One of the world’s top electronics company, LG Electronics, has relocated its plant from Johannesburg to Durban, much to the excitement of job seekers. On 24 January the company unveiled its new home for manufacturing and distribution at Cornubia Industrial Park.
The move was welcomed by local and provincial leadership in attendance who said the relocation would be beneficial to both eThekwini and LG.
In his address, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said: “This is a progressive decision as this factory has the potential to contribute tremendously in growing the City and province’s economy.
“We want to thank LG Electronics for locating themselves in KwaZulu-Natal. This will grow opportunities for jobs but this will also grow opportunities for those who are in the value chain. We also commit to ensuring that the companies that are based in the province are assisted to grow because we have to work with them to ensure so that they enlarge their market. And we have to assist them to get through the African market as a whole and be able to service the whole of the continent of Africa. We quite value the opening of this manufacturing plant because it adds to job creation,” said Zikalala.
In any industry, once you have a manufacturing facility, it also spins off into other sectors in the value chain.” The factory has a staff compliment of 112 people, including employees from Johannesburg and new local recruits. Steven Bosch, LG Electronics South Africa Brand Marketing Manager said they intend on doubling the number of employees in a few years.
Speaking on behalf of eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda, eThekwini Chief Whip Councillor SibongiseniMkhize said LG Electronics is one of the most recognisable brands in the world. “The LG Electronics plant will assist the Municipality intensify its efforts to create a conducive environment for business. “We are privileged in Durban as we are strategically positioned for distribution. Besides being the largest and busiest port in the sub-Saharan region, we also have easy access to neighbouring countries,” he said.
The ceremony was attended by LG South Africa President Deuk Soo Ahn, LG MEA President James Lee, theAmbassador from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea Jong Dae Park, senior government officials and dignitaries from LEG’s MEA regional headquarters.
Ambassador Jong Dae Park, said LG Electronics had decided to open a factory in Durban because it had all the factors to support the expansion of the business because of its strategic location and favourable weather conditions.
“Also because of the support by the Honourable Premier of the Province and all the local leadership and because this is an important province. So we believe that this will really help LG grow its businesses and facilitate its sale and also export to other African countries. And I think there is still more to come and this is just the beginning,” he said.
LG MEA President James Lee said moving the LG factory and distribution centre to Cornubia was one example of how LG South Africa was implementing change for growth.
“KwaZulu-Natal, through the Dube TradePort, is an attractive destination for export-oriented technology production such our innovative products. We also see Durban as an emerging economic hub in the country. In the move to this location, we do not only improve efficiencies, but are better positioned to further growth and possible future expansion,” he said.
He added that the Durban factory will not only serve as a manufacturing point for the local market but also for export markets to neighbouring countries such as Mauritius, Mozambique and Reunion.
“We’re positive about the future in South Africa and opportunities within the wider SADEC region and I know that as a subsidiary, LG South Africa is geared for growth. We would like to partner with you as government and local chamber of commerce to grow with us, to help you grow the provincial and national economy and build a profitable industry. I offer you my support to achieve this goal,” said Lee.
LG South Africa President Deuk Soo Ahn said the factory is a facility, due to its location, strategically positions the company to grow and extend its range of products and services in South Africa.
“We’ve enjoyed great support from local government in setting up our Durban operations, including from the DTI [Department of Trade and Industry], eThekwini Municipality and Invest Durban. There are so many reasons this makes business sense for us and we look forward to the benefits this repositioning will yield,” commented Ahn.
LG Electronics, one of the leading brands in Information Display and Commercial TV solutions and which has operated in the country for 23 years, currently employs around 500 people across its business subsections.