On Thursday 6 June Lighting Innovations officially opened their new manufacturing facility on Old Cape Road, Greenbushes.
The 8000 square meter factory on Cape Road was relocated from Johannesburg and is initially producing fluorescent luminaires. These will be progressively complemented with a full range of products including architectural and customised luminaires, LED luminaires, floodlighting and trunking.
The factory boasts a robotic wiring facility, CNC machines and almost fully automated powder coating plant.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality provided Lighting Innovations with investment incentives in the form of tax rebates and stipulated discounts on water and electricity allocation. “We never funded the project, and only provided assistance in the form of rebates,” said Director: Trade and Investment in the Economic Development, Tourism Agriculture division, Anele Qaba
“Having this investment in our region will help the municipality, which is facing a dwindling budget, while contributing significantly to job creation,” Nelson Mandela Bay executive mayor Ben Fihla said at the official opening of the factory.
Lighting Innovations has employed “some 100? workers, and this number is expected to increase to 150 by the end of the year.
Lighting Innovations CEO Bruce Waddell cautioned that, for the company to further advance manufacturing opportunities in South Africa and the Eastern Cape, it would require support from “decision-makers” in the procurement of lighting products as the import of inexpensive, low-performing products from Asia, presented extremely high maintenance costs, Waddell said the acceleration of local content was “desperately” needed to monitor and sustain the highest possible norms for quality lighting in South Africa.
“Government must send a clear message to industry and commerce to support locally produced goods. Our new factory clearly demonstrates our commitment to this national priority with the additional benefit of allowing for easier shipment in a growing export industry,” he said.
After the ribbon cutting ceremony, guests were treated to a tour of the factory. Touching to myself was when the employees clapped for the entrance of Waddell and Fihla on a golf cart.
Bruce Waddell is an old Uitenhage boy and MyPE welcomes him back to his old stomping ground.
You would be well advised to take a drive out to Old Cape Road, Greenbushes to see just how many businesses and factories are being established in this new and growing industrial area.