Samsung to build TV factory in South Africa

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25 July 2014

South Korean electronics and technology giant Samsung is set to invest US$20-million (nearly R220-million) in a new television factory at the Dube TradePort in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, in order to take advantage of rising demand for consumer goods in Africa.

“We plan to start construction of the TV plant in South Africa in the latter half of the year,” Samsung said in a statement cited by the Korea Times earlier this week. “The investment will be $20 million through 2018.”

The Dube TradePort is an air-freight logistics hub located alongside King Shaka International Airport, 30 kilometres north of Durban. It is poised to become one of the special economic zones that South Africa is busy setting up in order to boost investment in the country.

Trade and Industry Director-General Lionel October, in an interview with news agency Bloomberg last week, said Samsung had identified the Dube TradePort “as a space to operate from”. President Jacob Zuma “will launch the special economic zone within a month or so, and the first investment anchor will be Samsung,” October said.

The South African factory will be Samsung’s second in Africa. The first, located in Beni Suef, Egypt, began production in September 2013.

According to the Korea Times, “while demand for flat-screen TVs has flattened due to the rise of tablets and smartphones, Samsung believes it can awaken idling demand for premium TVs from affluent African consumers”.

Korea Times quoted an official from market researchers DisplaySearch as saying: “As the TV markets in North America and Europe are heading towards full saturation, Samsung needs to explore new markets. The South African factory will mainly produce TVs with ultra high-definition (UHD) picture quality.”

SAinfo reporter