Munich / Pretoria.Today, in a virtual ceremony, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG Oliver Zipse, German Minister of Cooperation and Development Dr. Gerd Müller and South African Minister of Health Zwelini Lawrence Mkhize signed a joint memorandum of understanding.
The agreement includes an emergency coronavirus package, with the three partners working together to help expand medical infrastructure at nine hospitals and four clinics in the Gauteng region. In addition to masks and disinfectant, the Gauteng region will also be provided with 750 additional hospital beds and 150 mobile oxygen tanks no later than July.
South Africa is currently among the regions of the continent hardest hit by COVID-19. As in many other African countries, there is also a lack of emergency beds, ventilators and laboratory facilities.
“We provide help where it is needed the most”
BMW Group South Africa is providing the project with financial assistance of 2.7 million euros, as well as making several BMW X3s produced at the Rosslyn plant available. Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG: “In a global crisis like the coronavirus pandemic, solidarity is more important than anything else. We provide help where it is needed the most. That is why we are helping develop health infrastructure at our location in Gauteng in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the South African government."
“Companies are key partners in the fight against coronavirus”
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is contributing 1.6 million euros to develop the South African health system. At the virtual signing of the memorandum of understanding, German Minister of Cooperation and Development Dr. Gerd Müller said: “The project in Gauteng is part of our coronavirus emergency programme aimed not only at battling the health crisis, but also dealing with the major economic and food crisis in South Africa. In this situation, companies like the BMW Group with a presence on the ground are important partners for German development policy.”
The BMW Group has been active in the Gauteng region through its production plant for almost 50 years. Tim Abbott, CEO of BMW Group South Africa: “We traditionally feel a responsibility towards the community we are a part of. It is only natural for us to support the Gauteng region, where we have been committed to various local health and education projects for decades.”
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