Merc C-class sedans back on production line after blast

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

MBSA resumed production of the C-class luxury sedans at their West Bank plant in Buffalo City on Wednesday. Picture: FILE

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 1500 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. — malibongwed@dispatch.co.za

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