Deal paves the way for SA-made smartphone


Black-owned South African mining and energy company Sekoko Group has rebranded as 'Mint' after acquiring an electronics maker that is building SA's first-ever locally made smartphone.

Sekoko Group, in a press statement, says it has acquired 75% of electronics manufacturer CZ Electronics, which was established in 2002 with the purchase of the production assets of the Alcatel factory in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg. CZ Electronics employs 300 staff, most of whom are women, according to the statement.

Subsequently, the newly formed 'Mint' is looking to launch the first South African designed and built smartphone and tablet within the second half of 2014.

'We are enormously proud of the first mass-market smartphone and tablet to be designed and built right here in South Africa,' says Sekoko Group chairman Dr. Tim Tebeila.

'Our aim is to provide South Africans with the choice of purchasing a top-quality, world-class product that's affordable as it's made in South Africa specifically with South Africans in mind.'

The smartphone and tablet is planned to be produced at the Boksburg manufacturing plant.

'The company has a capacity of around 280,000 components per hour. It specialises in electronic assemblies for the telecom, defence, utility metering, vehicle tracking and data acquisition industries,' says the press statement.