About Kariba Batteries

Kariba batteries is committed to honesty and integrity combined with top service. This goal has been integral to the company since it was first established as a family-run business in Port Elizabeth over 60 years ago. When the company changed ownership a decade later, the customer promise remained the same and still holds true today.  

Since its establishment, Kariba Batteries has built up a loyal client base in the Port Elizabeth region. This has been driven by our experienced branch managers who insist that no battery is to be fitted or supplied unless it is under warranty, and who also ensure that a battery is only replaced following onsite charging and a thorough testing with current methods to ensure failure is not due to other parts.

A short history of Kariba Batteries

Kariba batteries was established by the Onions family who came from Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) in the 1950s, bringing along their machinery and technical know-how.   Their popular payoff line at the time was “We know our Onions”, and know their onions they certainly did.   Their machinery enabled the Onions to produce and assemble batteries onsite, from producing the lead parts, connectors and grids, to undertaking the ’pasting’ process, casing and sealing with bitumen.  In those days, it was possible to rebuilding batteries with a bitumen seal.   Often faulty cells in batteries could – and were – replaced, giving the battery a new lease on life.  Today, batteries are sealed for added protection and longevity, and cells can no longer be economically replaced.

The Onion’s experience proved invaluable to local customers.  After originally setting up shop in Frazer Street, North End,  Kariba Batteries moved to new and bigger premises on Hancock Street, North End, and continues to operate from here to this day.  

In the late 1960s, Roy Jones purchased Kariba Batteries from the Onions family and a few years later, Ian Jones joined the team.  The company opened up its first branch at 4 New Street in deMistUitenhage.  The company has since expanded to include an additional branch on Worraker Street in Newton Park, which was opened five years ago .

Kariba Batteries in 2017 and beyond

In early 2017, Kariba Batteries was acquired by Probe Corporation SA (Pty) Ltd.  Probe Corporation is a family-run business that has grown into South Africa’s largest importer of premium, maintenance-free, fit and forget batteries and is a leader in rotating electrics.  The company has over 50 years of experience in distributing and providing aftermarket support for many international brands. Not only does Probe Corporation share similar values to Kariba Batteries, but also recognises the value that the operation brings to the Nelson Mandela Bay area.

Kariba Batteries continues to operate under the same leadership with a firm commitment to Kariba Batteries’ founding principles of combining professionalism with honesty and integrity.