The curtain will fall on the 7th edition of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition’s (the dtic) 2020/2021 national Furniture Design Competition when winners are announced in a virtual event on Wednesday, 10 March 2021 from 11:00. Five finalists each in the Students and Established Manufacturers categories will be vying for top honours. The event will be part of the Buy Local Summit and Exhbition programme that started today and will end on Wednesday.

 The theme of this year’s edition of the annual competition, which the dtic is presenting in partnership with Proudly South Africa, the South African Furniture Initiative, Coricraft Furniture, Mecad Solidworks, Furntech Centre of Excellence, Lewis Stores, the African Institute of Interior Designers and Tsogo Sun Hotels, is “This is mine and these are ours”.

The contentants’ brief was to design furniture for four young newly-employed people who have come together to rent a modest apartment. With minimal budget, the designers were required to design a range of multipurpose and functional furniture, that is modular and can be purchased as budgets allow.

The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina who will deliver the keynote speech at the event, says the competition plays an important role in encouraging participation in the furniture industry, and  promoting the use of design to respond to changing living space, and the use of locally manufactured inputs

“The competition is part of our efforts to raise and nurture design capabilities in the country, raise the image of the furniture manufacturing industry, and to grow the industry’s competitiveness by encouraging new product design and differentiation. The furniture industry is an important sector in the South African economy because it has a potential to contribute to the reduction of unemployment, increase of exports and development of the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs),” says Gina.

Other speakers at the event will include the Acting Deputy Director-General of Industrial Competitiveness and Growth at the dtic, Ms Thandi Phele, the Chairperson of the South African Furniture Initiative (SAFI), Mr Penwell Lunga, and the Chairperson of the African Institute of Interior Design Professions, Professor Desmond Laubscher.

Prizes include a one-year internship in the furniture industry and a six-month Furniture Design Incubation Programme by Furntech for the Student; and a one-year Proudly South African membership, one-year Institute of the Interior Design Professions membership, and an opportunity to participate and exhibit at selected platforms for the Manufacturer.

Journalists who are interested in covering the event are requested to register on the Buy Local Summit and Exhibition website on:

Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade,  Industry and Industry (the dtic)
Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti

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