𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗼𝗻 𝟯 𝗝𝘂𝗹𝘆 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮.
At least 461 lives were lost and 87 people are still unaccounted for following the Durban floods in April that devastated homes and livelihoods. The deluge triggered some of the region’s worst mudslides and swept away people and infrastructure. The premises of the city’s leading car manufacturer, Toyota, was submerged under a meter of water and, as a result, at least 4000 cars in the lot would eventually be crushed. With thousands of cars exported to Europe each year, and its legendary double cab bakkies rolling into the local market each year, many were worried the multi-national car manufacturer would call it a day. But Toyota persisted, leaning on the expertise of the best engineers and performing hard manual labour with toothbrushes, hairdryers and leaf blowers. Thankfully, its Japanese partners also contributed eyewatering amounts of money to help with the recovery. Carte Blanche gets the inside view of an extraordinary clawback from devastation. Having almost reached the finish line, we ask: how did they do it?