Philips goes to Lesotho to produce light bulbs

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Johannesburg – Philips South Africa, whose parent company is listed in New York and Amsterdam, was setting up a multimillion-dollar manufacturing and recycling plant for energy saving light bulbs in Lesotho, the company said yesterday.

The plant would be set up jointly with the Central Energy Fund (CEF), a government company focusing on opportunities in the energy sector, and Karebo Systems, a privately owned company specialising in demand side management initiatives in the energy sector.

Philips holds 40 percent stake in the facility, while the CEF and Karebo each hold 30 percent. The plant, which will be opened for business in September, will create 500 jobs and accelerate the uptake of energy-efficient light bulbs.

Ian Murdoch, the chief executive and chairman of Philips South Africa, said one of the economic spin-offs for South Africa would be that all components for the plant would be bought in the country.

The announcement of the construction of the plant in Lesotho comes at a time when South Africa is experiencing an energy crisis.

The company added that energy-saving bulbs saved 80 percent energy, compared with incandescent bulbs, and would assist in overcoming shortages that were being experienced in the southern Africa region.