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Student design winner

J Fubbs

The African National Congress congratulates young furniture designer Mr Lwazi Mshibe, the winner in the student Category at the 5th annual Furniture Design Competition Awards. Furniture designers from all over country exhibited their designs at the Homemakers Expo in Johannesburg recently. Mr Mshibe who studied a Bachelor of Technology Interior Design Degree at the Durban University of Technology was entering the competition for the second time after an unsuccessful first attempt. The Furniture Design Competition is the brainchild of the Department of Trade and Industry which seeks to elevate South Africa's furniture manufacturing capabilities and enhancing its competitiveness both locally and abroad. Speaking on his award-winning design concept, Mshibe said that the Songa (meaning to fold in Isixhosa) came as an inspiration during his study years when he had to leave home and stay in a residential flat.

It was during this period that he was introduced to the struggles many students encounter living in very limited space that often require flexible pieces of furniture. It was then when he designed this multi-purpose concept. Mr Mshibe added that he wanted to design affordable furniture that can be mass produced for local and international consumption. "The furniture industry is playing a key role in radically transforming South Africa's economy," said Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Mr Bulelani Magwanishe. He added that this was partly because "It is one of the most labour intensive and trade supporting sectors and if it is promoted correctly it can significantly contribute to industry development and lead to the beneficiation of raw materials."

I thank you

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