Ford employees produce face shields for front-line workers

Ford employees hand over a batch of protective face shields to staff at Dora Nginza Hospital in Port Elizabeth
HEROES WITHOUT CAPES: Ford employees hand over a batch of protective face shields to staff at Dora Nginza Hospital in Port Elizabeth

As the country prepares to move to level 3 of the lockdown, 85 Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa employees have produced almost 190,000 protective face shields for medical and essential services workers.

The employees, from Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria and its supplier companies, have donated the  shields to front-line medical and essential services personnel, including doctors and nurses, as well as non-governmental organisations.

The beneficiaries include Dora Nginza Hospital and Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth, the South African Red Cross Society,  World Vision SA,  Logwood Village Board, social worker Amónique Pretorius and SAVF Huis Silversig.  

Ford Production manager Johann Botha said it had been a life-changing experience to be part of the team of employees taking on the challenge.

Dora Nginza Hospital CEO Mbuyiselo Tsibolane expressed his sincere appreciation to Ford for the donation of the face shields.

“It will go a long way in mitigating against the Covid-19 virus, and will also boost the morale of our staff, who are worried and demotivated about this illness,” Tsibolane said.

 Livingstone Hospital infectious diseases specialist  Dr John Black also thanked Ford for the face shields.

“This gives a lot of confidence to the people dealing with Covid-19 and adds an extra layer of protection for them.

“It’s nice that people are coming on board to support the whole process from business and the community,” Black said, adding that the partnerships that had been formed were really special.

Ford employees said they were proud and thankful to have been given a chance to help in the fight against Covid-19.

One of the 85 employees, Bruno Molatsane, said: “It gives me great pleasure to be part of this, seeing the company I work for aid our front-line fighters with the face shields we are making.

“This is the true definition of heroes without capes.” 

Another employee, Jackson Tala, said he was grateful to be part of the movement fighting Covid-19.

Ford said the initiative was made possible through contributions totalling almost R3m from Ford Motor Company SA, the Absa  Group as well as Ford dealers, suppliers and business partners.

Ford is funding the cost of producing and packaging the face shields, and several suppliers are assisting with providing packaging materials and transport.