Uitenhage - Volkswagen Group South Africa has joined the drive to produce face masks and medical equipment to assist in the fight against Covid-19.
The company announced on Monday that it had teamed up with Gusco to produce soft fabric face masks, with production having commenced last week. The current goal is to deliver a few thousand masks in the Nelson Mandela Bay region in the coming weeks.
VWSA is also assisting the government’s National Task Force to produce medical equipment such as ventilators. To that end, the carmaker’s research and development team is using 3D printing technology to produce parts for a mechanical ventilator that will be manufactured at its Uitenhage plant once legal approval has been gained. This Ventilator is based on an open-source design produced by VW's sister-brand Seat in Spain.
Furthermore, VWSA’s engineers are also part of an international Volkswagen Group team pioneering possible ways in which the company can assist during the global crisis.
"We are continuously investigating ways in which VWSA can offer support to the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro in this time of crisis,” said VWSA Chairman Thomas Schaefer.
“We are working together as business under the lead 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,” Schaefer added.