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Volkswagen SA named joint winner of Herald Citizen of the Year award

Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has been named as a joint winner of The Herald Citizen of the Year award in the Business category.
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The group was honured with the award for its contributions against the Covid-19 pandemic in Nelson Mandela Bay. The 2020 The Herald Citizen of the Year Awards, held on 18 September, focused on honouring businesses, organisations and individuals who went above the call of duty in offering relief in the pandemic.

VWSA's efforts included the conversion of the company’s former Port Elizabeth plant in Neave into the Reverend Dr Elizabeth Mamisa Chabula-Nxiweni field hospital for Covid-19 patients, with the first phase of 1,485 beds handed over to the Eastern Cape Department of Health in June.

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This project was the result of collaboration between VWSA, the Department, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, with funding of €5.2m (R100 million) from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and a performance framework for the project by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

Of the R100m funding, VWSA used R10m to procure personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers at hospitals and Covid-19 test centres across the metro. Another R4m was allocated to the crucial task of improving Covid-19 testing capacity in the Bay. VWSA performed extensive renovations at the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) branch in Port Elizabeth and advised on process improvements, thereby equipping the laboratory to double its daily testing capacity.
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