The Suntoy team is excited to be partnering with Kaya FM 95.9 in their #LightUpALife campaign. This Kaya Cares event is a Mandela Day initiative. Lighting up a life, one child at a time, is imperative to creating a future absent of darkness and shining with brightness. A Solar Jar is a gift worth giving.
Suntoy has donated 192 Solar Jars. The M’Khaya team has distributed the Solar Jars to child headed households at Othandweni Childrens Home in Soweto and Rays of Hope Orphanage in Alexandria, Gauteng. The campaign was launched on the Bob Mabena morning show in preparation for rollout.
In Jozi city, our lives revolve around the daunting load-shedding schedule. At Suntoy, we are off-grid and production continues regardless of stages one to three. We’re one of the lucky ones.
For many children though, there are no load shedding stages… simply darkness… every night. More than 1.4million South Africans live without electricity in informal settlements across our country. Scholars aren’t able to complete their homework or study in the dark. A solar powered reading light charges in the sun during the day and welcomes the children home at sunset. No electricity or candles needed. An unplugged light source - similar to KayaFM's unplugged live studio sessions featuring South African musicians.
Join us, M'Khaya. Do your part! #LightUpALife
"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children." ~ Nelson Mandela
Please note: Faces of orphans in photographs have been blurred to protect identities. The Kaya FM team shared these two photos.
Approximately 40,000 visitors attended the Bio Marché fair in Zofingen, Switzerland. This event is one of the biggest organic trade fairs in Europe and took place over three days in June.
The wire used in the assemblage of the Solar Jar ™ is 90% recycled. Suntoy procures it from Cape Gate where post consumer scrap metal is collected, sorted and refined. All raw materials are of South African origin and the smelting, rolling and wire manufacturing process is done locally.
By recycling wire, a lesser quantity of new material is required during the wire-making process and the amount of discarded metal dumped into landfills is reduced. By consciously choosing 'green wire' and upcycling it into the bracing and handle of the Solar Jar ™, our product is made that much more environmentally friendly.
"Thanks for the interesting tour of your operation. It is good to see where our wire products are used and the end product." - Derek Erxleben, Head Metallurgy, Cape Gate
Tourists visiting South Africa often return home to global destinations with beaded wire artefacts: from tiny mementoes, such as key rings, to tall sculptures of giraffes. Wire and bead artisans, creating in various gauges and colours with few tools but their own hands, are common sightings on our Jozi street corners. They may have good sales one month and none the next. Income varies, yet many tenaciously continue, their need for a job pushing them to become entrepreneurs.
One such wire artist stands out from the rest. Maxwell Jaravazo is driven to create the extraordinary from a piece of wire and a handful of beads. His imagination spans beyond the Melville street corner where he used to trade from. Max crafts magic within his hands. For many years, Harald Schulz passed him on the street and they struck up a friendship. When the very first Consol Solar Jar needed a wire handle and bracing, Max was Harald’s first choice as fellow designer. Together, they made the prototype in January 2011 while sitting on the pavement of 7th Street in Melville.
As demand grew, Suntoy grew… and so did Max. Suntoy permanently employed him three years ago. As a significant member of our team, he has job security and a steady monthly income. He was promoted to Factory Supervisor and now trains and overseas a team of 12 fellow wire artisans. These men are now all under one roof from multiple street corners across our city. That's job creation, the South African way.
Suntoy advocates for responsible social and environmental standards in the manufacture of all our products. Our team has adopted goals similar to Fair Trade ideals to insure honorable working conditions and promote sustainability within our company. We are transparent about the working conditions of all our employees and promote respect and meaningful dialogue.
The Consol Solar Jar is a responsibly and fairly produced solar light handmade in our factory in Johannesburg, South Africa. Suntoy employs 44 adult South Africans from the Alexandra and Soweto townships in Gauteng. They have been trained in photovoltaic theory with overall skills upliftment. As a team they have made, to date, ¾ of a million units (750k).
We thereby promote greater equity in our international trading partnership with Sonnenglas, our European distributor. Sonnenglas is supportive of the jobs created in South Africa.
As a joint venture with Consol, Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices are Suntoy’s focuses. Our team has made a conscious decision to adopt Common Shared Value, a philosophy that has made our company culture fair.
This March marks two years since the first export crate of Consol Solar Jars journeyed to our partners, Sonnenglas, in Europe. Our South African handmade product embarked on an epic travel adventure. From snowy Berlin to the sunny beaches of Mallorca, the Consol Solar Jar has lit multiple experiences with renewable energy: birthdays, camping trips, barbeques and weddings.
We’re glad our solar light has pride of place with customers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Croatia and Greece. Wow! That’s an accomplished expedition for a tiny three-year-old product from the southern tip of Africa.
With a clink of our glasses and a huge cheer, the Suntoy and Sonnenglas teams celebrate its two-year travel-versary! Here’s to bottled South African sunshine! Bottles Up!
Don't be left in the dark. Stay illuminated. The best stocking filler for Christmas is the Consol Solar Jar. Load shedding/rolling blackouts/power outages... the perfect South African ingredient for promoting the Consol Solar Jar. Lighten 'their' load.
JoburgToday.TV visited Suntoy to discover how the Consol Solar Jar is made by us Joburgers. We’re very proud of our supervisors, Florina and Maxwell, and their first interviews on camera. Both began working at Suntoy as assemblers, progressed to supervisors and are now leading Suntoy brand ambassadors.
Watch the JoburgToday factory interview with Florina and Max:
Watch the JoburgToday studio interview with Dale Carolin, Consol Glass Marketing Director:
"The Consol Solar Jar is lighting up entire communities. From the social development aspect, it's empowering people with jobs." - Zizipho Ndevu, JoburgToday presenter.
"By visiting the factory and looking at the process of how the Consol Solar Jar is made, I have a lot of respect for the people behind the production." - Boitomelo Kwena, JoburgToday producer and journalist.
eNCA visited Suntoy with the intention of showcasing an alternative light source to use during power outages. Load-shedding is leaving us all in the dark and the Consol Solar Jar offers a viable off-grid alternative.
Watch Dale Carolin, Consol Glass Marketing Director, being interviewed.
South Africa is currently celebrating summer, sunny skies, beaches and braais. Yet, our distributors in Europe, Sonnenglas, are shivering in the winter ice and snow.
In Berlin, Germany, evening markets are festive season highlights. Temperatures plummet to approximately 30 degrees less than our South African norm. No matter how cold, everyone is flocking to the Sonnenglas stall to purchase Consol Solar Jars. Our Consol Solar Jar is an eco-friendly, handmade Christmas gift of bottled warm South African sunshine. What more can a winter in Europe ask for?
There's a sense of covert mystery at the Spier Secret Dinner. Classified information is discreetly revealed. A guest discovers secret ingredients to family recipes kept hidden for generations. Coupled with Spier wine, the meal is made tastier with solar light.
Caro de Waal, host extraordinaire, used the Consol Solar Jar as table decor. Inspired by a theatre-in-a-jar, Caro placed foliage within the glass jars, each representing the Four Seasons theme.
At another secret dinner, with the theme of Street Grub, Caro smoked beef skewers inside glass jars. A tasty meal illuminated by solar light.
Do you want to be privy to some golden secrets while sipping a glass of Spier wine? Check out when the next Spier Secret Dinner is scheduled.
Here's a dose of good news - positive, uplifting and inspirational. This story offers hope.
The Making a Difference (MAD) awards ceremony celebrated a year of commitment to crime prevention in our province, Gauteng. The audience of domestic workers, dressed in beautiful traditional outfits, filled the Rosebank Union Church with a vibrant energy. Each one of them is committed to being a shining light in their communities. They refuse to wallow in the disillusionment of our crime statistics, choosing rather to fight wrongdoing in South Africa, one small gesture at a time.
The police thanked them for being valuable contributors. "No success is a small success. Every success is a big one. There are so many good news stories worthy of a wow," said Penny Steyn, MAD Domestic Watch and SAPS Customer Service Trainer.
Suntoy and Consol donated Consol Solar Jars that were gifted to lucky-draw recipients. Harald was invited to give a talk and demonstrate how the Consol Solar Jar works. Our Suntoy team is proud to be associated with MAD and the good work they do. Thank you for welcoming us into your MAD family. We look forward to shining light on dark places with you.
Watch Harald talk at the MAD event:
Charlie Holland, a British sailor, and his 87-year-old vessel with a 1962-Kelvin engine, the Schwalbe, have sailed every ocean over the last decade. Accompanying them on a recent voyage was a Consol Solar Jar. Charlie emailed to tell how this solar light assisted him during a voyage at sea.
“Our Consol Solar Jar hung off a hook in the galley. In the daytime the solar light charged on the wheelhouse roof, inside a life-ring we used for curing fish. During particularly lively weather, we heard it crash to the deck. Another time, it dropped in the bilge and bounced off the steel frame that supports the engine. The Consol Solar Jar is extremely robust and after each drop, it still worked perfectly. It was especially useful at night in the wheelhouse, as the beam from the LEDs didn’t interfere with our night vision. This solar light quickly became our go-to light source for accessing all areas of the boat. Even in daytime, the forepeak needs light when looking for spare line and with its hanging handle it leaves two hands free to do the searching. The Consol Solar Jar should be available in every marine supply shop, worldwide. Every boat should have at least one!”
Creepiness prevailed while creating spooky scenes inside Consol Solar Jars for Halloween. Skeletal bones, wicked witches with broomsticks, spider webs and rats nibbling on pumpkins equaled quirky plus SCARY in capital letters!
As darkness fell, the LEDs lit the miniature scenes transforming a solar light into a theatre-in-a-jar. Everyone at the Parkview Residents Association was wowed by these visual treats in the midst of their party at George Hay Park. Our AstroWheel successfully morphed into a WitchesWheel. Tim Burton would've been proud of this trick-or-treat!
Suntoy sponsored prizes for the best costumes. Consol Solar Jars were gifted to the goriest face, the wickedest witch, Edward Scissorhands, the scariest-hairy-chest-ever-encountered-in-a-sequened-shirt and a less gruesome, yet very clever, house from the movie Up.
What theme will our solar wheel take on next? Keep your eyes peeled...
Dynamic retail in-store lighting solutions attract customers and showcase merchandise. Choosing the right lighting solution is the perfect way to reflect brand identity especially when choosing a product distributed by the brand itself.
Consol Xprs in Stellenbosch did just that. Eduard Visser, the project co-ordinator, along with his decorating team chose to suspend 24 Consol Solar Jars from wooden roof rafters at one end of the store.
The Consol Solar Jars are an important interior design tool creating a unique in-store ambience from arrival to checkout. They give customers a reason to look up, discover, buy and return to purchase more.
Another innovative way to use the Consol Solar Jar.
The Young Achievers Empowerment Project, a Namibian youth organisation, has launched a project entitled Promoting Renewable Energy in Informal Settlements which aims to encourage the use of solar lights by youth that live off-grid in Namibia.
With a small commencement grant, they chose the Consol Solar Jar as their preferred choice of solar light. “Many young people do not have electricity at home and it is not safe to use candles at night because of shack fires. We hope to help less privileged children who cannot study at night because of lack of electricity,” said Johannes Mulunga.
The pilot phase reached approximately 80 school pupils between Grades one and seven from informal settlements in Khomas, Oshana, Oshikoto, Erongo and Kavango. Phase two of the project invites the general public to purchase a Consol Solar Jar for N$160 (Namibian currency), which will be gifted to a school pupil.
“We call on the public to help those in need to prosper in their schoolwork. Buying this solar light for a child will allow them to be as competitive as a child from an advantaged family,” said Johannes. “Our project is going so well and the response has been overwhelming. An article about our story even appeared in the local Namibian newspaper,” emailed Michael Mulunga.
Interested parties who wish to purchase a Consol Solar Jar for this worthy cause can contact Johannes Mulunga at 081 385 3749 or Israel Ndilipunje at 081 436 0497.
Khutse Game Reserve adjoins the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in the north of Botswana. With rolling grasslands, riverbeds, dunes and pans where wildlife congregate in abundant sunshine, it is the ideal spot for a solar powered holiday.
David Way visited Khutse accompanied by three Consol Solar Jars. By night, the only light sources were from the solar lights, the campfire and stars. An 85W solar panel kept the portable fridge running, the beer ice cold and the meat frozen. It was an ideal African safari.
“We charged the Consol Solar Jars by day and used them to light the campsite by night. During game drives, we unscrewed the lids and left them on the car dashboard to charge as we drove. The Consol Solar Jars added to the ambience with subtle yet effective lighting making a wonderful experience even more enjoyable.” – David Way
Pretty cool! A big fan of radio 947, Camilla encouraged her hubby, Harald, to spend an eve running around their home collecting Consol Solar Jars scattered in their garden. Intent on showing her love for the new 947 logo, she directed Mr Sunshine to create 947 out of solar lights... and voila! It's amazing what one can do with a little imagination.
We entered the pic in the #ShowUsYour947 competition. Hold thumbs!