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ISSUE ONE • 2017



• Competence vital for development • Avoiding paving installation failures • Big Mouille Point revamp























Concrete Manufacturers Association Physical Address: Office 0400, Standard Plaza Building, 440 Hilda St, Hatfield, Pretoria Postal Address: Post Net Suite 334 Private Bag X 15, Menlo Park, 0102 Tel: (+27 11) 805 6742 Fax: (+27) 86 524 9216 E-mail: Website: Publishers: Isikhova Publishing & Communications Postal Address: PO Box 651793, Benmore, 2010, South Africa Tel: (+27 11) 883 4627 Fax: (+27 11) 783 2677 Website: Publisher: Andrew Meyer Tel: (+27 11) 883 4627 E-mail: Consulting editor: Raymond Campling Tel: 076 297 2775 E-mail:




PRECAST is the mouthpiece for the Concrete Manufacturers Association - CMA




Coastal editorial: David Beer Tel: 082 880 6726 E-mail:

ISSUE ONE • 2017



Advertising: Wally Armstrong Cell: 083 701 3278 E-mail: Subscriptions/Accounts: Thuli Majola Tel: (+27 11) 883 4627 E-mail: Design and layout: Joanne Brook E-mail: The views and statements expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor or the publishers and neither the publishers nor the CMA accept responsibility for them. No person connected with the publication of this journal will be liable for any loss or damage sustained as a result of action following any statements or opinions expressed herein. The same applies to all advertising. Precast© 2017. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage retrieval system, without prior written permission from the publishers.

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• Competence vital for development • Avoiding paving installation failures • Big Mouille Point revamp

ON THE COVER PMSA has unmatched insight into factors that turn mediocre businesses in the industry into successful ones. It wants to assist companies to adapt their business practices in order to flourish. By concentrating on the optimisation of processes, upgrades of key components of machines and investment in appropriate technologies, many businesses will be able to turn the corner and embark on a new growth path.



MANUFACTURING P A lifetime of experience has given Walter Ebeling, managing director of PMSA, a CMA member, unmatched insight into factors that turn mediocre businesses in the industry into successful ones.

upgrades of key components of machines

upgrade existing plants with technology

and investment in appropriate technolo-

that allows them to reduce cement con-

gies, many of these businesses are able

tent of their products, while maintaining

to turn the corner and embark on a new

strengths. New processes also allow

growth path.

them to cure faster and have products

“In many instances, businesses that own

“Because of superior processes,

All too often Ebeling’s experience has

good-quality equipment and are willing

they’re able to produce more rapidly,

shown that companies in the industry

to change with the times are able to

with faster curing of concrete and by

ready to deliver in as little as 48 hours Production boost

after manufacturing.

fail or stagnate at the point where they

optimising the complete manufactur-

are no longer competitive, or where their

ing process, the product consistency

equipment cannot keep up with demand

is more uniform. As a result, the mix

or are unproductive due to breakages,

designs can be optimised as there is no

downtime or inefficient operation. Either

need to add extra cement to make provi-

way, these companies usually fail to

sion for high product strength variation.

realise that change is required and may

This also means that products can be

continue living on the breadline for years

moved to the sales stock yard sooner,

before ultimately succumbing.

which clears the way for increased pro-

For this reason, he has become pas-

duction,” says Eberling.

sionate about helping manufacturers

“And it needn’t cost an arm and a

recognise these crossroads and adapt

leg to implement upgrades that can

their business practices in order to be competitive and flourish. By concentrating on the optimisation of processes,

completely transform an old plant into a (Above): PA MSA RE1400 high-performance brickmaking plant (Van Dyk Stene, Western Cape).

modern production line. If the machines are quality ones from any of the rec-


In addition to hardware for the machines, retrofitted control systems are

(Left): A PMSA VB4X high-performance brickmaking plant (Dukathole Brickworks, Eastern Cape).

also available to suit customers’ needs.

and downtime. These vibrators can be

make it viable for managers to monitor

supplied in either a two-vibrator stop/

and control progress from remote loca-

start configuration or in a four-motor

tions. PMSA’s technical staff also have

continuously running configuration with

the ability to dial into the operation to

fully adjustable speed and force of the

fault-find or tweak a SCADA system.

Where possible, web interfaces even

vibration for the manufacture of any kind of concrete product, from a thin paver to

Exemplary track record

a solid kerb and everything in between.

Considering that PMSA has been manu-

“These and similar changes to pro-

facturing world-beating concrete manu-

duction lines will boost production and

facturing equipment right here in SA for

quality significantly. They will also right

more than 40 years, there is little need

the wrongs of the past where extra

to look elsewhere when upgrading a plant.

cement, demoulding agents, additives

The company’s long-term approach of

and longer curing times may have been

assisting manufacturers with upgrades

implemented to make up for shortfalls in

on most brands of machines can save

the production process. By optimising

them a small fortune in replacement

and modernising equipment, all this can

costs, while dramatically improving prof-

be eliminated and the cost per unit can

itability. Furthermore, by elevating the

be driven down significantly, quality will

importance of serving the industry above

increase, curing times will be reduced

merely making sales of new machines, the

and your products will be competitive,”

company is demonstrating its long-term

says Eberling.

approach of growing with its customers’ businesses.

Profitable path

“In time, most companies come to


He adds that even 20- or 30-year-old

value the quality and consistent output

machines whch are still in good condition

of our machines, which last for decades

can be upgraded to a high standard and

and keep delivering when others can’t.

produce consistent quality. “If they’re of

Also, to have local support at hand at

inferior quality, haven’t been well looked

any time is invaluable, rather than rely-

after or simply aren’t worth upgrading,

ing on overseas experts to remotely try

ognised manufacturers in Europe, the

we can supply customers with brand-new

to set up machines or fly to SA at great

USA, SA or similar quality-orientated

PMSA machines, where required.

expense,” says Eberling.

companies, then we can do a lot to optimise them.”

“We also fully understand that not all companies are in a position to buy one of our fully automated VB4X or RE1400

Big benefits

plants, but that doesn’t mean they

He explains that through relatively

shouldn’t be in a position to compete with

simple modifications, such as the instal-

the best producers in terms of consist-

lation of proportional hydraulic valves,

ency and quality. Whether we supply any

appropriate sensors and modern SCADA

of our brick, block, kerbstone or roof

control systems, machines can make

tile manufacturing machines or optimise

faster and more precise movements

and upgrade customers’ existing plants,

that can shave several seconds off each

they can be assured of our dedication to

cycle. This alone can improve production

helping them produce the best possible

by thousands of units per day. In addi-

products in a cost-effective and efficient

tion, time is saved on maintenance and

manner,” he says.

repairs due to the smoother operation of the equipment. In terms of productivity, there are many other parts that can also improve the quality and quantity produced. An example of PMSA’s ongoing product development is the new UltraVibe long-life sealed vibrators, with high vibration force and no maintenance, reduced servicing


“As many as 90% of these businesses are able to turn the corner and embark on a new growth path.”

(Above): PMSA owners Walter and Robert Ebeling.


(Far left): PMSA’s fully automated packer-head for high-productivity plants.



THINK BEFORE DISCOUNTING John Ruskin once said: “It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too


little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that’s all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing what it was bought to do.” Meggyn Mar ot, principal broker: professional risks at Aon SA, says the unintended consequences of applying a free-market economy principle to an emerging market landscape with high infrastructure demands is that we begin to feed the wrong beast. “Instead of encouraging quality builds that can stand the test of time and building a future, we fail to think long-term and we encourage the cheapest and fastest options because we want results now, so we fail to plan. The irony is that it costs us more in the long run, not just in monetary terms, but in the benefits of those projects which are lost to our country and our people. “The decision by project owners to pursue the cheapest option carries risks, with their own costs being project delays or a delay or loss of usage of the facility. In the current environment, we’re seeing an influx of projects where consultants are expected to discount by more than 50%. This is what’s required to ‘get the job’. Unsustainable practice

and no longer being able to insure your

“There are many aspects of this en-

projects in SA, or only being able to in-

vironment which are impacted by the

sure at an astronomical premium.

discounting phenomenon:

“It’s important to un-

a good example is the risk

derstand that insurance

environment. First consider

premiums are based on the

that we’re looking at the

annual fees declared, or the

insurance/risk market as a

turnover of a firm. Where

whole, in the construction

these fees are reducing, it’s

and engineering space. The

usually an indication of less

health of such markets is

work being done, therefore

dictated by the sustain-

– theoretically – less risk.

ability of the premium pool.

But in an env ir onment where the fees are reduc-

“Simply put, sufficient premium must be collected within a sector to sustain the claims or r isk tha t

(Above): Meggyn Marot, principal broker: professional risks at Aon SA.

ing due to the enormous discounts offered, the risk on that project is no less,

arises out of such a sector. If this isn’t

but the contribution to the premium pool

achieved, you risk collapsing a market

is reduced,” says Marot.


“We’re seeing an influx of projects where consultants are expected to discount by more than 50%.”


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Increased risk “Discounting is starting to skew the view on risk, because fees are no longer aligned to the true risk exposure. Moreover, the consequences of discounting increase the likelihood of a claim on a project. Currently, civil and structural engineering is responsible for more than


65% of the number of claims notified in SA, and around 87% of the quanta paid in the past 10 years are attributable to these disciplines. These are also the disciplines where the highest discounts are expected and applied when tendering. The total gross fees declared by consultants has reduced by more than 15% over the past three years, and the number of claims notified increased by the same margin. “A single practice in the built environment is now reducing the ability of the insurance markets to respond, and increasing the probability of that same risk. When we’re undertaking work at a reduced income simply to secure the

“There’s been a move in developed countries to qualitybased selection, where qualification, technical merit and experience are the yardsticks.”

or even at a risk, since there’s no doubt that discounting compromises quality and risks increase. What’s more, we cut the budgets for training and development, and we stunt innovation. This compromises our future. “The reality is that you’ll never see a claim caused by ‘discounting’. A claim is caused by poor supervision, a design flaw or negligent advice because a junior engineer without the necessary experience is placed on a large and complex

business and make profits, we have to

project – a consequence of discounting.

cut expenses or optimise efficiencies.

However, there’s no denying that claims

The inevitable result is reducing the

have increased and irrespective of the

resources applied to that project – for

root cause, the impact on the industry

example, a more junior employee being

is real,” says Marot.

allocated to the project, reduced supervision, reluctance to attend all project

Paying more

meetings and use of an overly conserva-

“Premiums will increase to compensate

tive design to compensate for the low

for the claims experience and the indus-

level of engineering being paid for. These

try’s credibility suffers. Where we find

are all ways to cut costs.

ourselves in an increased claims environ-

“Of course, there’s always room for

ment, the affordability of insurance for

improvement in efficiencies and cost-

a firm with an already stretched bottom

cutting within any organisation, but when

line becomes even starker.

we shift our focus from internal quality

“It’s not all doom and gloom, though.

management to profit, we unavoidably

The South African insurance market is in

increase the risk to ourselves and mis-

Cutting corners

the fortunate position of having very good

takes are made. We must never forget

“Project-owners must appreciate that

competition and capacity. The country’s

that a professional’s duty of care exists

there’s a basic cost for every project.

insurance penetration rate is among the

regardless of what they might be paid and

That cost will come through, if not in

highest in the world and well above the

the quality expected by law isn’t altered

paying for proper engineering, then in

level one would expect it to be, given its

by profit margins,” she says.

increases to construction costs, or –

GDP per capita. This means we have re-

worse still – in court. The international

silience and the ability to withstand tough

trend has seen a move in developed

times, but we must preserve it. Rather

countries to quality-based selection,

than balancing the sustainability of such

where qualification, technical merit and

markets with increased premiums, we

experience are the yardsticks. Sadly, not

need to manage our risks better.

only project-owners are to blame for our current predicament.


“A resounding echo of the built environment across all professions is that

“The ability of the industry to stand

if you persist in dealing with the lowest

up for the quality and ethics they strive

bidder, be sure to load elsewhere for

for is damaged by the economic reality

your risk. And if you can make provision

of keeping the lights on, and accepting

for that risk, then you had enough to pay

these conditions at a loss to themselves,

for something better to start with.”


will include a two-day workshop at the school in Midrand. “We encourage those planning to study for the Advanced Concrete Technology [ACT] diploma programme, to be offered by the SCT in Midrand in 2018, to prepare for this by enrolling in the e-learning courses and writing the ICT


exams in May 2017. Passing both these


courses is a prerequisite to acceptance

From next year, the Concrete Institute’s

anywhere in SA or, for that matter, the

crete for Batchers and Batch Plant

School of Concrete Technology (SCT),

rest of world and have scope for more

Staff, will be offered in 2017 by the SCT

will offer two internationally respected

interaction and progress monitoring

advanced correspondence courses as

between participants and the SCT than

e-learning courses.

traditional correspondence training,”

John Roxburgh, lecturer at the SCT,

he says.

says the high-level SC T41 (General Principles of Concrete Technology) and

Nationwide training

SCT42 (Practical Applications) courses

“The online courses have been struc-

are specifically designed to prepare a

tured to ensure that all the content

candidate to sit for the Concrete Tech-

is covered section by section, with the

nology & Construction Stage 2 and Stage

participant being required to reach a

3 examinations set by the Institute of

level of competency in each one before

Concrete Technology (ICT) in London.

being allowed to proceed. Employers will

“The e-learning from the SCT will al-

also be able to monitor the progress of

low for participation of delegates from

their employees during the course, which

for the ACT programme,” adds Roxburgh. A new one-day course, SCT15 Con-

“Courses are specifically designed to prepare a candidate to sit for the Concrete Technology & Construction Stage 2 and Stage 3 examinations.”

On-site training

provide this service and standard SCT

Ready Mix Association (SARMA). The

He says the SCT will continue to provide

courses can be adapted to a client’s

course will be administered by SARMA

on-site concrete technology education

specific requirements.”

and offered in Johannesburg, Durban,

anywhere in SA or across its borders.

In total, in 2017 the SCT will offer 15

Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. “This

“These special courses, which can be

different courses that cater for staff

training will provide batchers and staff at

run at a client’s premises for a minimum

currently working, or planning to work,

a batch plant with the essential concrete

of 10 delegates, are often the most

in all concrete-related industries. “In a

education and theory required to do their

cost-effective and convenient means of

country with a shortage of skills, train-

jobs competently and produce quality

educating staff. The SCT lecturers are

ing is a vital career advancement tool.

ready-mix concrete,” explains Roxburgh.

available to travel throughout Africa to

We firmly believe that a sound concrete technology education – provided by a recognised training provider such as the SCT – will open the doors to job opportunities and promotion,” says Roxburgh. C ontac t the SC T a t e-mail:, tel: (011) 315 0300 or visit: for full details of the 2017 Education Programme.

UNITING THE CONCRETE INDUSTRY Small companies within the concrete

companies on our associations’ boards,

industry should be incentivised to join rel-

these perceptions can be changed and

evant industry bodies in order to ensure

small companies can be attracted.

that all people within the industry, as well

“If we can raise the entire standard of

as end-users’ interests, are represented.

the industry and speak with a single voice

A nchor sponsor of the r ecent

across the entire range of companies and

Readymix Conference by Sarma, Af-

services, then we can get the public to

risam’s Richard Tomes said industry

agree that ‘they do good work’ and build

associations play a vital role in setting

the reputation of the industry from the

standards and promoting the industry.

bottom up,” said Tomes.

These bodies also act as the common

He added that closer working ties

voice for the industry and it is there-

between construction sector bodies is

fore extremely important that all tiers

also an encouraging step in the right

of business are represented, from the

direction, as it promotes the raising of

smallest micro-enterprises to the larg-

overall standards and professionalism.

est corporates and everyone in between.

It also allows members of other bodies

“Inclusiveness of small players in the

to share in “pooled” resources, such as

concrete industry is a key ingredient to

training material, expertise, infrastruc-

ensuring that the market remains robust

ture, communication support and more.

and that the overall industry remains in a position to promote and protect its

Concrete possibilities

good name. A good example is at resi-

“Concrete is a wonderful and versatile

dential contractor and home-owner level,

product that serves a far wider purpose

where small companies are mainly used

than any one industry body. Rather it cre-

for smaller jobs and the average person

ates possibilities for building education

builds their opinion of the industry based

institutions, hospitals, transport and

on these small players.

infrastructure of any shape and descrip-

(Above, from top): Richard Tomes of Afrisam speaking at the recent Readymix Conference by Sarma; the concrete industry’s associations joined forces at the conference.

tion. It creates ‘concrete possibilities’ Expanding reach

for all of us to enjoy.”

members are usually prepared to take

“In the past, many small companies didn’t

Tomes added: “This is a tough industry

responsibility and are up to the task. In

buy into the idea of belonging to industry

where you need to earn your reputation

these circumstances, suppliers have to

bodies because they were suspicious of

for supplying quality concrete. Increas-

deliver, no matter what. To do that, they

the dominant big companies who had the

ingly, our contractors are looking at

need to have systems in place that allow

hitting-power to call the shots. But with

transferring the risk of concrete work

them to use the right equipment and skills

inclusivity and fair representation for all

to professional suppliers and association

to give contractors what they want.”



in partnership with the Southern African



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infrastructural development essentially


requires competence and commitment by the parties in charge of the project, cautioned Uwe Putlitz, CEO of the Joint Building Contracts Committee (JBCC). Putlitz was a keynote speaker at the fifth International Conference on Infrastructure Development in Africa (ICIDA 2016) held at the University of Johannesburg in July last year. The conference was organised to explore infrastructure’s role as a driver for economic growth in Africa. JBCC is a non-profit South African company which represents buildingowners and developers, professional consultants and building contractors, who provide input for the compilation of a comprehensive suite of JBCC building contracts, drafted to comply with South African conditions and legislation, as well as to ensure equitable distribution of contractual risk.

the material procurement processes

by the contractor and sub-contrac-

were flawless. Potential personality

tors; and

Experience counts

clashes and competence issues should

• The employer organisation was expec-

Putlitz told the conference that al-

also have been identified.

ting five-star finishes from a two-star

though such formal contracts are vital

“The issue of whether sufficient time


for building projects and infrastructural

has been allowed for statutory and other

Putlitz said avoiding potential disputes

development, the success of service

approval issues, such as Occupation

that could crop up in a building contract

delivery also depends on the compe-

Certificates, should also have been con-

is another essential factor for the

tence of the users and the

sidered and a specific qual-

successful execution of projects. “In

will to bring contracts to

ity management system

this regard, pertinent issues include

a successf ul conclusion

formulated for the project

ensuring that the correct information is

within the defined scope

in question,” Putlitz added.

conveyed to the contractor, identifying

and quali t y cr i ter ia, an

possible additional costs at an early

agreed budget and realistic

Challenges exist

stage, reaching consensus on delays to


The project management

the project completion, dealing with late

“An experienced project

team should be proactive

changes instructed by the employer or

manager, or team of project

to resolve defective work

for statutory compliance, and late or

managers with dif ferent

on site while dealing with

non-payment by the employer.”

skills, is essential to see a

administrative duties such

building project through all its phases

as the preparation of drawings, main-

Assistance at hand

and ensure that critical decisions are re-

tenance manuals, product warranties

In addition to employing the JBCC suite

viewed and made timeously by corporate

and the formulation of final accounts for

of contracts, he said, it is essential

management or the relevant authori-

each sub-contractor and for the works

that accurate project records are kept

ties. When this hasn’t been done, the

as a whole – within the period stated in

in a format that can easily be accessed,

construction team may have to resolve

the contract.

that consensus is reached on commu-

problematic issues on site in a hurry. This

Faced with late deli ver y issues,

nication procedures (and that these

type of compromised situation leads to

employer organisations should also do

procedures are adhered to) and that

delays and additional costs, and almost

professional soul-searching and ask

any potential problem is speedily and

inevitably results in crisis management,”

themselves whether:

effectively resolved.

he stated.

• Their project management team had

T he ICIDA 2016 conf er ence was

To avoid such disruptive incidents, the

the necessary skills and was auth-

hosted in collaboration with the Kwame

project manager should at the outset

orised to make decisions promptly

N k r um a h U n i v e r si t y o f S c i e n c e &

have ensured that the project was

without “having to refer to a board

Technolog y in Ghana and the Bells

properly and practically designed, that

meeting in two months’ time”;

University of Technology in Nigeria.

the materials specified complied with

• The project’s complexity and method

applicable recognised standards and that


of construction were gauged properly

(Above, left): Uwe Putlitz, CEO of JBCC.


The success of a building contract for




PLANNING FOR A VOLATILE BUSINESS WORLD Volatile and unpredictable global politi-

Such fluctuation in exchange rates,

trend will continue in 2017. “We don’t

cal and economic conditions are making

particularly, dampened progress for

expect a major upswing in demand from

it difficult for South African compa-

both Chryso and a.b.e. in the past year,

the construction and related industries.

nies to predict what 2017 holds, as

as both companies require a high level

I believe there’ll be some growth in sales,

far as profitability is concerned, says

of imported raw materials, as well as

but not to the levels we require. And, as

Norman Seymore, CEO of admixture

finished products in their manufactur-

stated before, the new municipal lead-

supplier and CMA member, Chryso SA

ing processes. “It was a major challenge

ers will have to expedite long-overdue

and international vice-president of the

trying to absorb these unexpectedly

infrastructural projects this year if the

Chryso Group, which has its head office

increased production costs. A rand de-

building industry’s fortunes aren’t to

in France.

valuation of as much as 16% compared

slump further,” he says.

The Chryso SA Group includes major and long-established supplier of specialised construction products, a.b.e. Construction Chemicals. Seymore says that although the feedback regarding 2017 from Chryso’s local customer base is generally positive, with many companies hoping for improved business conditions, the group believes there is

“We don’t expect a major upswing in demand from the construction and related industries.”

still a strong need for caution.

On the brighter side, Chryso saw some improvement in fortunes in 2016 in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), where demand for products was encouragingly higher than anticipated. “But in all other areas of southern Africa, where building activity was relatively dormant, the drops in demand negated the building resurgence in the Cape and KZN,” says Seymore.

“We’re trading in unprecedented vola-

with the euro and US dollar simply

Although 2016 was a challenging year

tile and uncertain times when situations

couldn’t be passed on to end-users,

in many different aspects, he believes

can change overnight. Planning ahead is

who were also in a precarious position

it is gratifying that both Chryso and

virtually impossible when economic and

economically,” explains Seymore.

a.b.e. managed to produce satisfactory

political forecasts are repeatedly shown

Chryso SA therefore had to offset

to be totally wrong in all parts of the

the poor market conditions in 2016 by

world and SA’s headlines can affect the

expanding its product range, as well as

strength of our currency and business

investing in manufacturing facilities to

confidence overnight,” says Seymore.

reduce reliance on imports – and this



(Top): Where the building industry is heading in 2017 will depend on many uncertain factors, says Norman Seymore, CEO of Chryso SA.

GLOBAL VIEW 14 (Above and right): The recently completed Bedford University library, which was built using precast decorative concrete. (Below): A close-up of the T-piece precast concrete components which were used to frame the window sections of the new Bedford University library.


LUSTRE TO UK UNIVERSITY The use of decorative precast concrete on building façades is still in its infancy in SA. More’s the pity, because it provides architects with a relatively inexpensive way of “icing the cake”. Europe, on the other hand, exhibits

used to fashion a distinct and attrac-

little inhibition when it comes to us-

tive façade. All visible finished faces are

ing precast decorative concrete and

lightly acid-etched, exposing a Derbyshire

the casual observer is rewarded with

limestone aggregate finish which mirrors

numerous examples by simply strolling

natural portland stone. Thorp Precast

through one of its city centres. One such

designed the precast units to marry the

is a newly-built seven-storey, 7 400m²

vertical and horizontal elements into sin-

library at Bedford University in Luton,

gle components, thereby forming a series

UK. It displays a decorative façade of

of inverted Ts. In addition to reducing the

over 300 precast concrete T-shaped ele-

overall number of components needed, it

ments and flat Reckli textured concrete

required fewer joints between precast

panels. The £46 million design-and-build

components and offered a more practi-

contract was executed by Willmott Dixon

cal method of attaching the decorative

and the precast elements were supplied

concrete to the building.

by Thorp Precast. The architectural precast concrete

Innovation at work

cladding components, which largely com-

Given the geometry of the T-pieces, the

prise a series of slender, clearly defined

company elected to use glass-fibre moulds

mullions and spandrel units with crisp

with a tissue-faced lining material to

edges and splayed reveals, have been

achieve the required definition and highquality finish. The choice of a more robust

(Left, from top): T-piece precast concrete elements prior to delivery to site; a precast concrete panel prior to delivery.

mould material was also a key factor in providing sufficient durability for multiple


designed to wrap around the in-situ

first-class, value-adding education with

In stark contrast to the more sculp-

primary structural concrete columns.

equally first-class facilities.

tured precast units in the glazed areas,

The challenge was to manufacture these

“The fantastic new facility will further

the much larger, monolithic 4,1m storey-

units in one monolithic cast, but with

enhance the students’ learning experi-

height panels were used to create shear

consistently high-quality finishes on all

ence, offering the latest digital learning

walls and form stair cores. Weighing up

three highly visible sides.

technologies, an expanded space for print

to seven tonnes, each panel was insu-

Located at a focal point between

resources and flexible study space for

lated at the factory before delivery to

academic space and a residential node, the

individual and group study, which will be

site. Pockets were strategically left out

new building has facilitated the relocation

open 24 hours a day, seven days a week,”

of the in-situ concrete shear walls to

of the existing library facilities and will

says Bill Rammell, the university’s vice-

accommodate the panels. Panel installation involved the use of concrete boots, which were passed through apertures to provide support and for restraint fixings at the top of the panels. At the lower level of the stair core, the precast concrete panels, which were formed using Reckli rubber form

“The use of decorative precast concrete on building façades is still in its infancy in SA.”

chancellor. The development forms part of a five-year plan to invest some £90 million into the campus. Challenges overcome The building includes 30% more study spaces, state-of-the-ar t I T and AV equipment, 30% more book stocks, a

liners, feature an attractive decorative

minimise the impact of future phases

bridge link to the Business School, quiet

pattern which provide a contrast to the

of campus redevelopment. The site is

study areas and a cafeteria.

plainer acid-etched panels above. The top

the latest in a series of investments

Situated on a challenging site with a

panels also feature an integrally-cast

in facilities at the university, the most

very limited footprint, the building is or-

architectural concrete coping detail.

recent being the £25 million Teaching

ganised over nine levels. Taking this aspect

and L e ar ning building. Sur r ounded

as an opportunity, the proposed scheme

Consistent finishing

by the newl y-r e f ur bished business

locates silent study spaces on each of the

In other highly v isible gr ound-f loor

school and state-of-the-art student

upper floors in a “study wall”, fulfilling the

areas, three-sided column cladding units

accommodation, the library exemplifies

increasing demand by students for quieter

weighing more than six tonnes were

the university’s ethos of combining a

working environments.


casting with a high degree of repetition.


EQUIPMENT SUPPLIER MAKES INROADS INTO NAMIBIA A fully automatic Zenith 844sc multi-layer brick-making machine is being shipped to Namibia for manufacturing company Nambrick. Manufactured by Germany’s Zenith Maschinenfabrik Gmbh, a subsidiary of CMA member company QuanGong Machinery Co Ltd (QGM), it will bolster the company’s growing fleet of machines throughout Namibia in Katima Mulilo, Rundu, Nkurenkuru and Swakopmund, as well as Okahandja and Walvis Bay. With this, QGM and Zenith have successfully grown to cover all the major towns in Namibia. Nambrick is a 15-year veteran of the Namibian market. It has grown from operating small manual machines to the QGM T10 automatic block machine with a semi-automatic production, to finally purchasing the Zenith fully automatic multi-layer machine. Gary Knight, owner of Nambrick, says he chose the QGM T10 in 2014 to fulfil his requirements for expansion. The decision was based on its German-designed structure which is specially developed to perform reliably for decades. Thanks to its decades of experience, the company also produces machines that are reliable, rugged and able to produce more bricks, more economically. “Right now, we’re using the QGM T10 to produce a quality product that contributes to making Nambrick one of the best paving suppliers in Namibia’s coastal regions. Our 45 MPA-strength interlocking paving has been well received and is in demand in Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and as far afield as Windhoek. “After two years in full production, we’re on track to becoming the pre-eminent brick supplier in the country, which is why we chose the advanced Zenith 844sc as the machine which would help us achieve our goal. Due to the reliability, durability, high-production capacity, quality of products produced and pallet-free packing ability, we require less labour and can effectively produce a better product more cost-effectively and more rapidly. For this reason, we’re eager to commission our new Zenith machines,” says Knight. (Above): The Zenith 844sc multi-layer brick-making machine.




each is comprised of four precast,

depth of seal and provide a solid backing

been lauded for its range of products

20m-high concrete columns which are

onto which the sealants were placed.

that were used in the construction of

joined one on top of the other on site. A

the award-winning Gouda Wind Farm,

final segment carrying the nacelle brings


situated in the Cape Winelands District.

the 46 towers to a height of 100m each.

Mould imperfections of the newly pro-

Consisting of 46 concrete towers,

Horizontal joints on the tower seg-

duced towers were repaired with Sika

Goudwa is among the largest wind farms

ments were sealed with Sika EVA Back-

MonoTop-620, a cementitious, polymer-

in southern Africa and the first one to

ing Strips. This semi-rigid, closed-cell,

modified, one-component pore sealer

use locally produced concrete instead

cross-linked construction foam is de-

and levelling mortar containing silica

of the usual imported steel towers. For

signed as a tough, flexible and resilient

fume. With an adjustable consistency, it

construction of these 100m-high towers,

back-up support material for surface

can be applied by the wet spray method

vast quantities of Sika products were

seals in load-bearing joints. It can also

and provides excellent adhesion with

supplied, including one that received

be used as a bedding seal under precast

good resistance to water and chloride

the prestigious Fulton Award from The

concrete panels and to prevent loss of


Concrete Society of Southern Africa.

grout when joining precast concrete

It is jointly owned by Aveng and Span-


ish renewable energy company Acciona Energia and can generate 423GWH of electricity, which is enough to power 200 000 houses per annum. It is estimated that the clean energy generated by this wind farm will prevent the emission of 406 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Another requirement was to support local companies and for this reason, one of the client’s primary

DD Materials, which used local labour trained by Sika’s Jacques Reinecke and Anthony Webster, completed the

“100% of all Sika SA products used in the Gouda Wind Farm project were locally produced.”

grouting of all vertical cavities using Sik a Gr ou t-2 95 Z A . T his is a one component, ultra-high-strength, cementbased grout specifically designed for use in the renewable energy field, under metal bases, between concrete segments and to fill cracks, gaps and large voids. Due to its good flow properties, it is a pumpable grout that provides rapid strength

stipulations was a high local content in

Once joined together, the vertical

products. As a result, 100% of all Sika

and horizontal joints of the precast

development. During the project SikaGrout-295 ZA

SA products used in the Gouda Wind

segments were sealed with Sikadur-31

was sent for fatigue-testing and Sika is

Farm project were locally produced.

CF and Sikadur-31 DW. Both products

proud to announce that the product is

are moisture-tolerant, thixotropic,

now certified for durability.

Tight specifications

structural two-part adhesives and repair

As a final accolade for Sika SA, this

Jacques Reinecke, head of renewable

mortars based on a combination of epoxy

project at Gouda Wind Farm won the

energy for Sika SA, spearheaded the

resins and special fillers. Easy to mix

coveted Fulton Award for Innovation in

specification and installation of the Sika

and apply, they are suitable for both dry

Concrete. Since the emphasis on this

product, as well as on-site training.

and damp concrete surfaces and harden

huge project was to use local content

He recalls that the products required

without shrinkage. They provide high

and local labour, it surpassed all expecta-

included Sikadur-31 CF (one ton per

initial and ultimate mechanical strength

tions, proving that local really is better!

tower), Sealing Backing Cord (22km) and

and are impermeable to liquids and water

SikaGrout-295 ZA (30 tons per tower).

vapour. Sealing Backing Cord was placed

Due to the extreme height of the towers,

into the expansion joints to regulate the


(Top, from left): Jacques Reinecke, head of renewable energy for Sika SA; Sika products that were used on the Gouda Windfarm Project.

CMA member Technicrete introduced

Differing visual effects can be achieved

a simple gravity retaining wall system

by a reversal of the block, which gives a

that is finding favour among profession-

smoother or textured face, or a combi-

als seeking stability on earth embank-

nation of the two. Due to the extensive

ments, bridge abutments, cut slopes,

mechanical lock, as a result of the profile

landscaping of cut and fill areas around

shape between blocks in the vertical

buildings, protection for steep channels

plane, Enviro-Wall is the preferred option

and river banks, as well as culvert inlets

for walls requiring reinforcement in the

and outlets.

form of horizontal geogrids.

Constructed from dry stacked inter-

Suitable for supporting a wide range of

locking, precast blocks, the simplicity of

embankment heights, the wall is able to

the Enviro-Wall design enables the blocks

accommodate both concave and convex

to be easily and quickly laid to form an ef-

alignments down to a small radius of

fective retaining wall system. Opening or

curvature. It can also accommodate

closing the spacing between the blocks

moderate ground settlement. With the

means that the Enviro-Wall structure

custom-designed base block, the angle

configuration can be altered so that in

of the inclination of the wall can easily

the open arrangement, cavities between

be set at 700 , but can be varied should

adjacent blocks can be filled with soil,

site conditions require different angles.

enabling the moisture in these spaces to

Enviro-Wall blocks are available in

promote rapid plant growth. It can also be

275mm x 300mm standard sizes, with

installed as a solid engineering structure.

(Above): The Enviro-Wall offers a cost-effective solution for ground stabilisation.

a block mass of approximately 23kg.

A CONCRETE MIXER FOR ALL SEASONS More than 40 years af ter the first

“The agitator rotation creates a

prototypes, the Eirich R-type mixer is

vortex of material at its shaft, where

still going strong in markets around the

a measured volume of water is jetted

world, including SA.

directly where needed. This sucks mois-

Despite its longevity, the new R-types

ture rapidly through the depth of the mix,

of CMA member H Birkenmayer are still

which the agitator blades then disperse

stand-out machine among peers, with

laterally. A vertical mixing action is also

their inclined counter-current intensive

created through the inclination of the pan.

mixers that produce a unique mixing

“Coating of aggr egate par ticles

action with significant advantages, par-

with cement takes place along the

ticularly in concrete production. According to Dirk Heuer, H

bevelled high-velocity faces of the agitator blades, while

Birkenmayer’s sales man-

lumps o f sand, cement

ager, R-type mixers have

and pigment are disinte-

been known to operate

grated at the tips. High

due to the precise blending and absolutely

for more than 25 years with

levels o f homogeneit y

homogenous concretes that are achieved,

minimal maintenance, while

and moistur e consist-

often in very short mixing times. With con-

some have even been in service

ency are rapidly achieved

crete quality and surface finish specifica-

throughout the batch, resulting

tions continually rising, the R-type mixer

“Our machines’ combination of a

in short cycle times and improved energy

is well suited to new and more demanding

rotating mixing pan and independently

efficiency. These can be further opti-

manufacturing environments.

rotating agitator ensures all the mate-

mised when working in conjunction with

rial passes through the mixing process

Hydronix Moisture Control systems,”

during every revolution. The combined

says Heuer.

for more than 40 years.

wall and floor scraper produces a flow

He adds that savings in costs of ce-

diverter mixing action which also directs

ment, pigments, energy, water and reject

the material into the path of the agitator.

rates have been reported for more than

This produces good results, even when

30 years by numerous concrete manu-

mixing large aggregate.

facturers using R-type mixers. This is


(Above): H Birkenmayer’s R-type mixer in action. (Left): How the machine works. (Below): A schematic diagram of the mixing process.





FAILED PAVING INSTALLATIONS: A COMMON CURSE EASILY AVOIDED The incidence of failure in concrete block paving installations is unacceptably high. This is hardly surprising, as very few local installations meet best-practice paving standards in their entirety. As a rule of thumb, only 30% of South African installations can be regarded as acceptable, ie requiring only minor adjustments. The rest, according to local paving consultant and civil engineer John Cairns, are poorly built at best and, at worst, bound to fail. Paving failures are induced by a combina-

to accommodate one of the services prior

tion of factors, poor engineering design

to the installation of the paving blocks.

and detailing being the most common.

Once the piping or cabling is installed,

Incorrectly specified pavers is another,

the trench should be backfilled properly,

but the former two are the main culprits.

ie compacted in layers.

Cairns says the bulk of all reported

Invariably, the soil is simply shovelled

failed paving installations occur in the

into the trench with no or only minimal

retail and commercial property sectors.

compaction. What should happen is for

“In other sectors, such as industrial and

the trench to be filled and compacted

warehousing paved yards, the paving

by the earthworks contractor. A similar

tends to be well designed and properly

condition often occurs around manholes

built to bear the weight of heavy trucks

and drains.

and materials handling equipment.�

(Above): Damage to pavers in a new residential estate caused by construction traffic.

(Above): Extreme paving failure due to a lack of surface and sub-surface drainage.

as stormwater outlets, or in a rural environment, to open ground.

Poor drainage

Sub-surface drainage, which deals

Tight deadlines

However, poor drainage is by far the most

with water that filters through the pav-

Shopping centr es and of f ice parks

common cause of failed installations.

ing blocks into the bedding sand, is often

differ essentially because buildings take

All external paved surfaces should be

totally absent. Besides facilitating level

precedence over all other construction-

built with adequate drainage – both

laying, the bedding sand also acts as a

related work such as paved parking lots,

surface and sub-surface. Even non-

water membrane or drainage medium.

which are largely regarded by architects

permeable paving surfaces, which in SA

Apart from draining surface water, sur-

as a necessary evil. Moreover, retail and

account for most concrete block paving

face drains should also disperse any sub-

commercial developments are built to

installations, are permeable to a degree

surface water which surrounds the drain.

very tight deadlines, which means there

and allow a small percentage of surface

This is simply effected by drilling holes

is often insufficient time for the paving

water to penetrate beneath the paved

horizontally at the level of the bedding

to be properly laid. In addition, all the on-

surface into the bedding sand and the

sand through the concrete channel that

site building and service activity make life

sub-base materials.

supports the drainage grids. Without

very difficult for the paving contractor.

Surface drainage, which accounts

these holes, the channel acts as a dam

For example, even when the earthworks

for the bulk of water dispersal in non-

wall, preventing the flow of water into

are designed and constructed correctly,

permeable paving installations, relies

the surface drain. Eventually this water

the installation of electric cables and

on the falls which are specified in SANS

build-up will cause the paving to fail.

piping can cause localised collapsing of

1200 MJ. But even this water must be

paved surfaces. Typically, a trench is dug

given access to secondary drainage such

(Top): Typical trench failure caused by inadequate backfill compaction.


basis of thickness of the pavers and

Cairns says another sector which experi-

compressive strength, which is wrong.

ences problems with paved surfaces are

The compressive strength standard was

roads in private housing estates. “What

discarded in 2010 when SANS 1058 was

often happens here is that the paving is

upgraded because of the possibility of

installed before the houses are built. And

failures. The compressive strength test

because the paved surface is designed

was replaced by a tensile splitting test,

for light traffic, the roads are wrecked

because this is the way pavers fail. SANS

when heavy construction vehicles use

1058-2012 (the latest version) also

them for extended periods.

includes a surface abrasion test, because

“Ideally, estate roads should be de-

tests show that even pavers rated at

signed to handle construction traffic using an 80mm paver. Alternatively, one could do the earthworks upfront and

50MPa can have poor surface abrasion. (Above): Severe surface abrasion of a paver which passed the old SANS 1058-2006.

“I’m currently involved in a claim which is going to court. The paving block

only install the pavers when 90% of the

“The two most common problems

manufacturer is claiming that a 25MPa

estate has been built. This approach also

in domestic installations are the use

block was specified and that’s what was

allows one to deal with any settlement

of plastic sheeting under the bedding

supplied. However, the blocks developed

or earthworks problems before the pav-

sand, which traps water, and poor

severe surface wear at an early stage

ing begins.

edge restraints. Good edge restraints

and weren’t fit for purpose. There are too

“Although they of ten don’t meet

are required to prevent the horizontal

many cases of poorly specified pavers.

all best-practice standards, domestic

movement of the paving, especially on a

The critical term is ‘fit for purpose’ and

driveways aren’t generally prone to

fairly steep driveway,” says Cairns.

the manufacturer is responsible for

major failures. They have the advantage

whatever’s specified,” says Cairns.

of being compacted by bakkies and other

Specification failures

traffic before the laying process begins.

“As mentioned above, failure of the

forming to SANS 1058-2012 and should

Pavers should be specified as con-

Furthermore, these installations don’t

actual paving block can and does occur

ideally be supplied by a manufacturer

require much in the way of earthworks,

and results from incorrect specification.

bearing the SABS mark, or similar, on

apart from levelling off and preparation.

Some professionals still specify on the

its product.


Housing estates



TIPS TO PREVENT CRAZE CRACKING Craze cracking of concrete floors is caused by the shrinkage of the cement paste on the surface and is particularly noticeable when the concrete slabs are damp. But there are certain steps that can be taken to prevent concrete displaying this unsightly appearance, says Bryan Perrie, MD of The Concrete Institute.


Factors that promote crazing of con-

• Applying water to the surface during

crete slabs include:

• Drying instead of curing before the

finishing operations. “Although crazed surfaces are un-

floor develops much strength, particu-

sightly and may collect dirt, they don’t

larly after hard trowelling.

have serious consequences and repairs

• Curing with water much colder than

are seldom necessary. However, grinding

the concrete, causing thermal shock.

the surfaces may be considered when the

• Alternating wetting and drying at

crazing is shallow and the quality of the

concrete is adequate,” says Perrie.

early stages.

• Over-using vibrating screeds and

bull floats.

• Overworking and over-trowelling,

especially when the surface is wet.

• Floating and trowelling prematurely. • Dusting dry cement onto the surface

before trowelling.

• Using aggregates with excessive clay


and dirt.

(Above and left): Unsightly craze cracking of concrete surfaces can be prevented.

M a s t e r f l e x

The Masterflex machine is an allround machine for the production of concrete pipes as well as concrete manholes

• All-round machine for vertical cast concrete pipes and manholes • Easy to operate • VIHY core vibration for maximum compaction and rugged performance • Automatic production cycle giving high output with minimum amount of labor • No overhead crane required and no specific requirements for building • 24/7 after sales and service programme for every customer proud member of CMA European Headquarters Saltumvej 25 9700 Bronderslev Denmark

US Headquarters 506 S. Wapello St. Mediapolis, Iowa 52637 USA



BEST RESULTS Concrete manufacturers and other building professionals are coming to appreciate some of the benefits that can be derived from using extended cements.

crete matrix is achieved, which in turn

The more ‘pure’ cement that’s replaced,

enhances impermeability and enhances

the lower the early strength of the mix.

durability. Slag is known for its chloride

This necessitates the introduction of

ion binding characteristics, further en-

activators to trigger the early strength

hancing the protection of concrete from

characteristics of the concrete.

C orr eia say s under standing the

extended workability and is considered

Eddie Correia, general manager: technical

characteristics of extended cements

a critical characteristic of concrete on

services at Chryso Southern Africa, says

and how they will perform is critical to

projects today, especially given some of

the move in SA towards the increased

ensuring their successful use in

use of extenders, such as pulverised fuel

construction. This places

being built. Adding to this

ash (PFA) and slag, in cement is in line

greater responsibility

issue is the growing number

with international trends. “The need to

on admixture produc-

of projects within the ur-

conserve non-renewable construction

ers such as Chryso,

ban environment, which

material resources, as well as lower the

a non-producer mem-

means readymix trucks

rate of CO² emissions, is driving this move

ber of the CMA. “When

are subjected to traffic

and the number of major South African

replacing cement with PFA

projects where extended cements have

and slag, the cost reduction

chloride ingress.

“Typically, slump retention ensures

the complex structures that are

congestion while delivering. “ I n t h e s e a p p l i c a t i o n s, i t’s

been used successfully is

is considerable, but you have

impor tant to achieve acceptable

steadily increasing.”

to know what you’re doing.

slump retention, in conjunction with

Both PFA and slag are

“For this reason, we’ve

an acceptable early strength and for

by-products of industrial pro-

been working with local com-

this, admixtures with special polymers

cesses, which would normally

panies to facilitate the use

are key. What’s most impor tant is

be consigned to landfills. Both

of these extended cements

that users interact with Chryso from

products are produced with

without affecting the slump

the start of a project, as this enables

a particle sizing either like or

retention, workability and

the company to assess the complete

significantly smaller than pure

durability of the concrete.

cement and concrete requirements of

cement. PFA is known to have

The use of the correct admix-

the contract and make provision for the

a particularly spherical particle shape,

tures will facilitate further extension of

most appropriate admixture solution,”

which decreases concrete water demand

the concrete and we’ve been involved in

explains Correia.

and thus increases concrete density.

projects where up to 60% PFA and even greater amounts of slag have been used.

More durable Both products react with the by-prod-

Longer curing

ucts of pure cement hydration to form

“Although extended cements reach the

more hydration products in the cement

required strengths, they react more

paste pore structure. Under the right

slowly. This means that design mixes

conditions, this process may continue

which include extenders must take fac-

for months or even years, in some cases.

tors such as slump retention, setting

Thus an ongoing densification of the con-

times and strength gains into account.


(Top, from left): Slag is known for its chloride ion binding characteristics, further enhancing the protection of concrete from chloride ingress; Chryso offers access to extensive application knowledge and experience, coupled with its well-proven range of products, providing a fitfor-purpose solution for extended cements. (Left): Eddie Correia, general manager: technical services at Chryso Southern Africa. (Above): PFA is known to have a particularly spherical particle shape which decreases concrete water demand and, as a result, increases concrete density.


BANDAGE FOR CONCRETE CMA member a.b.e. Construction Chemicals has introduced a durajoint flexband joint bandage system that offers a solution for waterproofing expansion and construction joints, including critical joint areas and precast sections with high or frequent movement, says a.b.e. technical sales consultant Steff Dalton. a.b.e.’s durajoint flexband system, to-

adhesive with low slump characteristics.

gether with a wide variety of other a.b.e.

It can be applied in sections of up to 20mm

products, was recently used to seal a

thickness horizontally and 10mm vertically

new 10-megalitre concrete reservoir

in a single application without the need

at Savanna City in Sebokeng. Basil Read

for formwork. Greater thickness can be

and Southey Contracting were the main

achieved by the application of more layers.

contractors for the project. The system

The adhesive can be hand-mixed on a flat,

is particularly suitable for the sealing of

clean surface,” says Dalton.

joints in potable water concrete reser-

(Above): Work in progress on the new concrete reservoir at Savanna City in Sebokeng.

wipe, used to clean the surfaces to be

voirs and other water-retaining struc-

Early strength

sealed, is produced in five-litre contain-

tures and was therefore chosen for the

Advantages of the adhesive include early

ers. The system’s HDPE strips are 3mm

reservoir project.

high strength, which reduces downtime,

thick, 50mm or 75mm wide, and produced

“ T he sy s t em include s dur ajoin t

high peel strengths to the membrane and

in 3m lengths. The strips are used to

flexband adhesive, a special epoxy adhe-

resistance to chemicals. Priming is usu-

centrally straddle expansion joints when

sive for bonding the durajoint flexband

ally not required unless the concrete is

support below the flexband membrane

thermoplastic elastomer membranes.

very porous. Food & Drug Administration-

is required.

T his adhesi ve is a two-component,

compliant, durajoint flexband adhesive

solvent-free epoxy resin bedding mortar/

is supplied in two-litre kits. The solvent

The project was completed at the beginning of July last year.



IN THE WORKPLACE A commonly held misconception is that the employer should carry all the responsibility for health and safety in the workplace. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In this, the third in a series of articles focusing on safety matters affecting the concrete manufacturing industry, well-known veteran health and safety expert, Oom Callie Calitz of OHS Consultants, looks at shared responsibilities for a safer working environment.

he must report it as soon as possi-

ble to his employer or to the health

and safety representative.


5. If the employee is involved in any in

cident which caused him injury or

may affect his health, he must report

it as soon as possible, depending on

the circumstances, or at least by

the end of the shift. If reporting of

the incident is not possible at that

time, he must report the incident as

soon as practicable thereafter. Section 15 No person shall intentionally or recklessly interfere with, damage or misuse anything which is provided in the interests of health and safety.

Sometimes employees think

Then, of course, there are

it is only the employer who

penalties for failing to obey

must obey the Occupational

this Act. In a nutshell, they

Health & Safety Act, but this

are as follows:

type of thinking is dangerous

(e) wilfully or recklessly does anything at

and far from the truth. The Act places

Offences and penalties

a workplace or in connection with the

the responsibility for health and safety

1. Any person who-

use of plant or machinery which

in the workplace on both the employer

(a) tampers with or discourages, threat-

threatens the health or safety of

and the employee. Section 14 of the

ens, deceives or in any way unduly

any person, shall be guilty of an of-

Act is very clear about this and I want

influences any person about evidence

fence and, on conviction, shall be

to draw your attention to the following

to be given or about a book, document

l i a b l e t o a f in e n o t e x c e e d in g


or thing to be produced by such a

R50 000 or to imprisonment for a

person before an inspector under

period not exceeding one year, or

Employee duties

section 32

to both such fine and such term of

1. The employee must take reasonable

(b) prejudices, influences or anticipates


care of the health and safety of him-

the proceedings or findings of an

2. Any employer who does or omits to

self and of other persons who may

inquiry under section 32 or 33

do an act, thereby causing any person

be affected by his acts or omissions.

(c) tampers with or misuses any safety

to be injured at a workplace, can

2. He must co-operate with his employer

equipment installed or provided to

be liable to a fine not exceeding

any person by an employer or user

R100 000 or to imprisonment for a

to ensure that the Act is complied with.

3. He must carry out any lawful order

(d) fails to use any safety equipment at

period not exceeding two years, or

and obey the health and safety rules

a workplace or in the course of his

to both such fine and such term

and procedures laid down by

employment or in connection with

of imprisonment.

the use of plant or machinery, which

4. If he is aware of an unsafe or un-

was provided to him by an employer

Safety greetings!

or such a user


his employer. healthy situation in the workplace,



Variable geology, sloping land and an immense single-level platform presented an exceptional set of challenges in the construction of a warehouse and distribution centre for earth-moving equipment giant Komatsu at Tunney Ext 12 in Elandsfontein, Germiston. Essential to the success of the project were two huge concrete retaining block walls specified by the project developer,


Investec Property, to secure a bulk-fill

“By contrast, it takes only minimal

terrace created to accommodate a large

movement for reinforced concrete or

post-tensioned concrete surface bed

brick walls to crack and the equivalent

for the warehouse and surrounds. The

reinforced concrete retaining wall is

retaining walls were designed by Verdi

typically several times more expensive.

Consulting Engineers (Verdicon) in col-

We specified Aveng Infraset’s Ridgebloks

laboration with international consulting

for the Tunney project primarily because

giant, Hatch. Local earthworks contrac-

they’re solid – unlike most other blocks

tor, Power Construction, was engaged

on the market, which are hollow – and

for the civil work and Valcal International

their interlocking design prevents them

“Any potential failure through the backfill would be prevented by the geogrid’s tensile resistance.”

from sliding, a distinct advantage.

work in which large quantities of rock had

ditional usable space, the advantage of

a closed-face configuration for the first

to be blasted and excavated.

concrete block retaining walls is their

3-5m and in open-face thereafter. The

constructed the retaining walls. The lower wall, 450m long and topping 13m, was built to face off and secure the bulk-fill terrace above, maximising the space available for development on this valuable property. Stabilising the embankment which rises above the building platform, the upper wall, 436m long and rising to 15m, involved cut-and-fill

“In view of the height of these retaining structures, hollow blocks were ill-suited to the project. No matter how well the hollow blocks are manufactured, the risk of cracked blocks increases significantly as soon as walls exceed 10m. Moreover, because both walls exceed a height of 10m, they were constructed in

modular structure, which makes them Flexible solution

suf ficiently flexible to accommodate

(Above, left): The partially completed 15m wall in-cut.

Verdicon managing director, Trevor

ground movement while retaining their

Green, says that besides creating ad-

structural integrity.

(Top): Aveng Infraset Landscape Products sales manager Brennan Small standing in front of the 13m section of the wall in-fill.



LS STABILISE WAREHOUSE PLATFORM lower retaining wall was built after the

outside the failure plain. Therefore any

cluding very hard rock quartzite and soft

earthen terrace had been constructed.

wall failure would require a very long fail-

to medium hard rock greywacke, only

In an ideal world, the bulk fill would be

ure plane, by which stage there’d be so

some of which is stable. It is topped by

prepared at the same rate as the retain-

much friction and soil involved that the

approximately 2m of soil. Although global

ing wall, but that’s not always practical.

likelihood of failure would be extremely

instability was not an issue, numerous

remote. And, of course, any potential

wedges (jointing) in the rock face meant

Providing safeguards

failure through the backfill would be

that over time, pieces of rock would

“Power Construction battered the bulk

prevented by the geogrid’s tensile resist-

dislodge and fall.

earthworks platform at 45˚, while the

ance,” explains Green.

lower wall was built at an angle of 70˚.

Rock bolts and mesh could have been used to secure the wall, but Verdicon

During its construction, Valcal Interna-

Smart construction

opted for a concrete block retaining wall

tional benched the embankment to avoid

The cut-wall section consists mostly of

instead. In addition to costing slightly

the creation of a preferential failure plane.

rock from several different geologies, in-

less, it avoids the ongoing maintenance

“In addition, we specified geosyn-

issues which the former option would

thetic reinforcing material at a ratio

have entailed. The upper retaining wall

of 70% to wall height. It comprised a

was built at an angle of 75˚ using a mini-

combination of Kay tech PC100/100

mum of 1m geofabric and stabilised fill

and GX80/30 geogrid and was installed

compacted at 150mm layers. Above the

every third layer of Ridgebloks. A 70%

rock, a more traditional geogrid installa-

to wall height ratio erred very slightly

tion of 50-60% wall height was applied.

on the conservative side, but provided a

Undoubtedly an equally challenging

relatively inexpensive means of further safeguarding the stability of the wall. “For example, if a slip were to develop, a portion of the geogrid would remain


(Above, from top): The partially completed 15m wall in-cut; a portion of the cut face on the upper wall. (Left): The cut face wall, flanked by an attenuation pond in the foreground, nears completion.


aspect of this project was casting the 44 000m² x 300mm post-tensioned slab on a platform underlain by one-third rock and two-thirds compressible clay. To equalise the settlement variance between the two materials, 1 600 micropiles were installed in the clay section to reduce settlement. Varying in depth


from 8-28m and 141mm in diameter, the piles mitigated most of the settlement. The balance was taken up in the posttensioned slabs, which were designed by Soteralis Consulting Engineers. Precise piling Prior to that, a seismic survey had established the depth of the rock surface so that the piles could be sunk to within approximately 2m above it. Moreover, rock to a depth of 1,5-2m was removed

(Above): The lower fill-wall under construction, with the benching clearly visible.

and back-filled to allow some settlement

allow ground water to flow down the face

in the rock section, further normalising

into a wick drain at the base of the wall.

the settlement across the platform.

“Despite all the challenges we’ve faced

“We used cement-stabilised fill on the

at Tunney, especially the exceptionally

cut face, which meant the drainage sys-

high retaining walls and variable found-

tem had to be designed to avoid the build-

ing conditions, by the time this project

up of hydrostatic pressure. We used

is completed, it will be a state-of-the

band drains – a geosynthetic wrapped

art warehouse and distribution facility,”

membrane placed against the face – to

says Green.

“In view of the height of the retaining structures, hollow blocks were ill-suited to the project.”

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PRECAST SEA WALLS FOR MOUILLE POINT PHASE 2 Begun in July 2015 and due for completion in April 2018, Cape Town’s Mouille Point Sea Wall Rehabilitation Project encompasses the extensive use of precast concrete in various guises, sea-wall panelling, paving blocks (CPB), coping and bollards.

Furthermore, because precast concrete is produced to strict quality controls in a factory environment, it will provide the durability required.” Extreme conditions During construction, the precast panels act as permanent shuttering and, once installed using a mobile crane, highstrength, marine-grade concrete is poured into the space between them and

Phase 1 entailed refurbishing a 600m

landward side of the promenade. One

the wall. Particular care is being taken

section of sea wall from Three Anchor

of the purposes of the splash wall is to

to prevent voiding in the concrete infill

Bay to the Mouille Point Lighthouse,

prevent seawater from reaching the

and the joints between adjoining panels

replacing the wall’s original granite

grassed area behind it when the wall is

are grouted solid with a shrinkage-

blocks with precast concrete panelling.

overtopped. Re-paving the promenade

compensated cementitious grout.

Phase 2 involves extending the panel-

has taken place in the sections where

ling process to the north and south of

the wall has been rehabilitated.

New 120cm-wide precast concrete coping blocks, each weighing 1 400kg,

Rocklands Bay in Sea Point and from the

Precast panels, measuring 2,5m x

are being installed above the new wall

lighthouse some 700m towards Granger

1,2m and manufactured by CMA member,

and concreted into position by filling

Bay, where the wall ends. Guerrini Marine

Concrete Units, are being used to dress

the preformed cavities with a 50%

Construction, the main contractor, has

the new wall, cost- and time-saving being

GGBS blend of 40MPa concrete. This

been responsible for the construction of

major considerations. The panels are

is followed by the installation of new

the wall during Phase 2.

125mm thick and consist of a 30% fly-ash

precast concrete posts into ready-made

Extensive research into the most

blend. Reinforced with hot-dip galvanised

cavities in the coping and grouted into

suitable materials, both for the sea

rebar and rated at 50MPa, they satisfy a

position. In keeping with the durability-

wall and the promenade, was conducted

minimum design service life of 50 years.

critical aspects of the design, the

by consulting engineers Ingérop South

As City of Cape Town engineer and

posts are manufactured using 40MPa

Africa, in collaboration with the City of

Mouille Point project manager Paul Vink

fibre-reinforced concrete. All metallic

Cape Town.

observes, rehabilitating the wall is com-

reinforcement other than the stainless

plicated by intermittent wave action,

steel anchors was omitted.


which shortens the period in which actual

In strengthening and re-facing the sea

construction work can take place.

T he newly completed wall thus presents an ef fectively homogenous

wall, special emphasis has been placed

“Therefore any process which saves

barrier to the extreme marine conditions

on the durability of its various compo-

time is advantageous and concrete

and should equal or surpass the proven

nents, such as the promenade behind it,

panelling obviously meets this objective.

durability of the original wall.

and re-using the granite blocks removed

Another benefit is that, unlike granite

from the sea wall to construct splash

facing, precast concrete panelling has

walls (which double as benches) on the

fewer joints for the sea to penetrate.


(Top): A section of the Phase 2 Mouille Point sea wall.



RESURFACED Re-paving the seafront promenade forms an important part of Cape Town’s Mouille Point Rehabilitation Project. CMA member CEL Paving supplied the concrete block pavers for Phase 1, completed in 2015, and is the supplier for Phase 2.


Phase 1 ran from Three Anchor Bay to

with a 25mm layer of bedding sand.

Mouille Point Lighthouse. Phase 2 com-

Drainage was effected by the careful

prises two parts: the first is a 4 800m²

control of cross-falls and all the pavers

section which runs for 700m from the

were grouted with a cement and sand

lighthouse towards Granger Bay and

mix. CEL’s 70mm-thick pavers contain

is due for completion in July, 2017; the

a Pareflo 20 waterproofing admixture

second, which covers 2 300m², runs for

in the topping and base and comply with

approximately 150m on both the north-

the requirements of Class 40/2.6 pavers

ern and southern ends of Rocklands Bay

in the new SANS 1058:2012 standard.

in Sea Point and is due for completion in April 2018.

(Above): Newly-laid precast concrete paving which forms part of Phase 2 of Cape Town’s Mouille Point Rehabilitation Project.

Tried and tested

The sub-base work for Phase 2 was

Well before the rehabilitation project

handled by the main contractor, Guerrini

got underway, extensive research into

Marine and the actual block-laying was

the most suitable materials for paving

done by Highland Paving. The sub-base

the promenade was undertaken in 2010

comprised 200mm G5 material topped

by consulting engineers Ingérop South

We are there when you create

Making beautiful concrete? Our Information Centre has an inspiring collection of resources for architects and artists. Explore concrete with us. +27 11 315 0300

panels (TP5 and TP7 – see Table 1) were

By contrast, the clay brick pavers

Cape Town. Trials on 10 different paving

particularly slippery when wet and posed

showed no signs of surface damage or

materials were conducted to establish

a serious safety hazard to pedestrians.

degradation and were unlikely to do so

which would be the most suitable in

Although there was no settlement or

due to the inherently high strength of

terms of safety, aesthetics, durability,

collapse across any of the trial panels,

kiln-fired clay products and uniformity in

maintenance, marking or staining, and

several of the concrete block pavers

the production processes.

comfort. Eight concrete block paving pro-

showed signs of significant surface dam-

ducers and two clay brick manufacturers

age and/or degradation.

were invited to pave 10 trial sections during the early part of 2010.

“However, as this trial revealed, clay pavers are more susceptible to algae growth and discolouration, especially

Marine paving

on the side closest to the sea. This was

The promenade section chosen for

Bob Smith, senior designer and resident

possibly due to the low permeability of

the trial panels was exposed to regular

engineer of Ingérop South Africa, says

clay paving, which inhibits the free drain-

wave action, unlike other sections which

that over the years, concrete pavers

age of surface water and creates an en-

were more sheltered. Because of this,

in marine environments have been the

vironment that promotes algae growth.”

results were obtained within a relatively

subject of several performance trials

Based on the findings of the survey

short test period of 19 months. All 10

during which poor design and control

and with the assistance of the CMA,

trial panels were uniformly exposed to

of the concrete mix, lack of uniformity

CEL Paving’s smooth interlocking Bond

the wet and dry cycles of the marine

in the production processes and other

pavers were selected to be used

environment and normal pedestrian

quality control issues were identified as

throughout. A blend of natural colours

traffic. The exposure to seawater led

the main causes of surface degradation.

was chosen which have been enhanced

to a high incidence of algae growth and

“Concrete pavers are generally prone

with coloured inlays and borders, where

discolouration on some of the panels

to some degree of sur face damage

necessary. These included CEL Paving’s

and the effects on the safety of these

and degradation. This was quite visible

gr ey and tan Bond p a v er s and i ts

panels were significant. The clay brick

on two of the concrete trial panels.

charcoal Double Cobble paver.

AUTOMAKER GETS NEW PAVING Aesthetics and durability of products were two of the main drivers behind CMA member, Technicrete ISG, being awarded the contract to pave a new Audi dealership in Polokwane.

many petrol stations and motor vehicle

According to Jan Booysen, owner of

colours available.

dealerships because of the quality and longevity associated with our DZZ interlocking pavers and the wide range of

Boemo Pav ing, the sub-contractor

“It’s not only consumer vehicle traffic

on this project, Audi dealerships are

that a premier brand dealership like

known for their aesthetically pleasing

Audi experiences – it’s also the low-bed

appearance, which conforms to the

transporters, delivery vehicles and foot

specific requirements of their corporate

traffic which accompany it. Additionally,

identity directives. As a result, the

Audi customers expect a safe and secure

forecourts required a paving product

walking surface at an Audi dealership, and

that could suppor t the design and

that’s what we provide – a smooth, evenly

appearance prerequisites of the well-

installed, paved walking area. Our DZZ

known brand, while still offering a durable

interlocking paver reputation is widely

and economical solution.

acknowledged within the marketplace,

The Polokwane dealership is the first

which is why contractors like Boemo

one in SA where Audi has changed its

Paving are happy to work with us on their

forecourt from tar to slate pavers, as

various projects in Polokwane.”

per its new global directive. The grey and

The Technicrete DZZ interlocking

white tinted glass windows of the Audi

pavers form a hard-wearing overlay

showroom design therefore needed to be

SANS standards and the subsequent

surface which is particularly suited to

complemented by the installation of an

guarantee. They’re very durable pavers

petrol station forecourts. They have also

attractive slate-coloured paver.

and suit vehicle dealerships perfectly.”

been successfully installed at industrial

“We installed 2 700m2 of Technicrete

H e n d r i k S t e e n k am p, s a l e s r e p -

and commercial business parks, medical

DZZ interlocking pavers, as well as

r esentati ve f or Technicr ete ISG in

facilities, universities and retail centres.

Bond Brick pavers for the back of the

Polokwane, adds that the choice of the

Sectional title complexes have also found

dealership, where supplies are stored.

slate-coloured DZZs provided a good

that DZZ pavers are a more affordable

We chose a Technicrete product first

appearance for the forecourt. “We’ve

and longer-lasting solution than re-

and foremost because it complies with

been contracted to supply DZZs to

tarred driveways and entrances.



Africa, in collaboration with the City of



QUALITY PIPES REQUIRED FOR NEW PROJECT A mixed bag of pipeline projects has kept CMA member Rocla busy in recent times, with the completion of a number of projects in the residential and non-residential sectors. One of the most noteworthy of these was the 10-month Diepkloof Zones 5 and 6 project, which was started in February 2016 to upgrade and install a new sewer line to alleviate constant blockages and pipe erosion. Maintenance of infrastructure is critical for the wellbeing of communities, particularly water and sewage piping which, if left eroded and non-functional, can be the cause of an unsanitary environment. Accor ding to Dennis Mak war ela, managing member of Mavu-Ashu Civil Construction, contractor on the Diepkloof project, despite challenges such as a rise in the water table that required nine hours of continuous pumping daily and a subsoil drainage of approximately 19mm of bedding stone, the total line length of 2,4km was completed ahead of deadline last year. Challenging conditions “Due to erosion of the previous sewer line because of exposure to raw sewage and the site having been used as a dumping ground, we had to choose replacement pipes that offered good quality in addition to a long lifespan. Rocla recommended its 13mm pipe with a sacrificial layer and we believe it was the best pipe for the purpose. In total, we sourced 2 715 piping products and associated supplies f r om Rocla – comprising R J pipes, rubber rings, manholes, cover slabs and (Left): Work underway at the Diepkloof Zones 5 and 6 project sewer replacement project. (Right): Pipes ready for placement on the Musina Mall project.


concrete lids – for this project and at no

in labour exhaustion, as well as the

time were we let down by Rocla.”

removal of 12 000m³ of concrete and a

Michelle Venter, sales representative

granite embankment. Indigenous trees

for Rocla, adds that the project required

comprising 26,5 tons and 3,5m deep

products of a high quality due to the

also had to be removed,” says Martin van

nature of problems experienced in the

Veelen, managing director of AJCOR Civil

past. “It isn’t cost-effective to have

Projects, based in Centurion, Gauteng.

a local municipality constantly being

“ We s o u r c e d i n t e r l o c k i n g j o i n t

called out to unblock the same sewer

pipes [IJ] from Rocla for bulk internal

line. Closer inspection revealed pipe

stormwater applications on this project.

breakdown and therefore upgrading and

This was due to the quality of the Rocla

replacement were called for.

product. Additionally, its competitive

“We have a reputation not only for

pricing and proximity to site resulted in

supplying good, long-lasting products,

reduced transport costs. Rocla supplied

but also for offering sound technical

SC 75D IJ pipes in various sizes, as well

advice and support to site contractors.

its 75 IJ pipes [Sil]. Even though some

In this instance, it was reassuring for

of the IJ piping had to be manufactured

the client to know that Rocla products

to our specifications, Rocla was able to

were ISO 9001/2008-certified and had

meet our short lead-in times and our

the applicable SANS recognition.”

deadlines with limited disturbance to our scheduling,” says Van Veelen.

Growth point Assured quality was also the chief require-

Sensible solution

ment for sourcing products for the Musi-

Rocla’s interlocking joint pipe is a non-

na Mall stormwater project, which is due

watertight one particularly suited for

for completion in April this year. The new

use in stormwater applications. The

mall is an extension of the Great North

male/female-type joint is formed inside

Plaza and is being prepared to service

the wall of the pipe and there is no

cross-border trade, as well as increase

widening of the pipe, so the outside

retail facilities to the local community.

dimensions of the pipe remain constant.

“This was a project that offered us

The joint itself is used for centering the

a few challenges, not least the intense

pipe during laying operations to make the

heat that cracked windows and resulted

process easier.

“Maintenance of infrastructure is critical for the wellbeing of communities, particularly water and sewage piping.”

menced in October 2015 and is due to


“This vast Musina Mall project combe completed by March this year. The project utilised many tonnes of IJ pipes from Rocla, all of which met the delivery deadlines of our customer. As a result, we’re proud to have been a partner to AJCOR Civils, which faced unexpected environmental and weather challenges,” says Rocla sales representative Sarel Pretorius.



Added flexibility “The success of any hollow-core slab project essentially rests on pre-planning. If we get involved in the planning stages, we’re better able to bring our special-


ised knowledge to bear, matching the

“Offering longer spans, prestressed

cost-efficient slab deployment and sav-

The sales and marketing, engineering and accounting arms of CMA member Echo Floors have been relocated to the Echo Group’s headquarters in Chloorkop, Gauteng. The Echo Floors factory, which has manufactured reinforced hollowcore floor slabs since 1982, will continue to operate from Muldersdrift with a full administrative and management staff complement.

slabs are designed to support heavier

quality of our product offering with an equally high level of engineering input. This translates to better building design, ings for our clients.

loads and can be used without internal

“Our total solution approach means

load-bearing walls. In addition to the

we remain involved until all the hollow-

residential market, prestressed slab

core elements are brought to successful

applications include commercial and

completion. This approach provides the

industrial structures which vary from

professional team with added flexibility

three to seven storeys and are used in

and confidence, knowing we’re always

community structures such as schools,

on hand to assist with any changes or

clinics, office buildings, car parks and

fine-tuning, either during the design or

shopping centres.

construction phases,” adds Esterhuizen.

“Merging the engineering function

The Echo Group’s pre-stressed slabs

of Echo Floors into the Echo Group

have several other applications besides

structure has made it easier for us to

flooring. These include basement park-

provide input on the design, engineering

ing walling, warehouse walling, culvert

Echo Group sales and marketing direc-

and construction phases of our clients

covers for attenuation tanks, reservoir

tor, Melinda Esterhuizen, explains that

through what we call our total solutions

construction and security walling.

incorporating the organisation’s sales

approach,” says Esterhuizen.

and technology arms into the group’s headquar ter structure means that its clients will enjoy improved levels of technical input and quicker turnarounds. “Echo Floors project enquiries are now being channeled through our HQ engineering department, which means we’re better able to advise on which product or combination of products is best suited to each project.

(Top, from left): The Echo Floors reinforced hollowcore factory in Muldersdrift; the living area in one of six new duplex cluster homes at the Brandi-Ann residential estate where the smooth-soffit finishes of Echo Floors’ reinforced hollow-core slabs are attractively displayed. (Left): Reinforced hollow-core slabs prior to delivery at Echo Floors’ storage yard. (Below, from left): One of six new duplex cluster homes at the Brandi-Ann residential estate in Roodepoort being built by Renico Construction using Echo Floors’ reinforced hollow-core slabs for the upper floor sections; the Echo Floors reinforced hollow-core factory in Muldersdrift.

More space “Echo Floors has always produced the traditional reinforced slab, which is generally used for building houses, townhouses, clusters and high-density housing, where the floor spans tend to be shorter. When deployed correctly, it’s more economical than the prestressed hollow-core slab.



PARADE GROUND Cut slopes between an ablution block and an access road above it have been secured with retaining walls constructed by Terraforce block licensee, EFS Construction, on a new military parade ground in Manzini, Swaziland. Initially a geotextile solution was specified, but this option was discarded due to lack of space. EFS Construction was then appointed by Millennium Projects, a Swazi parastatal, to provide an alternative design and it complied using Terraforce blocks. Construction on the R2,7 million retaining wall contract started in April 2016 and was completed in September 2016. Two walls, one 81m and the other 110m, were built along the back and sides of the parade ground. The longest and highest (6m) was constructed with the front layer of blocks filled with reinforced concrete and Y12 rebar to the top. It was backed by a second 3m-high, unreinforced layer. The backfill behind each wall consists of crusher stone. The wall behind the ablution building follows the natural contour of the site. Michael Toepfer, managing director of EFS Construction, comments: “I anticipated that foot traffic up one of the slopes would result in serious erosion, so we decided to add a staircase to the design made entirely of Terracrete and Terraforce blocks. The steps are founded in two gravel-filled layers of Terraforce blocks, stacked vertically, one below ground and one above, and this proved to be a cost-effective solution. “This was followed by a level base, 700mm wide, consisting of two rows of Terracrete. The front row was filled with gravel to create a tread and the second was filled with concrete to act as a foundation for the next Terraforce riser. It was also filled with concrete to bind with the foundation block and the top half was filled with gravel as part of the next tread.” (Above, from top): A Terraforce retaining wall and staircase (foreground) in Manzini, Swaziland; the Manzini staircase built with Terracrete and Terraforce blocks.




BUILT WITH PRECAST Launched in 2014, the Eastern Cape’s Kidds Beach multi-billionrand mixed-use development is one of the country’s most ambitious integrated residential property projects to date and promises to benchmark the standard for sustainable and desirable living environments for years to come.

forms of precast concrete, all of which

the Kidds Beach Project follows global

are recyclable, the inclusion of ‘green

trends in power generation, utilisation

power’ resources is an essential com-

and saving.

ponent in the design mix. Sixty percent of the project’s energy will be supplied

Sustainable building

from sources other than the national

Other green building initiatives include

power grid. Every house and building

aluminium w indo w s, c er amic tile s,

is designed to accommodate solar PV

1 000-litre rainwater harvesting tanks,

panels, although not all home-owners

ener gy-sav ing lightbulbs, day/ night

choose this optional extra. Solar gey-

switches for common area lighting and

sers, streetlamps and air-conditioning,

low-flow plumbing fixtures for washbasins

among other items, will be powered with renewable technologies to ensure that

(Below): Umlele Heights under construction.

Aimed at providing much-needed highquality housing for a resurgent East London economy, it is gratifying to note that the predominant construction material on this massive project, from the civil works to the roofing, is precast concrete. This is hardly surprising, given precast concrete’s reputation for consistent quality, cost-effective application and proven durability. Developed by MHG, the 228ha Kidds Beach Green Estate is adjacent to an extension of the existing holiday resort village of Kidds Beach, located some 25km south of East London. In addition to the use of thermallyefficient external cavity walling using precast concrete Maxi bricks and other


Construction of 30 houses at Umlele Springs, a slightly more upmarket version of Umlele Heights, will commence in 2017,


(Left, from left): Some of the houses at Umlele Heights; a concrete block paved road leads to some of the completed houses at The Village.

also in 60m², 68m², 74m² and 90m² designs. When fully developed, Umlele Springs will comprise 161 free-standing houses and 99 terraced townhouses. Launched in October 2016, Impangele Estate will be developed in three pockets comprising 116, 75 and 160 threebedroomed 130m² units in a price range from R1,2 million-R1,5 million. Eighteen houses are earmarked for construction in 2017. Twenty-six houses have been built at The Village (medium to high income) and a further 21 are earmarked for construction during 2017. The shopping centre will have a gross lettable area of 3 500m² and will open on 1 November and kitchen sinks. When completed,

2017. A private primary school for 600

this 10-year pr ojec t will compr ise

pupils will open in January 2018 and a

2 600 housing units built in integrated

600-pupil high school will open in Janu-

r e si d e n ti al e s t a t e s, r anging f r om

ary 2019.

medium-income units to high-income luxury homes.

Modular design

MHG has expended considerable

A laudable feature of the construction

energy on researching the needs of a

work on the Kidds Beach project is the use

growing Kidds Beach community and to

of modular masonry. Here architectural

this end, the development will include

drawings not only include the walls, doors

a shopping centre, a clinic, private

and other dimensions, but – unlike tradi-

schools, crèches and a four-star ho-

tional plans – they detail every brick used.

tel, as well as restaurants, a gym and

Working out precise brick layouts is a

other relaxation amenities. These will

complicated and time-consuming process,

be developed as the residential roll-out

especially at the corners, but the results


more than justify the effort. Wastage

The residential component of Phase 1,

is minimised by reducing the need for

which kicked off in September 2014,

odd-sized blocks, so prevalent in the

comprises five estates: Umlele Heights,

non-modular approach. Furthermore, by

Umlele Springs, Impangele Estate, The

following a disciplined and identical building

Village and The Golden Mile (see layout).

procedure time after time, the benefits of

Each estate will have its own home-own-

repetition and mass production come into

ers’ association, architectural guidelines

play. Although it takes longer to produce

and state-of-the-art access controls. Sections of The Village and The Golden Mile enjoy beachfront stands and, given that the development takes place on

a set of modular masonry drawings, the (Above, from top): One of the houses at The Village, with a concrete block paved driveway in the foreground; the Kidds Beach master plan.

downstream savings far outweigh any additional investment that the preparation of such drawings may incur.

sloping land, most properties on all five

market for this development primarily

All the Umlele Heights house designs

estates are afforded sea views.

comprises government officials based in

are rectangular to accommodate the

Bisho, approximately 40km inland.

modular masonry approach. However,

Demand for Umlele Heights has ex-

each property has a different look and

To date, the bulk of the construction

ceeded expectations and, at the time

feel, which adds to the uniqueness

work has centred on Umlele Heights, an

of writing, 200 houses in 60m², 68m²,

and individuality of the entire develop-

affordable housing development which

74m² and 90m² configurations had

ment. This is ameliorated by the varied

will consist of 1 085 units, 621 freehold

been built. In addition, 48 multi-storey

elevations of each stand, which further

on plots of 300m² and 464 sectional

sectional title maisonette and duplex

enhance the aesthetic appeal of the

title units when completed. The target

units had been erected on the estate.

entire estate.

New heights




Precast solutions Besides the Maxi bricks, other forms of precast concrete include M4 and M6 concrete blocks for yard areas and other forms of exterior walling, concrete piping and manholes for stormwater drainage and sewers, concrete block paving and


kerbing, pre-stressed hollow-core slabs for the sectional title units, concrete roof tiles and precast lintels. All the bricks, blocks and paving blocks were supplied by CMA member INCA East London. So far, INCA has supplied 2 100 000 Maxi bricks, 60 000 M6 blocks and 10 000 M4 blocks. It has also supplied 657 200 paving blocks which cover internal road surfaces in Umlele Heights and The Village. Pre-stressed hollowcore slabs (1 105m²) were supplied by

(Above): A terraced duplex unit under construction at Umlele Heights.

Shukuma Flooring. The stormwater pipes

(Left): Some completed terraced duplexes at Umlele Heights.

(1 420m), manhole covers, lids and rings are being manufactured by Cementile in East London, as are the lintels in various

The use of prestressed hollow-core

sizes. The concrete roof tiles in several

slabs for the sectional title multi-storey

colours are being manufactured by an-

units enabled the fast-track construc-

other CMA member, Coverland.

tion of these units. Just over 1 100m2

MHG is a vertically integrated prop-

slabs, 150mm thick, 1,2m wide and av-

erty development group of companies

eraging 6,5m long, were used on Umlele

which executes all stages of property

Heights terraced duplex units.

development. Its in-house architect/ development manager liaises closely with

Insulated design

Tobias Lochner Architects on design

“Using precast flooring rather than in-

aspects. MHG’s construction entity is

undertaken to ensure that all the plat-

situ flooring meant we could dispense

responsible for all residential building

forms were stable and raft foundations

with propping and shuttering and it took

activities at the Kidd’s Beach Project

were used instead of strip footings.

days, rather than weeks, to install the

and, in doing so, makes extensive use of local sub-contractors and labour.

flooring. Moreover, we could commence Unique appearance

building the upper-floor sections as soon

Concrete roof tiles and concrete block

as the flooring had been installed. Other

High standards

paved roads are the most visible evidence

advantages included improved thermal

According to MHG’s construction op-

of precast concrete usage on the pro-

efficiency and good noise insulation prop-

erations manager, Kyle Williams, a high

ject. One of the distinctive features of

erties,” says Williams.

standard of construction and quality

the roofing in all five estates is the use

The Kidds Beach Project Develop-

finishes is being maintained by MHG

of gambrels. Each estate has its own

ment is providing a major capital injec-

through the application of several quality

roof tile colour mix. Roofing materials

tion for contractors and workers in the

management systems.

were supplied by three supply companies:

area. Besides generating employment

“Maintaining a high standard in build-

Cape Building and Truss (based in Port

and skills training, it is making a sig-

ing quality involves ongoing skills develop-

Elizabeth) and Builders Trading and Buco

nificantly positive impact on commercial

ment. We use Swift Human Resources

(both based in East London).

activity in Kidds Beach and its immediate

and Swift Skills Academy for all aspects

Most of the paving was laid by SL

environment. During the 10-year con-

of the construction process, from scaf-

Contractors, which also installed the

struction period, members of the local

fold erection to the laying of roof tiles.

kerbing and stormwater manholes.

community as well as the building, civil

We also use the NHBRC for on-site best-

The base layer of the roads comprised

and other construction and landscape

practice refresher workshops in building

a 150mm layer of Sabunga material

sectors stand to benefit substantially.

methodology,” says Williams.

sourced in East London. It was topped

MHG is chaired by Tjaart van der Walt,

The Kidds Beach area comprises an

by a layer of bedding sand and INCA’s

who has been involved in a number of suc-

alluvial soil with a fine clay content and in

60mm and 80mm interlocking pavers.

cessful property developments, either on

creating level building platforms, Sabunga

The shopping centre parking area will

their own or with development partners.

was imported for additional support.

also be surfaced with concrete block

He is also a serial entrepreneur and has

Density cone penetration testing was

pavers and cover an area of 6 600m2.

interests in several other businesses.







Wednesday, 1 March


Free State

Thursday, 9 March

OHS Legal WS


Wednesday, 15 March

OHS Legal WS

Cape Town

Thursday, 16 March

OHS Legal WS

Port Alfred

Wednesday, 22 March

OHS Legal WS


Wednesday, 22 March

Rooftile WS


Thursday, 23 March

OHS Legal WS

Cape Town

Tuesday, 28 March

Rooftile WS


Thursday, 30 March

Rooftile WS

Cape Town

Tuesday, 9 May

Regional meeting


Thursday, 11 May

Regional meeting


Tuesday, 16 May

Regional meeting

Western Cape

Thursday, 18 May

Regional meeting

Eastern Cape

Thursday, 1 June



Monday, 19 June

Lock & Permpave


Wednesday, 21 June

Lock & Permpave


Friday, 23 June

Lock & Permpave

Cape Town

Tuesday, 1 August



Wednesday, 16 August

Concrete Conference (SARMA)

Misty Hills

Thursday, 17 August

Concrete Conference (SARMA)

Misty Hills

Friday, 18 August

Concrete Conference (SARMA)

Misty Hills

Monday, 11 September

P,C & M WS (1)


Tuesday, 12 September

P,C & M WS (2)


Thursday, 14 September

P,C & M WS (1)


Friday, 15 September

P,C & M WS (2)


Tuesday, 19 September

P,C & M WS (1)

Cape Town

Wednesday, 20 September

P,C & M WS (2)

Cape Town

Monday, 16 October

Concrete Masonry Units


Wednesday, 18 October

Concrete Masonry Units

East London

Friday, 20 October

Concrete Masonry Units

Cape Town

Tuesday, 24 October

Concrete Masonry Units


Wednesday, 1 November


North West







Please note: Dates correct at time of going to print, but are subject to change.






PRODUCER MEMBERS A FICK SEMENTWERKE BK Tel: (022) 913 1921 Province/Country: WC Pillar: PB AVENG INFRASET (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 876 5500/872 1713 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI BOSUN BRICK MIDRAND (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 310 1176 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI BOSUN BRICK BRITS (PT Y) LTD Tel: (012) 250 1711 Province/Country: Brits BOSUN BRICK PE (PT Y) LTD Tel: (041) 405 0100 Province/Country: EC PANDA (PT Y) LTD Tel: (00267) 244 2107/8 Province/Country: BOTS Pillar: PB/PI BRICKCAST INDUSTRIES CC Tel: (031) 507 5525 Province/Country: KZN Pillar: PB/PI C.E.L. PAVING PRODUCTS CC Tel: (021) 905 5998 Province/Country: WC Pillar: PI CEMBLOCKS (PT Y) LTD Tel: (014) 538 0311 Province/Country: NW Pillar: PB/PI CIVILWORKS (PT Y) LTD REAL TIME INVESTMENTS Tel: (011) 903 7023 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI CONCRETE UNITS (PT Y) LTD Tel: (016) 362 2236/(021) 386 1923 Province/Country: WC/JHB Pillar: PB/PI CONFRAMAT (PT Y) LTD Tel: (086)1 33 5599 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI COROBRIK (PT Y) LTD Tel: (031) 560 3111/3420 Province/Country: KZN Pillar: PI CORESLAB (PT Y) LTD Tel: (087) 232 2462 Pillar: PB/PI DERANCO PRECAST (PT Y) LTD Tel: (041) 463 3338 Province/Country: EC Pillar: PB/PI EAGLE ROOF TILES (PT Y) LTD Tel: (044) 874 0290 Province/Country: WC Pillar: PB ECHO PRESTRESS (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 589 8800/8899 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB ECHO FLOORS (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 662 4600/668 1900 Province/Country: JHB ENVIRO-CAST (PT Y) LTD Tel: (016) 004 0018 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI FASTDECK (PT Y) LTD Tel: (00267) 397 1974 Province/Country: BOT Pillar: PB INCA MASONRY PRODUCTS (PTY) LTD Tel: (043) 745 1215 Province/Country: EC Pillar: PB/PI

KEYSTONE WALLING CC Tel: 082 850 3512 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI LATEGAN CEMENT WORKS (PT Y) LTD Tel: (021) 873 1154 Province/Country: WC Pillar: PB/PI MARLEY BUILDING SYSTEMS (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 316 2121 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB MOBICAST (PT Y) LTD Tel: 086 111 2346 Province/Country: WC Pillar: PB/PI MONIER COVERLAND (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 222 7300 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB MVA BRICKS CC Tel: (012) 386 0050 Province/Country: PTA Pillar: PI PORTLAND HOLLOWCORE SLABS ( PT Y) LTD Tel: (021) 972 1111/1144 Province/Country: WC Pillar: PI REMACON PRODUCTS CC Tel: (011) 393 5504 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PI REVELSTONE (CAPE) (PT Y) LTD Tel: 0861 173 835/(021) 761 9737 Province/Country: WC Pillar: PI ROCLA (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 670 7600/7723/7600 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI SHUKUMA BRICKS (PT Y) LTD Tel: (041) 372 1013 Province/Country: EC Pillar: PB SILVERTON PRECAST (PT Y) LTD Tel: (012) 804 4525 Province/Country: PTA Pillar: PI SIMSTONE (PT Y) LTD Tel: (016) 362 2181/2/5 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI SMARTSTONE (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 310 1161/1178 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI SOUTHERN PIPELINE CONTRACTORS (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 914 8500 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PI TECHNICRETE (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 672 1425/206 8920 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI TOPFLOOR CONCRETE (PT Y) LTD Tel: (021) 951 7700 Province/Country: WC Pillar: PB VANSTONE PRECAST (PT Y) LTD Tel: (012) 541 2056/808 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI WEST END CEMENT BRICKS (PTY) LTD Tel: (011) 851 1005/1063 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI NON-PRODUCER ANNUAL MEMBERS ABEL EQUIPMENT CC Tel: (044) 874 1876 Province/Country: EC

ASH RESOURCES (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 657 0230 Province/Country: JHB BASF CONSTRUCTION CHEMICALS SOUTH AFRICA (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 203 2400/2445 Province/Country: JHB BIRKENMAYER H (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 970 3880 Province/Country: JHB CHRYSO SOUTHERN AFRICA (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 395 9700 Province/Country: JHB DECCAN DIE CASTINGS (PVT) LTD Tel: 91 80 28524121 Province/Country: India DELTA BLOC SOUTH AFRICA (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 024 4604 Province/Country: JHB

CONCRETE SOCIET Y SOUTHERN AFRICA Tel: (012) 348 5305/6944 Province/Country: PTA CPI CONCRETE PLANT INTERNATIONAL Tel: (02236) 962390 Province/Country: Germany ILIFA AFRICA ENGINEERS (PT Y) LTD Tel: (012) 362 1473/0174 Province/Country: PTA JC PAVING CONSULTING Tel: (011) 431 0727 Province/Country: JHB SEKHUKHUNE & ASSOCIATES Tel: (012) 346 1945 Province/Country: PTA SNA CIVIL & STRUCTURAL ENG Tel: (012) 842 0000 Province/Country: PTA

DICK KING LAB SUPPLIES (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 499 9400 Province/Country: JHB

SARMA Tel: (011) 791 3327/086 647 7967 Province/Country: JHB

ECONO CAST (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 662 2159 Province/Country: JHB

TACO VOOGT CONSULTING ENGINEER Tel: (012) 669 0125 Province/Country: PTA

HAWKEYEPEDERSHAAB Tel: 00 459645 4000 TJEKA TRAINING MAT TERS Province/Country: Denmark Tel: (011) 665 2777 Province/Country: JHB HYDRAFORM INTERNATIONAL (PT Y) LTD YOUNG & SATHARIA Tel: (011) 913 1449 CONSULTING CIVIL ENGINEERS Province/Country: Gauteng Tel: (031) 207 7252 Province/Country: KZN KAYMAC (PT Y) LTD/ TRADING AS KAY TECH CONTRACTOR ANNUAL MEMBERS Tel: (031) 717 2300 Province/Country: KZN BUFFALO RETAINING WALLS CC Tel: (016) 366 1801 KERNEOS SOUTH AFRICA (PT Y) LTD Province/Country: JHB TEL: (011) 444 3090 Province/Country: JHB DECORTON RETAINING KOBRA MOULDS B.V. Tel: 003111 356 2460 Province/Country: Netherlands MANITOU SA (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 975 7770 Province/Country: JHB O.C.E.M. S.R.L Tel: 00393 357 999 084 Province/Country: Italy PAN MIXERS SOUTH AFRICA (PT Y) LTD – PMSA Tel: (011) 578 8700/8720 Province/Country: JHB PEGASO STAMPI S.R.L. Tel: 0039 105 7788 0966/ 0039 105 7798 5866 Province/Country: Italy QUANGONG MACHINES CO LTD Tel: +865 958 679 9557 Province/Country: China SIKA SOUTH AFRICA (PT Y) LTD Tel: 031 792 6500 Province/Country: KZN TECHMATIC S.A. Tel: 0048 608 422 300/ 0048 48 369 01 09 Province/Country: Poland TERRAFORCE (PT Y) LTD Tel: (021) 465 1907 Province/Country: WC ASSOCIATE ANNUAL MEMBERS ASPASA Tel: (011) 791 3327 Province/Country: JHB BRITISH PRECAST CONCRETE FEDERATION Tel: (044) 116 232 5170 Province/Country: UK

SYSTEMS (PT Y) LTD Tel: (021) 875 5155 Province/Country: WC

FRICTION RETAINING STRUCTURES (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 608 4321 Province/Country: JHB POWERGATE CONSTRUCTION CC Tel: 071 603 5070/086 263 6131 Province/Country: JHB VALCAL INTERNATIONAL EXPORT CC Tel: (011) 867 2471 Province/Country: JHB CEMENT MEMBERS AFRISAM SOUTH AFRICA (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 670 500/5752/5972/5775 Province/Country: JHB LAFARGEHOLCIM (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 657 0000/(012) 534 2039 Province/Country: JHB/ CT PPC LTD Tel: (011) 386 9000/626 3150 Province/Country: JHB SEPHAKU CEMENT (PT Y) LTD Tel: (012) 684 6300/0861 555 2020 Province/Country: JHB/PTA

PLEASE NOTE: The above member list was correct at the time of going to print. If your details have changed, please contact Rita at the CMA offices on tel: (011) 805 6742

PI – Precast Infrastructure PB – Precast Building


Precast Magazine - Issue 1 2017  

PRECAST is the official journal for the precast concrete industry (Concrete Manufacturers Association) and the only publication in Southern...

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