BMW South Africa donated R76 million to equip hospitals and clinics

    BMW Group South Africa CEO Tim Abbott and Gauteng Department of Health head of department Mkhululi Lukhele after the signing of the memorandum of understanding between BMW and the Gauteng government. Photo: Supplied

    MIDRAND – The Gauteng Health Department, the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and BMW announced upgrades to eight hospitals.

    The automotive company BMW and the German government will be donating R76 million to equip South African clinics and hospitals with the equipment needed to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The company hosted a virtual signing ceremony in Midrand with chairman of the BMW board Oliver Zipse, CEO of BMW South Africa Tim Abbott, German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller and head of the Gauteng Department of Health Mkhululi Lukhele.

    The automotive company and the German government will help eight hospitals and four community clinics to assist South Africa’s effort to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.The company previously donated face masks to emergency personnel in April and 40 000 high-quality respiratory protection in May. They have also loaned 17 BMW X3s to the Red Cross, to assist them with contact tracing and the delivery of hot meals.

    Zipse said, “In a global crisis like the coronavirus pandemic, solidarity matters more than anything else. We help where help is particularly needed. That is why, in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Development and the South African government, we support the development of the health infrastructure at our site in Gauteng.”

    General manager at BMW South Africa group communications, Diederik Reitsma said, “Improvements will include the upgrade for the Soshanguve Combined Clinic, near the company’s Rosslyn manufacturing plant, to a testing and screening centre. The company has provided a fully equipped ambulance and cars for transporting patients to the various hospitals in the region.”

    Reitsma added, “At Dr George Mukhari Hospital in Soshanguve, the accident and emergency facilities will be significantly upgraded and 300 beds added.”An additional 300 beds will be added across the region, with a further 150-bed overflow facility to be provided in Bronkhorstspruit. Supplementary to this, four community clinics in Soshanguve will be provided with a supply of face masks, disinfectant and PPE [personal protective equipment].”

    Müller added, “The project in Gauteng is part of our coronavirus response programme, which we use to combat not only the health crisis, but also the severe economic crisis in South Africa. Here companies that are represented locally like the BMW Group are important partners in German development policy.”