.

”Collaboration is vital if we are to flatten the  infection curve.”

Schaefer added: ”VW SA employees with diverse talents and qualifications. We’ve made their skills available to the country and the Metro to help to fight Covid-19.”

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