Manufacturers 'ready' for new SA plugs

2014-01-28 14:40
South Africa will be phasing out the old three pin plugs as the country adopts a new standard. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

South Africa will be phasing out the old three pin plugs as the country adopts a new standard. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Manufacturers are not concerned that the change in South Africa's electrical sockets will have a negative impact on their business.

The South African Bureau of Standards has indicated that the country will implement a new standard for electrical plugs and sockets, and manufacturers said they are prepared.

"Hisense has the ability to manufacture locally in SA and if the changes are requested by government, we will surely adapt our manufacture to change for this. It is no problem for Hisense," Hisense general manager Jerry Liu told News24.

The company recently opened a factory in Atlantis, on the northern outskirts of Cape Town where it produces appliances for both the local market as well as the region.

The new plug standard, known as Sans 164-2, was conceived as an international standard, but so far, SA is the only country that has embraced this platform.

Standards

Adoption of this standard would imply one of the largest shifts in consumer standards in recent times and a re-tooling for companies who intend to sell appliances in the local market.

It is difficult to say whether consumers will refit their homes to the new standard or simply buy plug adaptors when manufacturers begin rolling appliances with the new plugs.

"From what I understand there is no need for any action at present. This is a long term plan and will take decades to implement as far as I understand. I gleaned this from a radio interview I heard with the Sabs CEO," said Hitachi distributor Rory Macfarlane.

It is expected that manufacturers will practice the cautionary principle as they wait to see how the public reacts to the new plug standard.

"We cannot predict the market, while as now the big pin plug has already been on the market for many years, this might take some more time," said Liu.

According to the Sabs, the hardware will be available by April 2014, but whether manufacturers race to produce compatible appliances is not certain.

"It needs a long time to change, while can be changed if the whole industry is changing," Liu added.


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