Brits, South Africa – Japanese tire maker Bridgestone has support a legal action against the Madibeng municipality, following an “unlawful” electricity cut by the municipality at its manufacturing plant in Brits, South Africa.
The legal action, to be taken by the local Brits Industrialists Association (BIA), is against a power cut between 13 to 16 Jan, "after the municipality defied a court interdict preventing it from cutting the factory's power,” said Bridgestone in a statement 17 Jan.
The facility in Brits, one of Bridgestone’s two plants in South Africa, employs more than 800 and manufactures passenger, OE & truck tires with estimated capacity of 5800 unit a day.
According to the company, the row between the BIA, of which Bridgestone South Africa is a part of, and Madibeng municipality is over electricity tariff increases dating back to 2014.
"Madibeng's unlawful power cut-offs placed livelihoods in jeopardy and had the potential to harm our standing with Bridgestone's Japanese parent company," said Bridgestone South Africa CEO, Gavin Young.
He said that Bridgestone was not ruling out further legal action against Madibeng municipality to recover the costs of the shutdown and lost productivity.
Bridgestone declined to comment on the size of the impact on its business.
"Now that the plant has been re-started, we will begin to quantify our commercial losses, and our executive team will be taking legal advice on the relief available to us," Young concluded.