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Defy unveils new solar range designed for off-grid use, aiding consumers to mitigate the effects of power outages and related economic loss

Defy teams up with Taking Care of Business, a local NGO, to pilot solar solutions for SA communities in need

Defy, the leading appliance manufacturer committed to innovation and sustainability, is proud to announce the launch of its groundbreaking Solar Off-Grid fridge and freezer range, specifically designed to address the challenges related to frequent loadshedding and clean energy access in South Africa. A reality for South Africans since 2007, the country experienced nearly 7,000 hours of loadshedding in 2023, according to an analysis by The Outlier.  Parallel to this data, a recent study revealed that 93% of South Africans have been forced dispose of spoiled food that as a result of loadshedding.

With no end to loadshedding in sight, Defy Africa has recognized the urgent need for reliable, off-grid refrigeration solutions to mitigate the effects of power outages on daily life and the related significant economic losses. Commenting on this, Mustafa Soylu, CEO of Defy, explains “finding an alternative or a supplement to the national power grid is not only essential to working towards a solution to South Africa’s energy crisis, but is also a vital part of contributing to more sustainable living and a better future. For the immediate future at least, solar power remains the most viable option.”

Being the first of its kind in the market, the Defy Solar Off-Grid represents a significant step forward in sustainable technology by offering a practical solution for households and businesses across the country. By leveraging solar energy, this range operates independently of the electrical grid, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and minimizing carbon emissions.

Moreover, Defy is committed to extending the benefits of solar power to underserved communities throughout South Africa. One example is its partnership with the prominent non-governmental organisation, Taking Care of Business (TCB), whereby Defy launched a unique Solar Community Project in the Umlazi township. This initiative is aimed at supporting and uplifting households, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as preschools in the area. This upliftment project will not only enhance energy access but also empower communities to become self-reliant and resilient in the face of growing energy challenges while continuing with daily operations.

According to Soylu, the next challenge is to make cutting-edge technology affordable and available to all. “We believe our Solar Off-Grid fridges and freezers are real game-changers for South Africa and the continent at large, as they solve both the issue of accessibility to power, as well as the issue of clean energy. As a household name in South Africa, this objective is something we are deeply invested in. The households and businesses that we will be reaching is only the first step in demonstrating that solar is the more future-fit solution to better energy on the African continent.”

Tracey Gilmore, Chief Operating Officer for Taking Care of Business (TCB) shares that: “TCB has been supporting unemployed South Africans to become self-employed and independent for 14 years, mostly within the circular economy. In that time, we have recruited over 6000 people into our enterprise development programmes, which are an intense but holistic human-development initiative that focuses on developing and training people with the skills they need to become financially and socially independent. The Solar Community project, which we’re launching with Defy, is an excellent example of a purposeful business giving back to its community. With the help of Solar Off-Grid products, our beneficiaries in Umlazi can access energy and cost-effective refrigeration, expand their businesses, and better serve their communities.”

Soylu concludes: “We will closely monitor and report on the changes in people’s lives in Umlazi and will share the findings as we make progress. We believe that we’ll witness a drastic change in quality of life and aim to expand our footprint with this project to other parts of the world.”