The German Embassy in South Africa expects further technical experts from that country to arrive in South Africa, subject to the approval of the South African government. The first contingent of these experts, sent to help reactivate and upgrade German-owned factories and service companies in South Africa, arrived in the country on July 16 on a special flight operated by German national flag carrier Lufthansa.
A second contingent arrived on July 30. Further flights are expected. The total number of German experts that have so far been sent to South Africa is now more than 100.
“At this stage, most of these specialists are engineers, technicians and other experts assisting Mercedes Benz to upgrade the East London plant to prepare for the global production of the new C-class model,” German Ambassador Martin Schäfer tells Engineering News. “Mercedes is an economic player in East London and the province at large. We hope indeed that these experts can help secure this important investment in and for South Africa.”
The remaining experts are widely spread. “There is a considerable number of small and medium companies that are amongst the group, some of them with service contracts for State-owned entities such as Eskom,” he explains.
After arriving in South Africa, the experts spent up to 14 days in self-quarantine and each has been tested at least twice for Covid-19. While in South Africa, they will strictly adhere to South African anti-Covid-19 regulations and maintain the highest standards of hygiene. None of them has yet returned to Germany, but, when they do, they will again be tested for Covid-19. If the test is positive – or if, for some reason, they are unable to be tested – they will self-isolate for at least 14 days.
“We hope that each one of the experts will make a little, but nonetheless tangible contribution to kick-starting the South African economy,” affirms Schäfer. “The experts will leave after the end of their assignment and/or the expiry of their visa – each case is different.”