Business & Industry Ford produces 50,000 face shields to aid Covid-19 efforts in Southern Africa

Ford produces 50,000 face shields to aid Covid-19 efforts in Southern Africa

Picture: Facebook

Ford Motor Company has made and supplied 50,000 face shields for the US department of defence to bolster its response to the coronavirus pandemic in Southern Africa.

The order was facilitated by the US Embassy in Pretoria and funded by the US Africom Humanitarian Assistance programme. 

The shields will be given to SA military health service members on the frontlines of battling coronavirus across the country. 

Some of the shields will also be sent to Botswana, Namibia, Eswatini and Lesotho.

We have assembled and supplied 50 000 face shields for the United States U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to shore up…

Posted by Ford South Africa on Friday, 19 June 2020

US ambassador to South Africa, Lana Marks, says Ford’s local production of the shields is an example of an American company pivoting its mission “to make an effective and generous contribution to fighting this pandemic in South Africa”.

The shields are being produced in a special sanitised facility at Ford’s Silverton assembly plant in Pretoria. 

All funds received are used to buy the materials needed for the shields, with Ford sponsoring all labour costs involved in assembling and packing the shields.

Adding in the 50,000 units supplied to the US department of defence, Ford has produced more 258,000 face shields up to now. This includes almost 140,000 units already donated to the department of health’s centralised warehouse and distribution centre in Centurion, as well as direct donations to hospitals, clinics and humanitarian organisations.

“As an American company with a heart firmly in South Africa, we are exceptionally proud to be playing a key role in the national response to this Covid-19 pandemic through producing and supplying the face shields to help protect medical and essential services personnel,” says Dhiren Vanmali, Ford’s executive director of government affairs for Africa.

The face shields project started at the beginning of April and is led by Ockert Berry, VP of operations for Ford in South Africa. 

This morning members of Ford Ranger Club South Africa braved the cold to deliver face shields to various NGOs in the forefront of fighting the COVID-19 virus.

Posted by Ford South Africa on Saturday, 30 May 2020

“The order from the US department of defence, through the US Embassy, has provided a valuable additional boost to our efforts to address the critical shortage of personal protective equipment during this crisis,” Vanmali says.

Donations to support the production and donation of face shields are welcomed from individuals and businesses. Ford has partnered with the Gift of the Givers Foundation to make a bank account available for donations: 

Account Name:  Gift of the Givers
Institution:  Standard Bank
Branch:  Pietermaritzburg
Account number:  052137228
Branch code: 057525
Deposit Reference:  Ford

For queries regarding making a donations, e-maile socialme@ford.com, using the reference: Ford SA COVID-19.

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