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Eveready takes top Proudly SA award

News Index

Date : 07 August 2008

It is fitting that in its 70th year Eveready, the only consumer battery manufacturer, energy saving light bulb and micro turbine manufacturer - has been named Company of the year, the major business category which is hotly contested across all industries, and Innovator of the year in the 2007 Petro SA Proudly South African homegrown awards. Eveready is the parent company of Eveready Diversified Products (t/a Kestrel Wind Turbines).

"Scooping Company of the year, in the corporate category, was Eveready, while Bandido‘s Chilli Company won the SMME category,” an announcement from the award organisers said yesterday.

"Both companies are contributing significantly to socio- economic development, to employment creation, and to enhancing the reputation of local products and services.

Eveready stood out for its cutting-edge technology to harvest wind as a source of renewable energy, while Bandido‘s Chilli Company (in Johannesburg) started out as a family business in 1994 and is now exporting a home-grown product to chilli lovers in other parts of the world.”

Proudly SA chief executive Manana Moroka said the homegrown awards had been set up to recognise innovation and excellence among member companies.

The objective was to cultivate their competitive edge over their international counterparts by thinking globally, but offering local goods and services that provide a better import substitute.

"Our encouragement to the nation to buy local means that our members grow, more jobs are created and this adds to the general growth of our economy,” Moroka said. "We give equal credit and recognition to the contribution made by corporates and SMMEs.

"Regardless of size, adherence to the Proudly SA campaign criteria is what matters,” she said.

All winners were chosen from Proudly SA members that had entered the awards in one or more of nine categories.

Eveready marketing manager Jacqui Brown, who received the award at a banquet in Johannesburg, said the innovation award was made following a submission on the merits and development of the company‘s Kestrel wind turbine project, which has proved a success both domestically and in the export market. "Eveready‘s commitment to innovation is embodied in its renewable energy arm, Eveready Diversified Products (referred to as Eveready-Kestrel),” the company submission said.

"Eveready, in addition to being the only battery manufacturer, is also the only manufacturer of micro and small wind turbines in South Africa, equally important but two very different areas of business.

"Kestrel is the unique wind turbine technology that Eveready owns. It began development in the early 1990s,” the submission said.

Of the ceremony, Brown said that receiving the top corporate award had come as an exciting addition as it had been decided on without specific motivation from among all the finalists, which represented many leading companies in South Africa.

"What makes both awards extra special for the company and all its staff is that they have been made as we celebrate Eveready being established in South Africa in 1938,” Brown said. The Company of the year award is the overall award which is awarded to a company by the Proudly SA Board and the Executive Committee of the main sponsor.

Eveready embodies the Proudly South African principles as the only provider of manufacturing employment opportunities in all its sectors. Eveready further promotes local content and maintains exceptional quality and environmental standards. Eveready’s batteries have empowered and enriched the lives of millions of South Africans – from humble rural homes to towering city apartments for 70 years. Eveready’s Kestrel wind turbines are made with 100% local content.

Eveready, with its 500 employees, situated in Nelson Mandela Bay, has a vision of growth in all business aspects. Its brand and product range has been significantly enhanced and expanded since the company became an independent South African company in 2003. Its expanded range and dynamic products have secured its place as the leading battery manufacturer in the South African market, competing against significant global multi-nationals. The company is innovative and dynamic and has achieved a reputation of being "a best company to work for.”

Eveready’s commitment to innovation is reflected in its renewable energy arm, Eveready-Kestrel. Kestrel is a unique micro wind turbine technology owned by Eveready, and is the only manufacturer of small wind turbines manufactured in South Africa. For which it received the Innovator of the year award.

Eveready was also the recipient of the Proudly South African 2006 homegrown Award for Manufacturer of the year.

The company together with all of its staff are extremely proud to have received these two awards. We are proudly South Africans who love this nation and our power is our gift to the nation.