R130m Durban appliance factory upgrade boost for manufacturing, jobs

24 April 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201914416

Commerce & Trade
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TRADE and Industry Minister Rob Davies says he is thrilled that Defy’s multi-million-rand investment in South Africa will lead to the creation of additional needed job opportunities and further boost the country’s position as an investment ready destination of choice for multinational corporations.

Davies said this during the launch yesterday of a R130 million investment at its Jacobs factory.

This will see Defy produce 6-, 7-, 5- and 10-kilogram top loader washing machines for both the local and export market and is projected to produce a total of 75 new job opportunities that will manufacture 500 top loaders per shift.

Davies, who was joined at the launch by Defy South Africa CEO Evren Albas and Turkish holding company Arçelik Global chief technology officer Oguzhan Ozturk, added that the investment had provided a much-needed boost to the local community of Jacobs with the company undertaking a localisation programme.

“It is important to note that even though statistics of this investment sound modest in nature, they will go a long way in unlocking job opportunities in the South African economy. They will also help us sustain our position which has seen us continue increasing foreign direct investment into the country, while the rest of the continent has experienced a contraction,” he said.

Davies said he anticipated a significant increase in South African products to the African market, way more than it is at this current stage.

“We are on the cusp of a very big change for Africa and the ratification of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which was adopted by twenty-two members in the Gambia on 22 April 2019 will open up the market for products manufactured from these countries. I hope also that this ratification will enable an expansion of South Africa’s exports into Africa as well and commit to work with initiatives of this nature as energetically as I am able to,” said Davies.

Arçelik, the world’s second-biggest white goods manufacturer, bought Defy in 2011. This latest investment brings its total investment in Defy since then to R1.2-billion, spanning the company’s three production plants in Durban, East London and Ezakheni.

Defy will also invest in new cooking products. In July it will launch a new outlook for their 60cm Built-In Ovens with an investment of approximately R7 million which will be followed by a new Free-Standing Stove investment of approximately R18 million launching in quarter one of 2020.

Additionally, the company has signed an agreement with Wits University to start a cooperation for joint engineering studies focusing on developing new technologies for some of its products.

The new satellite laboratory will be located in Midrand and will be operational by July 2019. The total investment for this project is R15,7 million with 39 new employment opportunities created.

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