UITENHAGE, South Africa – Production of VW products in South Africa has resumed in full after re-starting on May 4 2020 with the phased arrival if essential employees.
That has been followed by a gradual ramp-up of its local production in Uitenhage, near the coastal city of Port Elizaeth.
Since then the automaker has begun exports of VW Polo units to several global markets and started to distribute VW Polos and Vivos for the South African market with the assistance of colleagues who will continue to work from home.
NEW PROTECTION PROTOCOLS
A number of measures to combat Covid-19 are in place at all VWSA sites, part of a 100-point plan implemented across the VW Group to ensure the health and safety of employees.
The plant’s on-site Wellness Centre has been equipped and its staff continues to consult with high-risk employees to ensure their well-being.
As they returned employees were informed of the new protocols through orientation sessions, a detailed booklet, and extensive signage at all sites and areas. They were further informed regarding hygiene and physical distancing to keep them further protected.
Each employee was given a set of masks and more than 20 tons of hand sanitiser has been sourced to cover all VWSA sites.
Production director Jens Bruecker told The Corner: “Our essential services team ensured that the workplace was Covid-19 compliant before we restarted production.
“Our 100-point plan is intended to ensure that all employees feel safe and good about their workplace so we can manufacture and deliver vehicles without compromising our commitment to their well-being.”
HELP FOR CUSTOMERS
Mike Glendinning, VWSA’s sales and marketing director, added: “With dealers allowed to re-open on a phased basis VWSA will again be able to meet the needs of its loyal local customer base.
“Our team has worked remotely during lockdown to support dealers’ re-opening and to assist customers through our Customer Interaction Centre.
”VW Commercial Vehicle dealers remained open ‘through the lockdown period to service vehicles for essential services. We look forward to welcoming our customers back to showrooms and are taking every precaution.”
‘INDUSTRY HAS A CRUCIAL ROLE’
VWSA’s chairman and MD Thomas Schaefer thanked Naamsa for its assistance in lobbying government for the re-opening
“The automotive industry has a crucial role in the local and national economy,” he said. “We’re grateful that this role was acknowledged.”