Posted: October 2, 2023
Ladysmith, KZN – Today, the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, visited the Defy manufacturing plant in Ladysmith, KZN. During this significant visit, where Minister Patel was hosted by Defy Appliances CEO – Mr Mustafa Soylu, management, staff, and the NUMSA shop stewards, a major announcement was made regarding South Africa’s advancement towards green technology and sustainability.
Defy Appliances, the country’s largest home appliance producer, declared its commitment to environmental progress. The Ladysmith plant will initiate the production of fridges and freezers capable of operating entirely on solar energy, marking a substantial step in promoting eco-friendly alternatives in the appliance industry.
Mr Soylu says that this pioneering initiative marks a monumental step in the production of environmentally friendly appliances, positioning South Africa as a leader in the fight against climate change. The innovative products, anticipated to be available to retailers by January 2024, will empower families to adopt a fully green approach to their food cooling units at home.
During his visit, Minister Patel expressed his support for this remarkable advancement.
“Climate change necessitates a comprehensive transformation of the technologies utilized both at home and within the industry. South Africa is actively ensuring the production of future technologies and meeting the demand for lower-emission consumer products,” he said.
Minister Patel highlighted the significant progress from Defy’s previous hybrid units that required partial access to grid energy. The new units, designed to operate exclusively on solar energy, will be equipped with an attached battery system, enhancing their efficiency and eco-friendliness.
“I am delighted that Defy is focusing on making these fridges and freezers affordable, enabling a broader consumer base to transition to green appliances,” Minister Patel added.
Defy Appliances continues to make substantial contributions to the local economy, employing over 2000 workers in South Africa and producing 1.5 million appliances locally. The range includes fridges, freezers, stoves, ovens, dryers and top-loading washing machines. With two factories located in Jacobs in eThekwini and Ezakheni in the Ladysmith area, Defy stands as a significant player in the local manufacturing sector.
In addition to bolstering local production, Defy exports products to 35 other African countries says Mr Soylu, reinforcing South Africa’s position as the continent’s largest producer of home appliances.
Today’s announcement and Minister Patel’s visit underscore the commitment of both the South African government and industry leaders like Defy Appliances to prioritize sustainable and green technologies. This initiative not only contributes to the global effort to mitigate climate change but also signifies the nation’s dedication to innovation, economic growth, and the welfare of its citizens.
Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition (the dtic)
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