The collapse of seven pylons on the N4 in Pretoria on Sunday night has shut down a Ford plant, causing an output loss of 720 vehicles a day.
Other businesses, including other manufacturers, as well as residents in large parts of northern and eastern Pretoria, are still without power following the collapse.
Ford recently invested almost R16 billion in the plant to ramp up production to 200 000 units a year, and Hill says the loss of power is a “big blow”. The plant is one of only three around the world to produce the next-generation Ford Ranger, and it also manufactures the Amarok model under contract for Volkswagen.
The company runs three shifts throughout the day. Hill says it will be very difficult to play catch-up following the outage.
He also told 702 that the Pretoria outage would have a knock-on effect on all of Ford’s suppliers across the country, who will soon run out of storage for manufactured components.
On Monday, City of Tshwane Mayor Cilliers Brink said that there were clear indications that at least three of the pylons had been vandalised, and that criminality played a role in the collapse.
The pylons are operated by the city, but Eskom will assist in installing new pylons. Brink told 702 on Tuesday evening said that he couldn’t give a “credible timeline” as to when the power will be back.