BRITS, South Africa—Japanese tire maker Bridgestone is supporting legal action against the Madibeng municipality, following what it called an "unlawful" electricity cut by the municipality at its manufacturing plant in Brits.
The legal action, to be taken by the local Brits Industrialists Association, is against a power cut between Jan. 13 and 16, "after the municipality defied a court interdict preventing it from cutting the factory's power," Bridgestone in a Jan. 17 statement.
The facility in Brits, one of Bridgestone's two South African plants, employs more than 800 and manufactures passenger, OE and truck tires with estimated capacity of 5,800 unit a day.
According to the company, the dispute between BIA, of which Bridgestone South Africa is a part, 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," Bridgestone South Africa CEO, Gavin Young said.
He added 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 said.