Continental Tyre South Africa (CTSA) has answered the call from the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber (NMBBC) to support its Ubuntu COVID-19 Fund, which provides valuable protection and support to frontline staff in Nelson Mandela Bay healthcare facilities.

Established in April 2020, the NMBBC Ubuntu COVID-19 Fund is assisting medical facilities and frontline workers in the metro with the necessary equipment to combat the COVID-19 virus. The fund provides support for the most critical issues, including the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), renovations to some wards at the Livingstone, Provincial and Dora Nginza Hospitals, as well as increasing the number of beds for COVID-19 patients. The fund also donated sanitisers and masks to schools and community-based organisations, including old-age homes and community development foundations.

CTSA contributed R250,000 to the fund, which has been used to procure personal protective equipment (PPE) – comprising over 33,000 gowns, masks and gloves – for public hospitals and local clinics throughout Nelson Mandela Bay. Additionally, CTSA donated 100 blankets through the Business Chamber to the Newton Park Methodist Church for homeless people in the metro.

“Nelson Mandela Bay has been one of South Africa’s hardest-hit areas in terms of COVID-19 infections, with our public healthcare sector requiring support from the private sector to ensure it is better equipped to handle this crisis,” says JJ Dowling, General Manager Manufacturing, Continental Tyre South Africa.

“As one of Port Elizabeth’s key employers with a proud history spanning 73 years, it’s important that we do our part to support public healthcare facilities by helping to save lives and protect medical personnel that are at the front line of this pandemic,” Dowling adds. “We applaud the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber for driving this initiative and working with its members to make a real difference in peoples’ lives during this crisis.”

Nomkhita Mona, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, commented: “The NMBBC would like to thank Continental Tyre SA for the donation which has contributed to ensuring that the frontline staff in the local healthcare facilities are protected. The contribution made by the Business Chamber includes the refurbishment of hospital wards and provision of equipment. We estimate that the collective organised business contribution to the COVID-19 crisis is more than R135-million, which includes the field hospital.”

Along with its support for the Ubuntu COVID-19 Fund, CTSA has also implemented strict COVID-19 health screening and protective measures at its Port Elizabeth plant to limit the spread of the coronavirus. All employees and contractors working on site are supplied with the required PPE, while regular sanitisation and social distancing measures have been introduced throughout the facility. Additionally, office staff that can work remotely from home continue to do so, as they have been doing since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown.