Merc C-class sedans back on pro­duc­tion line after blast

Daily Dispatch - - News - By MALIBONGWE DAY­I­MANI

MA­JOR em­ployer MercedesBenz South Africa re­sumed pro­duc­tion of the C-class lux­ury sedans at their West Bank plant in Buf­falo City on Wed­nes­day.

This was a week after pro­duc­tion was stopped due to crit­i­cal short­age of com­po­nents fol­low­ing an ex­plo­sion at one of their ma­jor sup­pli­ers in the IDZ.

MBSA shut down its pro­duc­tion line for the sedans due to short­age of rear and front car­pets, boot trim pack­ages and whee­larch lin­ers. This was after three parts sup­plier fac­to­ries were put out of ac­tion by the blast.

MBSA’s pro­duc­tion line re­sumed after sis­ter sup­pli­ers Fel­tex Au­toma­tive Trim, AIC and Car­avelle, were forced to im­port the parts from USA and Ger­many.

MBSA spokesman Asanda Fongqo re­vealed that 1 500 em­ploy­ees at the MBSA’s pro­duc­tion shop re­sumed work yes­ter­day after a first ship­ment of parts ar­rived this week.

Fongqo said: “Our com­pany is part of the global net­work. As such we have been able to re­sume pro­duc­tion with­out any fur­ther in­ter­rup­tions.”

Al­though Fel­tex plant man­ager Gra­ham Young said the fac­to­ries were likely to be run­ning on Wed­nes­day, this could not be con­firmed.

The plant is be­ing re­con­structed by struc­tural engi­neers, while ex­plo­sives ex­perts were still work­ing on the plant con­duct­ing as­sess­ments, a se­nior em­ployee at the plant told the Dis­patch.

On Oc­to­ber 3, 52 shift em­ploy­ees were forced to flee for safety after an ex­plo­sion erupted from the chem­i­cal stor­age room of the plant.

Eleven work­ers were in­jured and seven hos­pi­talised and dis­charged the fol­low­ing morn­ing. Four were treated and dis­charged the same night.

Pro­vin­cial De­part­ment of Labour spokes­woman Ziphoz­ihle Josefu said com­pen­sa­tion for work­ers would only hap­pen when work­ers suf­fered dis­abil­ity.

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