July 8, 2015


Freezers and fridges in Africa

One of South Africa’s largest producers of household appliances has announced plans to offer solar powered fridges and freezers to 600 million low-income African families.

Let’s hope they also manage to export a few hundred thousand in our direction.

The Defy group in Durban has signed a joint development deal with Specialised Solar Systems. Defy was the first company – way back in 1932 – to manufacture electric stoves in South Africa, and the company launched its solar-powered appliances, revealing it had spent R500 million since 2012 on upgrades to the East London and Durban plants, with another R450m set aside for plant and equipment investments by 2018.

Defy was acquired by the Turkish-based group Arcelik in 2011. Arcelik chief executive Hajan Kozan, who was in Durban for the company’s 110th celebrations, said the Defy acquisition was motivated by South Africa’s potential as a gateway to the continent.

He said the latest products were environmentally aligned with global best practice.

“When you open a tap in your house, in one minute you can use six litres of water. Our washing machines can do a full wash using just six litres of water.”

He added that new designs on the machines had also cut electricity usage by 25%.

“What we have to do now is educate the consumer on the importance of buying appliances that use less energy and water.”

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