Ford SA gets green light to repair 'essential service' vehicles
Pretoria – Sixteen selected Ford dealerships have been permitted to do repairs on emergency services vehicles across South Africa during the current lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19), the automaker said on Thursday.
Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) said the permission to operate during the lockdown enables the selected dealers to repair Ford vehicles used by essential services only, including emergency medical and response teams, safety and security personnel such as the police, traffic officials and the military, as well as vehicles allowed to operate in the grocery supply chain.
"The emergency and essential services are crucial to implementing and maintaining the national lockdown and social distancing measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus," said Neale Hill, managing director of FMCSA.
"To keep these services running and ensuring that the provision of primary healthcare, community support and deliveries of food continues, Ford Motor Company, together with the selected dealers, applied for and were granted government permission for 16 Ford dealers in the major centres across the country to conduct essential repairs on Ford vehicles used by these personnel.”
Hill said in the dealerships opening their doors during the lockdown are following the strictest guidelines to protect the safety of staff.
"We appreciate the sacrifice and dedication of every individual that is involved in dealing with this coronavirus pandemic, and we have ensured that the selected dealers are ready and equipped to attend to any essential vehicle repairs without delay," he said.
"We are following the strictest guidelines to protect the safety of our dealer staff and these customers throughout this period."
No other customer vehicles can be accepted into the Ford dealerships during this period, and vehicle owners are required to wait until the end of the lockdown to make bookings for repairs at their local dealers.
"Although we aren't able to accommodate our regular customers currently, we are working with our dealers on solutions to mitigate any backlog that might result from the 21-day lockdown," said Hill.
On March 23, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a countrywide lockdown, which came into effect on midnight on March 26 and would last until April 16. The 21-day lockdown is the latest government intervention to try and control the spread of the coronavirus.
The president said the lockdown was mandatory and had to be implemented to ensure that the spread of the Covid-19 virus is reduced and the curve is flattened.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Wednesday that the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa has increased by 27 to 1,380.
African News Agency (ANA)