The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina will announce winners in the department’s 8th Furniture Design Competition on Tuesday, 15 March 2022. The annual competition has been running since 2014 and is part of efforts by the department, to expedite and support skills development in the furniture industry. It is hosted in partnership with the department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), the South African Furniture Initiative (SAFI), Proudly South African and industry stakeholders.
The winners will be announced at the Proudly South African’s annual Buy Local Summit and Expo to be held at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) headquarters Sandton, Johannesburg. The Summit and Expo is held as a platform to educate, inform and assist anyone with an interest in creating jobs and re-building the economy using local procurement as a lever for growth. This year it will be hosted in hybrid format allowing a few delegates to attend while others can join virtually through the following link: www.buylocalsummit.co.za
The Chief Director of Agro-processing at the dtic, Ms Ncumisa Mcata-Mhlauli, says the furniture industry is an important sector in the South African economy, as it is one of the most labor-intensive industries with a potential to contribute to the reduction of unemployment, increase exports and develop the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME). Mcata-Mhlauli says this competition is critical in the development of the industry.
“We are using design as a creative instrument that will link the industry players’ creativity and innovative products. It also plays a significant role in the beneficiation of raw materials. It is thus possible to position the local industry as the producer of high value niche This requires a concerted effort on the part of the public and private sectors to develop programs that address the challenges that constrain the industry from achieving the potential growth levels and significantly raise the furniture products that are globally competitive based on quality and/or differentiated designs. levels of competitiveness,” she says.
Other key objectives of the competition are to contribute towards skills development, attract designers into the industry, and to promote product development and differentiation using design.
There are two categories; Student and Established Manufacturers. The Student category aims to create a pool of designers, to be profiled in the local furniture manufacturing and design sector.
The prizes for winners include a one year internship for the winning student in the furniture industry, design Software training by Mecad Solidworks and a six month Furniture Design Incubation Programme by Furntech. For the professional category, the prizes include a one-year Proudly SA and Institute of the Interior Design Professions (IID) membership, and an opportunity to participate and exhibit at selected platforms among other things.
Members of the media are requested to confirm attendance with Phumzile Kotane on 063 114 3704.