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• First Mark of Approval Awarded • Long-term permeable paving test • Colouring concrete beautiful



















































12 PRECAST is the mouth piece for the Concrete Manufacturers Association - CMA Concrete Manufacturers Association Physical Address: Office 0400, Standard Plaza Building, 424 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 Email:















Coastal editorial: David Beer Tel: 082 880 6726 Email:




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© 2016. 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.

Endorsed by:

• First Mark of Approval Awarded


• Long-term permeable paving test • Colouring concrete beautiful

With assistance and input of trusted equipment supplier, Pan Mixers South Africa (PMSA), Kempton Park-based manufacturer, Brick-It, is pushing production of concrete bricks and blocks off-thecharts. Due to the quality of units produced, the company is straining to keep-up with demand from top-end contractors and builders’ yards who are scrambling to secure stock. Now, having reached a temporary pinnacle for the supply of bricks due to lagging raw materials, the company is turning its attention to pavers.



TO PROFITABILITY Production of concrete bricks and blocks is off-the-chart for Kempton Park-based manufacturer BrickIt, with volumes of each of its four PMSA VB4X brick machines far surpassing the manufacturer’s claimed production outputs. Even so, due to the quality of units produced, the company is straining to keep up with demand from top-end contractors and builders’ yards who are scrambling to secure stock. Right now one of the biggest challenges facing the company is to build up stock and secure a production buffer for the production crew’s peace of mind. Not that slowing down is an option for owners Steven Carr and Sean Cameron,

million bricks per month. This not only

Professional partners

allows the company to diversify its of-

Carr stresses the commitment of the

fering to the market, but enables it to

company to service excellence. “No mat-

produce higher-value products with a

ter what day of the week or time of the

different composition from an entirely

night, it always stands by its machines.

different raw material stream.

There have even been instances where

According to Carr, the hard-working

its managers have personally driven

nature of the plant owes a lot to the

parts across the country to get to us

quality of the PMSA equipment which

by dawn and avoid interruptions to our

has helped to take the company from

production. The company’s well-made,

humble beginnings to being a major

pr oper l y suppor ted equipment has

“PMSA has taken an active interest in our business and has been there for us every step of the way.”

played a direct part in our past success and will do the same in our future success. That’s why we’re procuring our new RE1400 machine and production line from PMSA,” he says. Based on the success of the older PMSA machines and the subsequent success of the newly installed PMSA VB4X production line with full curing chamber, the company has opted for a

whose determination to supply an ever-

manufacturer within the Gauteng region

similar arrangement with its RE1400

larger portion of the Gauteng market

within just six years. “The fact that the

paving block machine. In addition, it will be

continues to grow. Having reached a tem-

machines are able to work so hard and

fitted with an efficient topping feed that

porary pinnacle for the supply of bricks,

push production through the limits is a

will enable pavers to be produced with a

due to lagging raw materials, the com-

great testimony to their build quality and

fine aggregate high-wearing surface on

pany is turning its attention to pavers.

design,” he says.

top of a larger aggregate, higher-tensile

“Furthermore, the kind of service we

strength body of the block. In this con-

Beyond limits

receive is beyond that of a buyer-suppli-

figuration, the system will be able to

With the assistance and input of trusted

er relationship. From the start, it’s been

produce in excess of 100 000 pavers per

equipment supplier Pan Mi xer s SA

like a partnership, where PMSA’s taken

day, with chamber curing requiring only

(PMSA), the company recently decided

an active interest in our business and

about 24 hours before the pavers can

to invest more than R25 million in a new

has been there for us every step of the

PMSA RE1400 automated manufactur-

way. This has applied equally to advice

ing plant and produce high-quality paving

and opportunities, as well as to the

blocks to complement its capacity of 12

servicing and support of our equipment.”

(Top, from left): One of the company’s PMSA VB4X brick-making machines in operation at the company’s Kempton Park plant; PMSA manufactures and imports quality equipment for the local market.


pable of producing volumes which are in

Due to the high quality of pavers, the

line with (and exceed) specifications, and

Solid track record

company has big plans for selling them

that are durable and reliable to maintain

In the six years since opening

and wants to move the new products via

these high volumes for months and years

its doors, Brick-It has gone from

existing and new hardware and building

on end. In addition, the scarcity of raw

strength to strength, with four

supplier markets. The addition of topping

materials means nothing can be wasted.

processing plants producing 144

feed will also give it the ability to produce

For this reason, we choose to rely on

million bricks per annum. Its main

special products with a variety of differ-

using machines that reduce scrap and

site in Kempton Park, Johannes-

ent textures and materials that can be

breakages. Our success is proof that it

burg, covers 5ha and is the site

customised for different stores to give

pays to deal with a company like PMSA,

where the new RE1400 machine

each line supplied a unique appearance

which has the experience, spares and

will be installed. An additional site

and characteristics.

after-sales service to keep our machines

in Brakpan currently houses one

going at the kind of pace we need to be

PMSA VB4X machine and provides

profitable,” says Carr.

the company with room for expan-

Tough market “One of the benefits of using qual-

sion, if required.

ity equipment is that we can optimise materials to produce the same quality

Four decades of excellence

product at a lower input price. The addi-

PMSA was established in 1976

tion of curing chambers means we have

and celebrates 40 years of suc-

far quicker turnaround times and the

cess this year. At the same time,

improved early strength means we can

Brick-It – one of the company’s

package and sell the product sooner,

premier customers – celebrates

without the fear of breakages. Here in

10 years of success as it awaits

the ultra-competitive heart of Gauteng,

the arrival of its PMSA RE1400

optimisation and volume are everything

plant, where it plans to become

and spell the difference between success

a competitive force in the paving

and failure, profits or losses.

market of Gauteng.

“That’s why we rely on equipment ca-

(Above): Sean Cameron and Steven Carr of Brick-It.


be stocked and made ready for delivery.



AGM REFLECTS ON CMA’S NEW PATH The multitude of changes that took place

tions, as well as identify CMA members

sponsored by PPC and attended by the

over the past year may have gone unno-

who are able to supply and assist them.

who’s who of the industry.

ticed by many members of the CMA, but

On a face-to-face basis, the CMA

On the training front, the CMA hosted

when summarised and delivered at the

increasingly reached out to members in

successful paving seminars nationwide.

association’s annual general meeting in

far-flung areas to identify challenges and

These gave manufacturers the oppor-

Kempton Park, Johannesburg, recently,

respond in a manner that can assist them

tunity to get their customers involved

it was clear that the CMA is changing to

to do better business and expand their

in learning more from one of the world’s

meet members’ new requirements in an

operations. These “road trips” were also

leading experts on paving. Other outreach

ever-evolving marketplace.

aimed at attracting new members and

campaigns were held at the annual Totally

Since the last AGM, the association

this aim was achieved with the signing

Concrete expo in Johannesburg, as well

has made major changes in both its of-

of four new members from these areas.

as the Cape Construction Expo, where the CMA hosted well-attended stands.

fering to members, and its structures

The organisation was also represent-

to suppor t the membership. T hese

Awarding excellence

have contributed towards making the

The bi-annual CMA Awards for Excellence

ed at the Readymix Conference organised

association an indispensable partner

were successfully hosted on 23 April this

by the SA Readymix Association, where

organisation for companies within the

year and showed the construction sector

it shared a stand with other concrete

concrete manufacturing industry and

the valuable role precast concrete plays

industry-related bodies such as the

an important go-between in the broader

in modern-day society. The awards were

Concrete Society of Southern Africa, The Concrete Institute, the Aggregate

construction industry. Speaking at the AGM, executive di-

& Sand Producers’ Association, etc. This

rector Frans Minnaar said good gains

also marks a new era of co-operation be-

were made in the past year. A separate

tween these organisations and the CMA.

company was set up under the banner of

The association has chosen to become an

the Concrete Manufacturers’ Associa-

active member of the Concrete Industry

tion Certification Services (CMACS) to

Co-ordination Committee, where repre-

certify members’ compliance with South

sentatives meet once a month to explore

African National Standards (SANS) spec-

areas of mutual interest for co-operation

ifications. An official Mark of Approval

and share resources.

was also introduced to prove compliance with SANS specifications.

Strong position Financially, the association is in good

Better communication

standing and received a clean audit from

Simultaneously, a new marketing man-

its auditors. Unfortunately, the year also

ager, Henry Cockcroft, was appointed to

ended with the long-serving accountant,

spearhead marketing efforts and popu-

John Simpson, taking his retirement (al-

larise the use of precast concrete, as

though he will stay on in a lesser capacity

well as add maximum benefit to members

to look after aspects of CMACS). In his

through ongoing communication with

place, Charlotte Swanepoel has thus far

role-players. This is being done through

proved to be extremely competent and

traditional, electronic and social media.

ready to pick up where Simpson left off.

His efforts are supported through

A host of other actions – too nu-

the newly-launched website, which is

merous to list here – were also taken

designed to provide a plethora of infor-

administratively, financially and from a

mation under the single umbrella of the CMA. The additional World of Concrete module of the website is designed to provide an interactive and useful dashboard for tradesmen and the public to find the right type of products for their applica-


management perspective that further (Top): Members attended the CMA’s recent AGM in Kempton Park. (Above, from top): Henry Cockcroft (left) and Frans Minnaar during the CMA’s AGM; auditor John Simpson gave the CMA’s finances a clean bill of health.

support efforts. However, the members are in good hands and the association is moving forward to better serve their interests and those of the construction and related industries.


The Concrete Manufacturers’ Asso-

Peg in the ground

standards, whereafter a Mark of Ap-

ciation Certification Services (CMACS)

Speaking on acceptance of the Mark

proval can be issued as proof to custom-

has undertaken its first complete initial

of Approval, David Wertheim-Aymés,

ers and end-users.

assessments and certified a number of

managing director of Bosun Bricks, said

“We’re pleased to have been the first

products on behalf of its maiden client,

adherence to standards is critical and

to be certified and found the process to

Bosun Bricks.

that the establishment of CMACS is a

be similar to our previous SABS audits,

Initial assessments were undertaken

step in the right direction for the con-

but much more in-depth. The actual

to test compliance with SANS specifica-

crete industry. “At the end of the day,

audits took three days, rather than the

tions on a number of different precast

standards are all about putting a peg in

few hours we were used to. The auditor

concrete products that are manufac-

the ground as a measure of what is and

was comprehensive and the process

tured by the company and that need

isn’t acceptable.

from start to finish was considerably

to be certified to meet engineering and

“SANS specifications are compiled

architectural specifications. The CMACS

by industry experts who deem them

quicker than it had been traditionally,”

Mark of Approval is the first non-SABS

suitable for the type of product being

mark to be used in the concrete industry

manufactured. Thereafter, it’s the role

Quicker turnaround

since legislation was changed to allow

of the certification agency to measure

He added that Bosun Bricks will heavily

multiple certification authorities to un-

and certify that a product meets these

advertise its newly acquired Mark of Ap-

said Wertheim-Aymés.

dertake certification of SANS standards.

proval in the media, on packaging and all

Born of the need to professionalise

other areas of business where it needs

the certification of products within the

to be visible.

precast concrete industry, the CMACS

CMACS general manager Christo van

was established under the wing of the

Zyl concluded that the new certification

voluntary members’ association for the

process also marks an improvement over

industry, the CMA. This was in response

traditional certification, as it is com-

to undue delays in the issuing of SANS

pletely comprehensive, undertaken by

certification from the current certifica-

system auditors with industry knowledge

tion body, which had the potential to

and done timeously to avoid manufac-

harm member companies whose products needed certification in order to meet customer requirements.

turers losing out on deals while waiting (Above): Garth McMillan, divisional general manager of Bosun Bricks, receives the CMACS Mark of Approval from executive director Frans Minnaar.

months for certification that should be done in a matter of days or weeks.


a very competitive industry with tight

“It would appear that much of the world’s

He added that both the Western Cape

be required to raise profit margins to a

economy, including SA, has taken on a

Government and the City of Cape Town

level that would adequately compensate

holding pattern and this is further por-

have continued to award significant num-

contractors and sub-contractors for the

trayed in the country’s GDP growth fig-

bers of projects in the areas of health,

risks to which they expose themselves in

ures. However, Cape Town seems to have

education and housing. “We’re fortunate

their daily business operations.”

escaped the downturn and construction

to have these two spheres of govern-

activity here continues to boost the lo-

ment that operate in a relatively efficient

cal economy.”

manner and also abide by the principles

tendering and low margins remaining the order of the day. Our industry seems to be fixed in a low-margin mindset and one wonders what volumes of work would

This statement was made by John

of good corporate governance, thus


Matthews, President of the Master

making a significant contribution to our

In the last issue of Precast, it was

Builders’ Association of the Western

local construction industry. I trust this

incorrectly inferred that CMA

Cape (MBAWC), at the organisation’s

will continue now that the local govern-

non-producer member Quangong

recent annual general meeting. “We

ment elections are done and the status

Machiner y (Q GM ) p ar tner e d

continue to see high levels of activity in

quo in Cape Town, with regard to political

with German manufacturer

and around the Cape Town CBD and the

leadership, has been reaffirmed,” he said.

Zenith Maschinenfabrik Gmbh

V&A Waterfront, as well as the Atlantic

“Although most of our members and

and Zenith Formen Produktions.

seaboard. These activities certainly indi-

the contracting fraternity at large seem

QGM has actually acquired these

cate the level of confidence investors still

to have reasonable order books and suf-

companies outright.

have in the future of our city.”

ficient projects on hand, this remains






CONCRETE GETS A LOUD VOICE Proactive steps are being taken by

resources in order to free up capacity of

of establishing an ombudsman to adjudi-

representative organisations within the

the individual organisations,” says Johan

cate concrete-specific issues. “We’ll use

concrete industry to collectively face

van Wyk, general manager of Sarma.

our collective influence to change the face

the challenge of evolving construction



of the concrete industry,” says Minnaar. Broad co-operation

While new construction techniques

Speaking at Sarma’s recent Readymix


often call for tighter specifications,

Conference, the joint concrete indus-

“An additional benefit of pooling the re-

stronger materials and faster tech-

tries’ associations also identified the

sources is that sponsorships and funding

niques, industry bodies such as the

need to work on “big-scale collabora-

of the associations can be reduced in

Southern Africa Readymix Association

tions” with all role-players in the con-

future and that joint events will require

(Sarma), the Concrete Manufactur-

struction industry and in this way ensure

only a single stream of funding. In addition,

ers’ Association (CMA), The Concrete

that SA remains up to date with world-

reach-out fund-raising activities could

Institute (TCI), the Concrete Society of

wide trends and best practices.

lessen the joint concrete industries’ as-

Southern Africa (CSSA) and the Associa-

“Rather than each organisation doing

tion of Cementitious Material Producers

its own thing, we’re looking at the pos-

(ACMP) are actively collaborating to

sibility of hosting combined events to

identify and meet future needs.

ensure the whole industry benefits. This

In addition, the organisations are in-

type of collaboration will also help us take

vestigating the pooling of their resources

stewardship of the entire industry, as

in order to meet demands for profes-

well as each of our own organisations,”

sional training, provision of reference ma-

says Frans Minnaar of the CMA.

terials, as well as marketing of concrete

The panel also touched on a number

as the material of choice for construction

of other interventions that may be taken

professionals. “Wherever an overlap oc-

to promote the health of the concrete

curs, we want to identify this and share

industry in future, including the possibility

sociations’ reliance on external funding.”

(Above): Johan van Wyk (Sarma), Frans Minnaar (CMA), John Sheath (CSSA), Dhiraj Rama (ACMP) and Bryan Perrie (TCI) are collaborating on all matters concrete.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING BUILT WITH PRECAST PRODUCTS With affordable housing backlogs grow-

such as concrete bricks (masonry units),

ing, developers are increasingly turning to

wall tiles, lintels, beams and a myriad of

precast concrete products to speed up

other concrete products that are commonly

construction times, while improving the build

used throughout the construction phase,”

quality of houses.

says Minnaar.

Affordable houses today can be built

“When one looks at adjoining infrastruc-

almost entirely from easy-to-use precast

ture and service, it is also clear to see how

materials, from hollow-core floor slabs to

precast concrete simplifies construction.

walls and roof tiles. Depending on require-

From pipes, drains, paving and kerbs to

ments, many peripherals such as stairs,

lamp-posts, fences and retaining walls,

window sills, basins, counters and other

there’s hardly a single area of construction

precast units are adding value to the houses

that doesn’t benefit from factory, mass-

and lending a quality touch.

produced concrete products.

Frans Minnaar, director of the Concrete

“Imagine a contractor sitting on the

Manufacturers’ Association NPC (CMA),

side of the road trying to in-situ cast kerb

also points to precast concrete products

stones. It takes days and then the mixes

as a means of ensuring quality materials and

have to be thoroughly controlled, and the

preventing costly repairs and rebuilds. Due

flow of traffic and pedestrians have to be

to skills shortages on the ground, contrac-

stopped. Thanks to precast kerbs, the unit

tors realise that the best way of ensuring

is simply lifted into place, grouted and is

quality construction is to have units precast

ready to use in a matter of hours. The same

in a factory under controlled conditions and

applies to houses nowadays and progressive

more easily assembled on site.

developers and contractors are already using precast products widely on their

Material of choice

construction sites.”

“Whether it be hollow core floors mated to tilt-up walls, or large masonry units that

Built right

reduce brick-laying requirements ten-fold,

He adds that buyers also prefer houses built

there are solutions that work. Then there

from precast concrete products because

are age-old traditional building products

they are straight, structurally sound and can be made to be virtually maintenancefree, requiring no plastering or even painting if the units are coloured with pigments during the casting process. Shorter delivery times also mean shorter waiting times for buyers, dramatically improving their satisfaction levels. The CMA is actively involved in all sectors of the construction industry, as well as government, developers and contractors. To facilitate better-quality housing, the association also publishes pre-approved housing plans which can be downloaded and adapted to meet developers’ or buyer’s requirements. The plans meticulously document all the materials required to build the house, as well as highlighting applicable South African National Standards specifications and making allowance for local by-laws to be incorporated into the final build. Various technical publications are available from the CMA. To find out more about precast concrete building solutions or precast products, visit:



New beginnings



this facet of the job that I’ll miss most.

Sixteen years after retiring from the

my main regret is that I’ll no longer be

corporate world, 76-year-old CMA finan-

a part of the evolution that’s currently

cial manager John Simpson has decided

taking place at the CMA,” says Simpson.

Also, in the relatively short time that I’ve had the pleasure of working with CMA executive director Frans Minnaar, I’ve come to appreciate his passion and have taken enormous pleasure in watching his efforts come to fruition. Perhaps

to take his leave of the association and

Not that his days will be spent idle.

start a new quieter chapter in semi-

He’s very actively involved with his fam-


ily and in a game farm in which he has

Having worked the major portion of

shares. He also spends a lot of time in the

his career in the construction industry

bush, travels to surrounding countries,

and risen to the lofty position of financial

is a keen fly fisherman, goes birding and

director of construction giant Grinaker’s

enjoys identifying trees. He still derives

Infrastructure & Mining Products Divi-

much pleasure from developing people

sion, Simpson has not only kept tight

and teaches business skills in Daveyton,

control of the association’s finances,

Wattville, Etwatwa and other areas.

but has also been a pillar of support

As if this weren’t a busy enough

and mentor for all involved in the CMA.

schedule, Simpson’s also volunteered

“I’ve loved every minute of it and

to assist in setting up and managing

enjoyed the challenges. During my time

accounts for the newly-formed CMA

here, the CMA has become a more

Certification Services.

professional association, with operational funds being derived solely from our members. That’s helped us become fully independent and autonomous. We’ve managed our members’ funds, as well as sponsorships, carefully and have controlled costs in every way possible to ensure we always move the agenda of the industry and its members forward.

“I’ve loved every minute of my time at the CMA and have enjoyed the challenges.”

“Most of all. though, I’ve met wonderful people in the industry and it’s

Charlotte Swanepoel has taken over the accounting function of the CMA following the retirement of long-serving financial manager John Simpson. As a qualified technical financial accountant, she has a lot of experience to draw on while maintaining the CMA’s exemplary financial management track record. Since taking on the role mid-year, she has fitted in comfortably and enjoyed a smooth assumption of her duties. “All the internal controls were in place and organised from the start. My colleagues are pleasant to work with and are helpful, which makes it easy to fit in. It’s also striking to see the hard work, time and energy which everyone puts in to keep the CMA running well. It makes one value the organisation. “It’s been an honour working with John. T he handover was perfect. His knowledge is astounding and he’s a good mentor and teacher, always willing to help or explain things. I particularly enjoy the way he thinks ‘outside the box’ and his openness to new ideas. I value his input in every aspect,” says Swanepoel. She adds that she is looking forward to building new relationships with members, accounting divisions, creditors and debtors.

(Above): Norman Seymore, CEO of the Chryso Southern Africa Group. (Above): Charlotte Swanepoel.

(Top): John Simpson.


CIVIC LEADERS CAN REVIVE CONSTRUCTION SECTOR The challenge to find work remains the big-

“Being part of a major international

gest obstacle to sustained growth for the

group has many benefits and adds to the

South African building industry and it is to

experience Chryso brings to the market. An

be hoped that the new municipal leaders

important plus factor for Chryso Southern

will find a way to expedite long-overdue

Africa is that we now produce our own raw

infrastructural projects, says Norman

materials for the formulation of Chryso’s

Seymore, CEO of the Chryso Southern

acclaimed New Generation admixtures and

Africa Group.

no longer have to import these at exorbi-

Seymore, who is also vice-president of Chryso globally, was interviewed after

tant costs because of the dismal state of the rand.”

a recent function to mark the 20th an-

C hr y so has alr e ad y ac quir e d ne w

niversary of the company’s operations in

high-technology laboratory equipment

SA. “It’s imperative that government – on

and undertaken a major upgrading of its

both the local and national levels – finds a

testing facilities during the past year. A

way to release the billions of rands that

special lab, specifically concentrating on

have been allocated for new

concrete, is now also in

building work in SA. Hope-

operation at Jet Park, with

fully, the new civic leaders –

similar facilities planned for

who’ll control the country’s

Chryso’s operations in both

biggest municipal budgets

Cape Town and Durban.

– will lead the way to finally providing the projects build-

Growing green

ing contractors and materi-

The company has also made

als suppliers have eagerly

significant progress in the

awaited for years.

“greening” of its own products over the past two

“During this time, Chryso

decades, culminating in the

– together with many other building industry members – had to step up exports and

(Above): Norman Seymore, CEO of the Chryso Southern Africa Group.

pioneering introduction of dustless manu f ac tur ing

operations outside our borders to survive.

processes for cementitious products at

This isn’t acceptable when so much work is

its main plants. “The products Chryso

available in our own country and we fervently

supplies to the cement industry for fly ash

hope the new local governments will have

and slagment production, plus limestone

both the skills and willingness to give the

extension, have enabled cement producers

national construction sector a new lease

to significantly reduce their own carbon

on life,” Seymore urged.

dioxide emissions – something we’re very proud of,” added Seymore.

Adapting to change

“Chryso’s growth over the past two

Looking at Chryso Southern Africa’s future,

decades has been driven organically through

Seymore said Chryso would continue to de-

innovation and technology, as well as

velop products and systems to enhance its

through geographic expansion within SA,

product offering and market position. “We’ll

with local production and technical sup-

continue to diversify and grow. Research

port now in place in all the major centres.

and development will play a vital role and

External growth came through acquisitions,

this year, as before, we’ll invest at least

notably that of abe Construction Chemicals

4% of sales and revenue into this facet

in 2010, a take-over that transformed the

of our operations. In addition, we’ll open a

Chryso Group into the metaphorical one-

new dedicated research and development

stop shop for the construction sector.

centre at our head office in Jet Park, which

“Our staff have also played an invaluable

– among other services – will put increasing

role: having experienced technical experts

emphasis on modifying and adapting the

to assist and partner with our customers

top-quality admixtures we import from the

has contributed substantially to 20 years

Chryso parent company in Europe for the

of growth in this volatile and challenging

South African market,” he said.

industry,” he said.



LONG-TERM PERFORMANCE OF PERMEABLE PAVING Stormwater attenuation and treatment

to infiltrate the permeable paving reser-

taneous. Many question the veracity of

looks set to enter the statute books in

voir. This means that even during heavy

this figure on first acquaintance, but

the Western Cape. This means that land-

downpours, there should be no ponding.

repeated testing proves that it is true.

scape architects and civil engineers will

At this rate, not even a 200-year storm

in future be obliged to improve the quality

Staggering figures

would make any noticeable impact. (The

and control the quantity of stormwater

The infiltration rate of a properly de-

Aquaflow Permeable Paving System,

run-off on all new residential, commer-

signed and newly installed permeable

used in the Western Cape, is designed

cial, retail and industrial paving projects

installation is quite spectacular; at

to fully contain a 50-year recurrence

larger than 4 000m².

4 000mm per hour, it is virtually instan-

interval storm.)

“The best way to ensure that a permeable paving installation is regularly maintained is to budget for it.”

formance of permeable paving which

Permeable pav ing is just one of several attenuation options open to professional designers, but it is by far the most popular. The reason is simple: unlike attenuation ponds or swales, it does not take up any additional space. It also offers other advantages, such as the filtering of pollutants. Another advantage is the prevention of ponding, which has particular relevance to shopping centre and other parking areas.

However, it is the long-term perdetermines its ultimate success or failure. To function optimally, a permeable paving installation must be maintained regularly, as determined by its discreet environmental conditions. For example, a coastal installation will be far more prone to clogging by wind-blown sand than its inland equivalent and will require a cleaning rate of greater frequency.

Permeable paving systems comprise

Then again, the amount of sand and other

several layers of aggregate which are

detritus found in coastal areas varies,

topped with concrete block pavers,

depending on the proximity to beaches

either for vehicle or pedestrian traffic.

and prevailing wind conditions.

However, unlike conventional pavers

According to sustainable stormwater

which are designed to prevent water

systems consultant Peter Wium, the

infiltrating beneath the paved surface, permeable paving is designed to do just the opposite. Permeable paving blocks are cast with lateral indents so that when they are laid, voids of approximately 8mm are created between the pavers. These gaps allow large volumes of water

(Top): A recently cleaned permeable paving surface at the Blue Route Mall in Cape Town. (Left): Highland Paving’s permeable paving inspection/testing team: Elliot Mwenda (second from left), Clive Januarie (second from right) and Ricardo Sirmonpong (far right) pictured with sustainable stormwater systems consultant Peter Wium (far left) at the Blue Route Mall.


goal of regular maintenance is to ensure

programme, it passed with flying colours.

the continued functionality of the system.

“We advocate regular maintenance

“Routine maintenance should be no

because in the long run, it is the most

more onerous than it is for impermeable

cost-effective option. Visual inspections

paving and, in the main, requires no more

should be carried out and recorded. In-

than monthly manual sweeping (cosmetic

spection of pipe outfalls (where used) and

cleaning) with hard brooms. Some sec-

control structures is also advised. Each

tions, such as those under trees or

maintenance schedule is site-specific and

in close proximity to open channels or

potential problems should be identified as

downpipes, will clog quickly and the slots

early as possible in order to determine the

between these pavers should be cleaned

frequency and method of cleaning. If a site

more frequently, possibly once a week.

is not maintained for, say, five years, then

Deeper cleans are generally done on an

it is logical that more grit between the

annual basis or as required.”

pavers would be contaminated and instead of removing grit to a depth of 1cm, a layer

Regular maintenance

of up to 5cm may have to be removed,

“Permeable paving sites should be in-

requiring more effort and greater cost.

spected once a year and on large sites, such as the 35 000m² installation at

Dirt traps

Cape Town’s Blue Route Mall, a mechani-

“In another cleaning operation – in this

cal broom should be used annually,” adds

instance, Cape Town’s central BRT depot

Wium. “Where excessive clogging has

– there were three areas of roughly 10m²

occurred, compressed air can be used to

each which could not be cleaned properly

remove the top layer of gravel, generally

using compressed air. So we actually re-

referred to as grit, which rests in the

moved the paving blocks and replaced them

lateral indents between the pavers. This

after cleaning. We found that the blockage

gravel must be removed from site and

was only 2cm deep and that everything

replaced with clean gravel.

below that was clean. The first layer of

“We do a basic test using a nine-litre

geotextile material wasn’t affected at all,

bucket of water poured into a confined

which demonstrates how effective the

square metre on the paving surface and

system is in trapping dirt and sand.

measure the time it takes to be infil-

“Perhaps the best way to ensure that

trated. If the water disappears in under

a permeable paving installation is regularly

10 seconds, the permeability is very good.

maintained is to budget for it. We’ve found

Anything over 20 seconds is regarded

that when management includes it in its

as a failure and the area needs to be re-

facilities management budget, a cleaning/

cleaned. We recently tested the BRT bus

maintenance schedule is prepared which

station in Hout Bay, Cape Town, where the

is then easy to follow. If no budgeting is

dominant/primary pollutant was wind-blown

done, the chance of a maintenance slip-up

sand and, thanks to a regular maintenance

is far greater,” says Wium.

(Above): A nine-litre bucket test underway in the Blue Route Mall.



GETTING MIXES RIGHT CM A memb er A f r iSam’s C en tr e o f Product Excellence has been assisting the country’s leading concrete product manufacturers (CPMs) to optimise their


concrete mix designs while at the same time reducing their total manufacturing costs by advising them on the best selection of materials for their production processes. Mike McDonald, manager of AfriSam’s Centre of Product Excellence, says having access to this level of technical input and knowledge transfer is a significant advantage for many of these companies that lack internal cement technologists. It is a given that this type of knowledge transfer allows these companies to gain a competitive edge in the industry. “We have the necessary depth of experience and access to skilled technologists with an intimate understanding of concrete product manufacturing processes. Leveraging this, we’re able to provide all CPMs with quality technical support,” says McDonald. Right upfront Importantly, the AfriSam Centre of Product Excellence has also helped many new players establish a presence in the

(Above): AfriSam’s value-add to concrete precast manufacturers includes on-site technical service, SANS-accredited laboratory services and product deliveries according to customers’ requirements.

pabilities, allowing quicker turnaround of moulds and optimal performance during the winter periods with their low ambient temperatures.

market by imparting essential knowledge on the cement, aggregates and sand re-

One of the company’s strengths is its

By using this cement, CPMs have also

quired to manufacture a quality product,

vast footprint, with 17 aggregate quar-

reduced their cement consumption, while

particularly early in the conceptualisation

ries countrywide that produce

achieving better finishes and durability

stages of these factories.

materials according to the

traits of their concrete products.

McDonald adds that incorrect selec-

South African National Stand-

In addition, it facilitates the

tion of materials has a significant impact

ards (SANS) 1083 specifica-

incorporation of downstream

not only on the quality of the concrete

tion. McDonald says this has

materials, such as slag.

end product, but also on the cost of

provided many of these CPMs

The company has a regular

manufacturing. “For example, a poor-

with the flexibility needed

supply of this material, which

quality aggregate could increase both

when locating their plants.

is well known for its ability to

cement and water usage,” he says.

Based on its close interac-

enhance the performance

tion and collaboration with

of readymix concrete, while

this market, AfriSam has

substituting as much as

also developed a cement

50% of cement in the mix

that meets the unique requirements of

design. The CPM industry continues to

the sophisticated Gauteng CPM market.

grow as professional teams realise the gains achieved by these technologies,

Early strength

which often allow for faster, safer and

T he company’s Rapid Har d cement

more aesthetically pleasing builds.

meets the high early and late strength requirements of the industry. Users of this constituent product, with its high reactivity rate and sophisticated mineral components, benefit from shorter setting times and quicker stripping ca-

(Above): Rapid Hard Cement is suitable for applications where quick mould turnaround times are required. (Left): Rapid Hard Cement is ideal for applications such as highway barriers, roof tiles, retaining wall systems, culverts and concrete pipes.


MANUFACTURER CELEBRATES 40 YEARS Local manufacturer of brick, block and paving machines PMSA celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, with an enviable reputation for quality machines and superb after-sales service. In order to uphold its reputation, the company has been finetuning its internal processes and systems over the past five years, from automated tracking of spares and parts to a new CRM system. “We’ve expended a large amount of effort and energy on putting systems in place to allow the company to grow,” comments MD Walter Ebeling. The company is now in an ideal position to focus on ongoing technical innovation, such as the launch of Ultravibe at Totally Concrete in May 2016. Not only can the new technology be retrofitted to its large range of existing machines, but it will also form the basis of a brand-new machine under development by PMSA. “This will be a large-pallet, 1 400mm x 1 100mm production board machine incorporating all our latest advances in its design,” Ebeling reveals. “We undertook these latest developments in order to allow our customers to be more productive. The best means of achieving this is if our equipment’s more reliable. That’s why we’ve been in business for 40 years, as we’re continually improving our machines and technology.” An example of PMSA’s ongoing product development is its new Eco range of automated handling systems. This gives customers the option of automated handling plants at a far more affordable price than that of the top-of-the-range systems. The new Eco range includes forklift options, as opposed to more conventional, but higher-cost finger and transfer car systems. “With the building and construction industry facing pressure from reduced margins and a lack of new projects, PMSA is ideally positioned to help its customers fine-tune their existing assets in order to boost productivity and final quality,” says Ebeling. “We’re unique in the industry in being a specialist manufacturer that’s able to cover the entire business spectrum, from establishing a business to boosting the bottom line through the application of appropriate technology.”

(Above): PMSA celebrates its 40th anniversary.




Some countries even have more than

has adopted the Global Harmonised

one standard for the classification and

System (GHS), making it the first con-

labelling of chemical products, which

struction chemicals company in SA to

restricts trade, increases the costs of

comply with an international attempt

doing business and, at times, hampers

at standardising safety communication


regarding chemicals.

Marais says the GHS will improve and

T his development demonstr ates

promote consistent hazardous informa-

“Bible” of the GHS. “It’s a very thorough

Chryso Southern Africa’s strong com-

tion, encourage the safe transporta-

document that details everything the

mitment to health and saf ety. T he

tion, handling and use of chemicals and

consumer needs to know about our prod-

GHS has already been adopted by the

promote better emergency response to

ucts. This is very important to Chryso

European Union, with other countries

chemical-related incidents. Importantly,

Southern Africa, as we’ve always held

expected to follow suit very soon. As such, this move will also boost the South African construction chemical specialist’s significant export drive into the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. As Andries Marais, general manager: operations of Chryso Southern Africa points out, the company will now have a formidable competitive edge when doing business with international construction contractors and consulting engineers who already have a significant presence on the continent. Worldwide push

“GHS will improve and promote consistent hazardous information and encourage the safe transportation, handling and use of chemicals.”

the view that all producers have a responsibility to communicate openly with their market. By adopting the GHS, we’re reaffirming this belief and our customers – whether large builders on a construction site or do-it-yourself enthusiasts in a retail outlet – know they’re protected when they choose to use our products.” Growing support GHS is still voluntary in SA, but work is already underway by the relevant government bodies, including the Department of Trade & Industry, to make its adoption compulsory. This very proactive approach

He explains that the system, which was

Chryso Southern Africa will also commu-

to the GHS gives Chryso Southern Africa

implemented by the United Nations, har-

nicate important product information on

yet another key competitive edge in the

monises the classification and labelling

all its material data sheets (MDS), over

African construction chemicals market.

of all chemical products. It is a direct

and above replacing all existing labels

response to the challenges created by

and transport classification signage and

safety communication standards dif-

documentation requirements.

fering from one country to the next.


Marais describes the MDS as the

(Top): Chryso Southern Africa has adopted global safety standards. (Above): Andries Marais, general manager: operations of Chryso Southern Africa.

percentage of strength and durability problems start in the plastic phase of the concrete, but with good specifications and site practice, these can be avoided,” says Roxburgh. Concrete cures “Protection and curing are aspects that are often under-specified, particularly in the case of industrial floors and pavements which have large surface ar eas r elati ve to concr e te volume and are therefore prone to drying, especially during finishing. Curing isn’t only important for concrete strength, but can also prevent defects such as cracks, surface wearing and quality. Dur abili t y’s also gr ea tl y enhanced with proper curing. Sadly, too often cur ing and sur f ace pr otec tion ar e inadequate because of a lack of suitable specifications. This is why by far the


greatest number of enquiries received,

South African engineers and contrac-

specifications, whether prescriptive

with industrial floors and pavements.

tors need detailed knowledge about the

or performance-based, are correct,

“These problems stem from a lack

properties and construction require-

d e t ail e d e n o ugh an d, imp o r t an tl y,

of knowledge about concrete design,

ments of concrete to prevent incorrect

cover not only the per f ormance of

detailing and construction. It’s there-

specifications for building projects, says

the finished product, but

fore essential for both

John Roxburgh, lecturer at The Concrete

also concrete mix design,

engineers and contrac-

Institute’s School of Concrete Technol-

transport, construction

tors to fully understand

ogy, which has developed two one-day

methods and the plastic

the proper ties of con-

training courses specifically dealing with

state of the concrete.

crete and construction

this subject.

and consultations carried out, by The Concrete Institute relate to problems

“In the case of indus-

requirements of different

Roxburgh says detailed specifications

trial floors, in particular,

structures to produce

for structural concrete work and indus-

detailed specifications

appr opr ia tel y de t ailed

trial floors on the ground are essential to

for joint types and lay-

specifications for con-

prevent problems during the construction

out are essential, as is

crete works. These sub-

and lifespan of a concrete structure. In

the specification for the

jects are dealt with in

the design and construction of concrete

concrete to ensure ap-

detail in the two one-day

structures, both the plastic and hardened

propriate performance.

courses the School of

state properties should be considered.

The concrete mix design is

Concrete Technology is

“A contractor’s inclined to be more

fundamental to obtaining

offering: ‘SCT36 Proper-

concerned about the plastic state of con-

the correct performance

ties of Concrete for the

crete which, if designed with construction

out of any concrete struc-

methods in mind, will simplify the job and

ture. However, even with

achieve better results when the shut-

the correct mix design,

ters are removed. An engineer, on the

many things can go wrong

other hand, often places more emphasis

between batching and completion of the

on the hardened properties of concrete:

hardened product.

Structural Designer and (Above): John Roxburgh, lecturer at The Concrete Institute’s School of Concrete Technology.

Constructor’ and ‘SCT21 Concrete Industrial Floors on the Ground’.

“Both courses are available on preset days, according to the School of

for him or her, it must meet the strength

“The plastic properties of the con-

Concrete Technology’s annual training

requirements and be durable and free of

crete must suit both the transport

programme, or companies can arrange

defects,” he says.

and construction methods used, as well

for the school to present the courses

as the finish required when it comes

on specific dates and venues. Companies

Winning together

to industrial floors. The construction

often use this option as a marketing

“B u t t h e c o n t r a c t o r, e n g i n e e r i n g

process, in particular, should be care-

tool by inviting clients and associates to

consultant and clients can all win if the

fully thought through to optimise the

attend,” says Roxburgh.



performance of the concrete. A large





A year after installing its first QuanGong

FOR NEWCASTLE MANUFACTURER QT10 automatic block manufacturing production line, Newcastle-based Newcor has decided to buy a second similar machine to further boost production and supply its ever-growing market. With 25 years’ experience in this brick-making industry, Newcor is one of the biggest block manufacturers in

the first production line was installed.

which is a key factor in ensuring the

Newcastle and upholds a good reputation

Several months later, the decision proved

strength of concrete produced. “Our

among construction companies and

to be the correct one, as all expectations

QGM QT10 achieves similar or higher

private builders. However, with demand

for the equipment were met. This led

block str engths than our pr ev ious

growing for higher block strengths, the

Newcor to place a second order for

machines, with less cement, which makes

company recently decided to procure

another QT10 machine that will enable

our products cost-effective and strong.

equipment that could compete easily with

the company to further increase market

This is a great competitive advantage

opposition suppliers and produce quality

share in the Newcastle area.

for us, especially in a highly competitive

blocks in a cost-effective manner.

According to Newcor production

Following comparisons, CMA non-

manager Barry Petersen, the company is

producer member QuanGong Machinery’s

satisfied with the advanced features of

(QGM) equipment was found to be the

the equipment and is impressed with the

most suitable option for Newcor and

vibration performance of the machine,

market such as ours.” (Above): Newcastle-based brick and block manufacturer Newcor is installing a new QT10 machine to meet growing demand for quality products in the area.




Globally, the growth of decorative concrete is at an all-time high, with designers and architects taking a whole new approach to the material, while demanding that more of their suppliers provide colours and finishes to complement modern building and structures.

pealing shades to complement designs. The cement powder being produced ranges from shades of grey to white, so – depending on the colour being produced – it is easier to colour it without first having to overcome the base-grey colour of cement, like that available in SA. Admittedly, white cement and other special variants come with a considerably heftier price tag and whether price-

While off-the-shutter finishes and pol-

conscious South African consumers will

ished concrete creative textures have

see their value remains to be seen.

been all the rage in recent years, there

Speciall y selec ted colour f ul ag-

is an increasing requirement to provide

gregates are also available in many

colours to complement designs. And

markets and are particularly useful in

although there is nothing new about

applications where they will be exposed

colouring concrete, there are new ap-

or polished. In fact, coloured concrete

plications and techniques that are worth

with polished coloured aggregates is

discussing in the context of the local

becoming increasingly popular for indoor

precast concrete industry.

furniture and counter tops, or wherever

For decorative purposes, a strong po-

suitable natural stone is unavailable or

tential market exists for internal house

pricy. Polishing is one of the main driv-

finishing, building cladding, public usage

ers behind the initial increase in uptake

environments and retail spaces, as well

of decorative concrete, as it shows the

as the perineal paving and outdoor fur-

beauty of the material.

niture markets, among others. Whereas in the past decorative coloured concrete

Cheap and cheerful

was more common in outdoor markets

It seems that since the world’s main-

in SA, the trend is moving towards a

stream designers and architects got a

greater acceptance of the material for indoor applications as well. Shades of grey In Europe and the USA, the use of coloured concrete has taken on a hightech approach, where even the basic raw materials of concrete are being fine-tuned and sorted into colour combinations for the best finishes. This means that even the cement powder is being produced in aesthetically ap-


“Since the world’s mainstream designers and architects got a glimpse of the beauty of concrete, there has been no stopping them.”

glimpse of the beauty of concrete, there has been no stopping them. Smoothflowing lines, highly reflective surfaces and rustic and natural finishes in concrete have found a place in the classiest structures. Polished, sculptured furniture and functional claddings followed. In the world’s limping economy, the use of cheap, cheerful concrete has suddenly been thrust to the fore and the provision of decorative variants to support this trend is becoming big business.

In order to provide concrete with a colour other than that derived from raw materials, concrete manufacturers have a growing number of different types of colourants from a host of different suppliers. Perhaps the best known and most widely used colourants are organic and non-organic pigments or oxides. These are simply added to concrete and well mixed through in order to achieve excellent colour results. Without the wide choice of cements available elsewhere, our manufacturers mostly make do with colours that “hide the grey”, but nonetheless of fer stunning colours, especially in natural and bright shades. Concrete coloured with pigments can be used on its own or combined with coloured aggregates and surface finishing textures to create the right

“Visual effects that can be created with acid-staining are almost limitless.”

look. T hrow-on or applied pigments

that can be created with acid-staining

work in the same manner, although the

are almost limitless, the price is afford-

colour is only applied to the surface of

able and provides architects and design-

the concrete and, depending on the type

ers with a real, hard-wearing alternative

and application, usually only penetrates

for quality flooring, walling and finishes

the first few millimetres.

without the need to use tiles or cladding.

This can be a cost-effective means of

Although technically challenging,

applying colour and, provided the wear

there is definitely an opportunity for pre-

sur face is correctly manufactured,

cast manufacturers to introduce stain-

can last a lifetime. Good pigments are

ing to a wide range of precast products

chemically stable and UV-resistant to

where ornamental finishes are required

ensure colours remain good for many years. The pigments chosen are often a matter

– for example, floor slabs or kitchen fittings. There is almost no limit to the types

of choice, but there are

and surfaces that can be

definite advantages and

stained, provided the con-

disadvantages to using both organic and non-organic types.

crete is well manufactured and properly cured. New, old, smooth, or rough concrete can

Colour transfer A commonly used technique over-

be acid-stained. Every concrete slab, counter top or piece of décor

seas is concrete acid-staining, which

is different and manufacturers need to

has the ability to give concrete a deeply

find the right mixes and products where

infused colour. Although not as easy as

staining is suitable.

pigments, acid-staining has the ability

Whether staining, oxides or pig-

to directly transfer colour in a pattern

ments will work in different applications

and shape that can mimic anything from

is a matter for individual precasters to

polished marble to natural stone or wood.

determine. In applications where spe-

While the applications and visual effects

cial properties are required or where these well tried and tested techniques are not suitable, there are a myriad of other techniques and types. In these instances, the large colourant and chemical manufacturers are usually glad to assist and provide guidance, while concrete manufacturing equipment suppliers will equally assist with systems to introduce the right colours and finishes to any process.



PASSING THE CRASH TEST CMA member ReMaCon Products recently completed delivery of a large order of Deltabloc crash-tested precast concrete barriers for permanent installation on national roads in Gauteng and Mpumalanga. The total 3 500m of Deltabloc units will be installed as vehicle restraint systems as part of upgrades currently in progress. Deltabloc SA is the local subsidiary of Delta Bloc International, developer of the Deltabloc system, while ReMaCon Products of Kempton Park, Johannesburg, is the sole authorised manufacturing facility of the system in Gauteng. “It’s the first instance in which this proven and globally recognised crash-tested barrier system is being deployed as a permanent vehicle restraint system on major national or arterial roads in SA,” says Garth Strong, Deltabloc SA’s managing director, He explains that the Deltabloc system was used extensively by contractors as temporary work zone safety barriers during construction of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project from 2007 onwards. The chief advantage of the Deltabloc system is that it is proven prior to purchase and installation to meet the vehicle-restraint standards required. It also offers significant cost-savings and reduced installation times, compared with the traditional solution for permanent roadside barriers. Deltabloc is manufactured under the SANS 51317 standard as evidence that the product is crash-test proven to withstand angled impact at various speeds of a wide range of vehicles, from small cars through to large, fully-laden truck-and-trailer combination units. The SABS certification matches the European EN 1317 standard. The Deltabloc units deployed in the road upgrade projects are each 6m long, 1m high and 640mm wide at the base. A patented tension bar and coupling system is applied to secure the units to each other when assembled as a barrier, while the units themselves are designed in an F-shape configuration that is proven to be well-suited for precast concrete units required to resist heavy impacts. (Top): Crash-tested road barriers.



New cementitious admixture and additive technologies are allowing for the development of an ever-widening range of new, high-performance, cost-effective products in which cement is an essential ingredient. The availability of these new products, coupled with the trend towards “raw” and more artisanal and natural-looking finishes, is driving increased use of cement, in particular, according to PPC architect Daniel van der Merwe. “As home-owners and property developers demand more cost-effective and durable finishes, as well as building materials which are more environmentally friendly, locally manufac-


tured and less energy-intensive to produce, they’re finding that new composite

gies driven largely by Cemcrete, this has

ishes through the use of colour, patterns,

cement-based products offer them new

created a far broader value chain that

shapes or even special inlays. Because the

versatile, creative solutions.”

allows for the construction of world-class

finishes are applied by hand, each applica-

Continuous research into cementitious

infrastructural building and home develop-

tion will have its own personal texture and

product development solutions is also

ments,” notes Van der Merwe. “As such,

character as a result of everything from

unlocking previously unthought-of pos-

Cemcrete is then able to literally unlock

trowel movement during application and

sibilities. Many of these are being driven

the ‘next layer’ of creative design, thanks

mixing ratio to temperature on the day.

by partnerships and collaborative rela-

to its decorative range.”

This allows for an almost infinite range of

tionships, notably by PPC and Cemcrete

“For us at Cemcrete, it’s all about

creative finishes which are unique. In this

locally. Initiated a number of years ago

helping customers realise their concept

way, customers are able to add their own

to drive shared value for customers, the

through our collective products,” says

personalised touch to their homes.”

partnership is geared towards innovation,

Nadine Prinsloo, Cemcrete’s marketing

enabling adoption of quality products by

manager. She adds that because cement-


based products can create a unifying aesthetic, they enable a seamless transition

Creative process

from interior to exterior spaces.

“As a leading cement manufacturer, CMA

“Through our partnership with PPC,

member PPC is able to consistently sup-

we’re ideally placed to offer home-owners

ply quality, high-performance cement to

a complete cement-based solution,” she

the building industry, on both a large and

says. “Our decorative cementitious prod-

home-owner scale. When coupled with the

ucts are the perfect choice for anyone

availability of the new concrete technolo-

wanting to create unique and bespoke fin-

“Cementitious products are the perfect choice for anyone wanting to create unique and bespoke finishes.” PRECAST | ISSUE THREE | 2016

PRODUCING GREENER CEMENT AfriSam is enhancing the sustainability traits of its operation by using slag to significantly lower the CO2 footprint of its cementmaking activities. Slag is a by-product of the blast furnace iron manufacturing process and, when used in concrete, it can substitute up to 80% of the Portland cement in the mix design. Mike McDonald, manager of AfriSam’s Centre of Product Excellence, points out that while the use of cement is only limited by the imagination, about a ton of CO2 is emitted into the environment for every ton of pure cement which is produced. Only a small percentage of this can be offset by traditional methods such as planting new trees. The incorporation of slag is further beneficial in that it improves the durability characteristics of cement, reducing permeability, improving resistance to chemical attack and inhibiting rebar corrosion. All these characteristics render concrete a more sustainable construction material. Launched in 2010, AfriSam’s Eco Cement offers high workability, while allowing a smooth, defect-free finish for concrete, masonry and plasterwork. This high-performance cement also reduces the heat of hydration in mass concrete. McDonald says he expects demand for better-performing cements with a low clinker content to grow. This is especially so given the proposed introduction of a carbon tax in SA commencing in 2017 and the “green” building and infrastructure movements which have heightened awareness of the embodied energy and carbon of building materials. For these reasons, AfriSam has invested a great deal of time and effort in presenting technical courses aimed at helping its customers better understand the product. Attention is also given to the correct use and application of concrete mixes incorporating these hybrid cements. It is only a matter of time before SA sees a greater uptake of low-carbon-footprint cements. (Above, from top): AfriSam has the capacity to produce in excess of 800 000 tons of ground granulated blast furnace slag, popularly known as slag; AfriSam’s Eco Building 42,5N cement contains a less than 50% clinker component.


PRECAST VENTILATION SYSTEM A building ventilation system using the

slabs, increasing their temperature by

building structure as an energy store

2-3°C during the day without affecting

is one of the most innovative uses for

the comfort of the occupants.

precast concrete to reach local shores in many years.

In the summer, this excess heat is dissipated from the slabs by cooling them

Introduced by TermoDeck, the new

with night air in temperate climates,

system ef fectively uses hollow core

or using conventional chillers, but with

slabs as a means of piping air-conditioned

a reduction of up to 50% in capacity

air throughout a building and relies on

compared with conventional technologies

the exceptional performance of the

in hot climates. During winter, the heat

concrete thermal mass to deliver an

stored in the slabs is retained overnight

easily climate-controlled building that is

to create comfortable internal conditions

efficient and more cost-effective than

for the occupants the next day.

existing methods.

In some hot climates, using the night

The slabs are made of high-quality

air alone, without the need for chillers, can

concrete and use pre-stressing strands

cool the structure to provide comfortable

for reinforcement as per structural re-

conditions by the following morning.

quirements for individual buildings. Slab thicknesses can vary from 200-470mm,

Existing material

depending on the span length required,

The hollow core slabs are produced on

with a maximum length of 20m and a

long casting beds using an automatic

standard width of 1,2m.

production process based on the extrusion technique. Finished slabs are cut to

Conditioned air

the desired length once the concrete has

TermoDeck can be combined with all types

attained sufficient strength.

of air-conditioning (AC) units. From the AC

Hollow core slabs are quick and easy

unit, generally placed on the roof, supply

to install using mobile cranes or typical

air ducts run in vertical shafts inside the

on-site tower cranes. The erection time

building and then to horizontal distribution

for a pre-fabricated building, compared

ducts on each floor, placed in central cor-

with a conventional cast in-situ concrete

ridors, usually within false ceilings.

building, can be reduced by up to 30%.

Small branch ducts feed air into each slab, which then enters the room via diffusers fixed to the soffit of the slab. Diffusers are normally located close to external walls. The exhaust air is normally removed into the central corridor plenum and is drawn back to the AC unit in the conventional way. The main distribution ductwork in the corridor is similar in construction to that found in conventional systems. The main difference with TermoDeck is that every individual hollow core slab is supplied with a small quantity of air from the main supply duct; in other words, a small “feed” duct every 1,2m along the length of the corridor. Hot and cold The effect of using the heat storage capacity of hollow core slabs is novel and varies between summer and winter conditions. Surplus heat – generated from body heat, lighting, computers, sun radiation, etc – can be stored in the

(Above, from top): Airflow through the TermoDeck hollow core slab; an illustration of the cooling effect of the TermoDeck system.



WORKSHOPS UPHOLD PAVING BEST PRACTICES Over 250 delegates attended the Con-

installations in the UK don’t meet the

be promoting permeable paving isn’t very

crete Manufacturers’ Association’s

British installation standard BS 7533-3,

powerful. It has very limited funding and

NPC paving workshops during August.

which includes guidance on the laying of

can’t promote the concept with the

Held in Durban, Port Elizabeth, Cape

permeable paving. The bulk of my busi-

energy it deserves. We’re trying to get

Town and Johannesburg, the workshops

ness in the UK is derived from consulting

the UK government to bring in legisla-

were run by UK-based Tony McCormack,

on installations that have failed. The

tion so that at least paving on all new

an internationally renowned paving con-

contractors always blame the product,

car parks will be permeable, but it’s an

sultant and author of www.pavingexpert.

but it’s the way you lay it that counts.”

uphill battle. We’d also like to see gov-

com, the most comprehensive guide to

He said a European standard covers

ernment introduce financial incentives

the manufacture of concrete block pav-

to promote the uptake of concrete block

Interviewed during the Cape Town

ers in the UK. “This means that a block

permeable paving installations.”

workshop, CMA marketing manager

made in Germany can be used in the UK

Clearly passionate about his subject,

Henry Cockcroft said thanks were due to

and vice versa. However, because we

McCormack made a compelling case for

AfriSam, which sponsored McCormack’s

have a more temperate climate in the

proper paving procedure. The workshop

airfare and accommodation expenses.

UK, we have our own laying standard.”

was split into four modules. In the intro-

paving installation on the Internet.

“Among the main motivators behind

ductory module, he discussed market

the workshops are the all-too-frequent

conditions for concrete block paving in

instances of failed paving installations

the UK, Europe and North America.

in SA, nearly all of which are caused by poor laying practice.

Structured seminar

“The reason for this is that the paving

Laying Methodology 1 followed, in which

industry has no formal body, so these

he covered preparation, tools, skills and

workshops could well be regarded as

materials, falls and levels, sub-grade,

an introductory step in formal paving

capping layer s and the f unction of

training and paving trade registration.

sub-bases, sub-base construction and

Moreover, the fact that the workshops

compaction. Laying Methodology 2 cov-

were so well attended gives us cause

Interesting observations

ered screeding, block selection, laying,

for optimism in this regard.

Asked about the prevalence of perme-

cutting and jointing.

able paving installations in the UK, Mc-

In the f inal mo dule, A l t er na ti v e

Encouraging turnout

Cormack’s reply was enlightening. Unlike

P a v ing s, M c C o r m a c k e x p a n d e d o n

“Most of the attendees were paving

Germany, where planning permission is

f lagstones, rigid construction, the

contractors and the workshops were

not given unless paving installations are

heavy-duty construction of highway and

designed to reinforce what they were

permeable, only 2-3% of paving instal-

specialist applications such as speed

doing well and to improve skills sets,

lations in the UK fall into this category.

controls, noxious elimination and deco-

if needed. Good paving practice means

“We’re having a real struggle in promot-

rative finishes.

satisfied clients, which in turn means

ing permeable paving in the UK,” he said.

“In addition to promoting best-prac-

referrals and repeat business. This will

“Conventional concrete block paving

tice concrete block paving installations,

lead to increased demand for concrete

took off in the 1990s when it became

these workshops provided us with an

block paving,” said Cockcroft.

phenomenally popular. For a period of

ideal opportunity for getting to know

15 years, everything was block paved.

and network with the country’s paving

McCormack also made a surprising obser vation. “About 60% of paving


“However, the trade body that should

contractors,” said McCormack.




Modern living requires that the very building block of our civilisation, concrete, be improved in order to produce better concrete faster and at a lower cost to the environment than ever before. To achieve this, chemical companies such

“In developed parts of the world,

Rheology robustness enhancers, for

as Chryso are producing ever-better

there’s a move towards sustainable

example, even allow coarse sand to be

chemical additives, or admixtures, that

development, with the use of recycled

used instead of aggregates, eliminate

enhance cer tain characteristics of

materials becoming commonplace, as

bleeding, improve concrete cohesion and

concrete to make it more suited to the

well as using more geopolymers and

do not impact on performance. New poly-

increasingly challenging requirements of

manufactured aggregate. This has led

mers also allow free-flow concrete to be

engineers and contractors.

us to develop new admixture technology

produced without losing its cohesive prop-

to assist with meeting these and many

erties. This helps when pumping concrete

other requirements.”

long distances onto high-rise buildings.

that across the world, the construction

Smart solutions

Technical expertise

industry is trying to reduce the footprint

He added that the admixtures available

“The good news is that we have solutions

of construction. Due to urbanisation,

nowadays are vast and that the aver-

for most challenges and if there’s some-

readymix plants are being situated

age concrete producer can compile a

thing specific required, we may be able

further from the jobsite. There is also a

“toolbox” of admixtures which enables

to achieve results by combining different

move towards more vertical construction

them to produce almost any kind of

types of admixtures or even developing

in big cities where space is at a premium

concrete required. The admixtures in-

new ones. But, either way, they require

and there is even a move towards under-

clude anything from water reducers and

the right technical support to ensure they

ground construction.

workability enhancers to placeability,

meet the requirements of placement, cur-

finishability and durability enhancers.

ing, overall characteristics, durability and

Better concrete

These allow producers to save and make

strength,” said Plancon.

“Traditional concrete simply can’t keep

money. “Usually the cost of an admixture

pace with modern requirements and

is minimal compared with the required

for this reason, advances in admixtures

outcome,” said Plancon.

Speaking at the annual Readymix Conference by SARMA, Marc Plancon, Chryso concrete market director, said

are becoming increasingly important to

The company also continues to develop

produce modern concrete,” said Plancon.

and produce new admixtures to add

“There are many drivers behind the re-

to the toolbox, including performance-

quirement for these products, but it’s

boosters such as slump extenders, rheol-

first and foremost about sustainable

ogy enhancers, early strength, durability,

development, faster construction and im-

shrinkage reduction, etc. One of the most

proving the characteristics of concrete.

significant developments, however, is in

“This is being hastened by new in-

the robustness of the formulas being

tegrated design structures and build-

developed, which means that mix designs

own-operate, where a builder owns the

do not have to be changed, since the new

building and needs the quickest possible

admixtures are robust enough to with-

return on construction investment. In

stand a wide range of mix parameters

order to operate profitably, these new-

and accommodate different dosing and

age builders also need durability with

mix ratios without their performance

less maintenance.

being impacted.


(Above): Marc Plancon, Chryso concrete market director, speaking at the recent Readymix Conference by SARMA.



BEFORE TENDERING There are some important points to consider before your company decides to tender for building work, says Uwe Putlitz, CEO of the Joint Building Contracts Council (JBCC).

run out of work? Do you have or can you access the appropriate human and other resources? Competition Who else is tendering? How desperate are you to secure the work as the lowest tenderer, rather than the best one?

The JBCC is a non-profit South African

If you are the lowest tenderer, are you

company which represents building

likely to lose money and consequently

owners and developers, pro-

deliver a job of poor quality,

fessional consultants and

leading to early termination

building contr ac tor s who

and a dispute?

provide input for the compilation of a comprehensive suite


of JBCC building contracts.

Are your tender documents

The following are some of the

properly compiled to quote for

factors Putlitz recommends

the project? Is the construc-

considering before tendering:

tion information complete?



What is your current workload? How long before you

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

If there are any deviations f r om the s t andar d JB C C

We are there when you repair

Need to maintain your concrete? Our Information Centre has extensive information on assessment and repair techniques. Improve concrete with us. +27 11 315 0300

Are the specified materials and goods

the contract data or the Preliminary Bill

readily available?

of Quantities? Are any unusual payment conditions or unusual guarantees or


insurances called for? Will you have to

Do you know the client and, if so, have

work with as yet unspecified nominated

you ever had a negative experience with

sub-contractors and direct contractors?

them? Have you worked with the project consultants before?

Site Have you inspected the site? If so, do the


drawings and the description provided

Existing buildings

Perhaps the most important point to

make sense to you? Is there access to

If this is an existing building, has a profes-

consider before tendering, says Putlitz,

the site, room for site huts, equipment

sional engineer provided input regarding

is whether you’ll be able to complete the

and material storage? Will you have to

the method of construction, precautions

project on time to the specified stand-

employ local staff and labour with unique

to be taken, etc?

ard and make a fair profit to remain in business.

payment conditions and whose skills may be suspect?

Restrictions Are there building restrictions such as limited working hours, noise and dust limitations that may influence the method and programming of your work? Will you have to complete the excavations and foundations during the rainy season? Completion Does the work have to be completed in sections or as a whole? Are the intended dates for practical completion realistic?

Market leader in Hollowcore – Western Cape

Multi Story Buildings, High Strength Security Walls, Retaining Walls

A Corner Fabriek & Oop Street, Bellville South T

021 951 7700


Member of

Part of the



building contract, are these listed in



SAFETY RESPONSIBILITIES OF EM In order to have a safe workplace, companies need to begin to think of safety and develop a mindset that protects workers. In his second article in a series focusing on safety matters affecting the concrete manufacturing industry, well-known veteran health and safety expert, Oom Callie Calitz of OHS Consultants, identifies the drivers that create a safer working environment.

All too of ten company owners think that because they are a small business, they do not have to pay too much attention to safety. However, nothing could be further from

inherent in their business. It is therefore of the utmost importance that company-owners and managers be proactive and take a holistic view of the business

the truth. The law applies

an d th e p o t en ti al f o r

equally to small and bigger

injury and health con-

companies and in the event

cerns that may affect

of an injury or fatality, the

workers. Every employer

same measures will still be tested to establish whether the employer is liable for some or all of the blame. For this reason, it is

therefore needs to assess the risks in their organisation and take appropriate action to mitigate these. This

wise for all employers to understand their

comprehensive assessment needs to

responsibilities and assess the risks

properly assess how people could be

tical manner and if employees stop following the prescribed procedures, then they need to be retrained. If they are still failing to follow the safety procedures, they must receive still further training, be subjected to disciplinary measures or removed from the task. In addition, the risk assessment needs


to identify the correct personal protective equipment (PPE). This must be issued to workers free of charge and each worker needs to sign for it according to set rules.

harmed and what measures need to be

They need to look after it and be made

put in place to protect them.

aware of how to use it. The employer also has to appoint safety representatives

“Owners think that because they are a small business, they do not have to pay too much attention to safety. However, nothing could be further from the truth.”

Procedurally safe

and officers who will ensure the correct

grinder accident occurs, the court will

Following this, a safe work procedure

procedures are being followed.

need to know whether safety procedures

needs to be developed that will detail

were followed according to a checklist

each risk, preventative measures, best

Letter of the law

practices and safeguards to be followed.

A comprehensive programme must

For example. a grinder can electrocute,

be put in place which is easy to

cut, cause eye damage, hand injury or

understand and implement in all

hearing damage. In this case, a procedure

areas by both management

needs to be put in place to mitigate

and workers. There also

this risks, such as checking the cord,

needs to be very careful

ensuring a guard is in place to keep

record-keeping which can be presented

more workers, it must also have a law

hands clear, etc. This will then need to

in court in the event of an accident where

book covering the Occupational Health

be reviewed against the risks to ensure

liability is assessed. For example, if a

& Safety Act 83 of 1993. This must

all bases have been covered.

of requirements. Remember, safety in the workplace applies to every company, whether it be a sole proprietor, a small business or a huge enterprise. In addition, if the company has five or

be freely available to workers and must

The next step is to initiate training for

also be displayed clearly on the wall in

all workers who may be exposed to the

the workplace.

risk. Risks need to be explained, proce-

If you are unsure of what the law

dures need to be presented and training

requires of you in terms of safety or how

given. Thereafter, task observations

to implement the correct procedures,

need to be done to ensure that proce-

hire the services of a health and safety

dures are being followed and maintained

practitioner to assist you. Better be

in the field. These observations should be

safe than sorry.

General duties of employers to their employees 1. Every employer shall provide and maintain, as reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of his/ her employees. What is the meaning of “safe” and “without risk to health”? It is intended that employers must comply with all applicable legal requirements and implement measures that a reasonable person would have implemented in specific circumstances. There will always be a certain degree of hazards present at the workplace, but employers must ensure that such degree does not fall outside the scope of reasonableness. 2. The employer must provide and


maintain systems of work, plant and machinery that are safe and without risks to health 3. Before issuing personal protective equipment to employees, the employer must take steps to eliminate or mitigate any hazard or potential hazard to the safety and health of employees 4. Employers must ensure that employees who are involved in the production, processing, use, handling, storage or transportation of hazardous articles or substances are safe and aware of the procedures they need to follow to avoid accidents. 5. Employers must identify the haz-

ards to the health or safety of the employees in all the tasks they are required to perform and must put precautionary measures in place. In other words, they must do risk assessments of all the tasks required by employees and put safe work/operation procedures in place. 6. The employer must provide the employees with the information, instructions, training, supervision, clothing and equipment needed to ensure their health and safety in the workplace. 7. T he employer must not permit employees to perform work unless the precautionary measures have been taken.


done regularly and in a reasonably prac-



A 16m concrete block retaining wall has been constructed close to the Thukela River mouth to secure a new 5m-wide premix road which provides access to the Thukela Bulk Water Scheme’s low-lift pump station and associated works. The pump station is currently under construction for Umgeni Water by Group Five. Project management is being provided by Bigen Africa and the design engineering is being handled by Aurecon. The contract for the retaining wall was awarded to Advanced Retaining & Paving Systems, which has constructed many dry-stack retaining walls in Durban and the surrounding areas over the past 20 years. The company provided a supplyand-design option in collaboration with Leon Cloete of engineering and project management concern, MCJ Engineers, and Bazi Dukhan of civil, structural and geotechnical engineering consultancy Bazi Dukhan Consulting Engineers, who designed the wall. The wall was constructed with Terrace Blok®TB 500 blocks supplied by CMA member, Aveng Infraset. Terrace Blok® TB 500 was selected due to its nib shear resistance and wall angle flexibility, which ranges from 65-85˚. The same blocks were used to build a 15m, 83˚ wall at Watercrest Mall near Hillcrest in 2014.


Diverse geology Extensive cut operations into the steep

was required as much to prevent the

Sandstones dominate and in others there

valley embankments which run parallel to

dislodgement of fractured boulders as to

is more quartz-feldspar meta-sediments

the Thukela River were specified by Group

stabilise the entire embankment.

(Mapumulo Group, Mokolian).

Five in the construction of the road. This

The 2 190m² wall was a cost- and time-

Although a geotechnical investigation

exposed large dolerite boulders which, in

efficient alternative to rock anchoring.

was undertaken for the road cutting, it

some instances, were greater than 5m

It is 210m long (Ch 2 090-2 300) and

proved difficult to obtain undisturbed

in diameter. Blasting was the only means

rises to 16m at its highest point. The

samples. Besides the har d bluish-

of removing them, which meant the wall

geology of the Thukela area is diverse and

grey dolerite boulders, the cutting

includes Karoo Supergroup sediments,

comprises a matrix of orange/brown

as well as Dwyka tillites, mudstones

highly weathered dolerite which, in

and lesser sandstones of the Adelaide

some cases, presented as a sandy clay.

and Tarkastad sub-groups (Beaufort

T he geotechnical parameters wer e

Group), as well as the presence of some

thus largely inferred, based on close

Dolerite and Ecca Group shale intrusions.

observation as well as professional

In some areas, Ordovician Natal Group

judgement. A nominal surcharge behind the backfill of 2kPa was used in the

(Above and left): The partially completed Tugela River Mouth retaining wall and adjacent to it, exposed dolerite and fractured boulders in the cut face.

design of the wall. As a result of these assessments, the following geotechnical parameters were obtained:


c’= 5kPa ф=28°, ƴ=18kN/m3 • Reinforced soil zone: c’= 10kPa ф=35°, ƴ=20kN/m3 • Foundation soil:

engineers TM Allen and BQ Huang.

60kN/m over that period. Dukhan says

R o c k G r i d P C 10 0 w a s u s e d t o

that in calculating the overall stability

inhibit excessive wall movement caused

of the wall, the reinforced soil block was

by frictional stresses in the backfill

regarded as a rigid mass.

material. The geogrid is a non-woven,

c’= 50kPa ф=40°, ƴ=20kN/m3 UCS =

high-str ength polyester composite

Stability assured

3 000kPa

geotextile which exhibits a high-tensile

“Internal and external stability checks

strength at low elongations of 18kN/m,

were undertaken and geogrid spacing

SANS compliance

45kN/m and 100kN/m at 2%, 5% and

was calculated using various com-

The design was undertaken in compliance

10% strain (ISO10319) respectively.

mercially available computer programs

with the latest South African Code, SANS

T he geogrid tension requirement

with limit equilibrium principles, such

207: 2006, “Design and Construction

was for a 120-year design life and was

as Macstars, PC Stable, SR Wall and

of Reinforced Soils and Fills”, and input

calculated as 48kN /m f or the 18m

Snailz, etc. Hand computations using

from various research papers worldwide,

portion of the wall. RockGrid PC 100

the tie-back wedge method were also

particularly Canadian engineers RJ Ba-

offers a long-term design strength of

used. Finite element analyses using

thurst and M Simac, as well as American

52kN/m and a creep-limiting strength of

PLAXIS 2D provided valuable input as a check on the serviceability criteria (ie movement of the wall),” says Dukhan. Major drainage measures for the wall include a surface channel (SWC8) to collect the upper catchment stormwater run-of f. Sub-surface drainage behind the backfill consisted of a 110mm diameter slotted pipe wrapped in 19mm stone and Bidim®. In addition, a series of 160mm P VC pipe networks was constructed within the backfill for rapid

(Above): The completed wall.


dissipation of excess pore pressures.


• In-situ backfill:




OF MAJOR SHOPPING MALL Precast concrete tilt-up construction has played a pivotal role in the construction of Cape Town’s thirdlargest and most modern shopping precinct to date, the 80 000m² Table Bay Mall.

Situated in Blaauwberg, one of SA’s fast-

Designed by Vivid Architects to pro-

est-growing residential areas, the new

vide an initial 68 000m² of retail space,

mall is being developed by global property

the double-level structure comprises a

development group Zenprop. When com-

suspended deck and a parking basement,

pleted in September 2017, the mall will

as well as provision for extensive external

comprise a carefully selected mix of retail

parking. Aurecon is handling the struc-

stores, as well as family restaurants,

tural engineering and Group Five Coastal

fast food outlets and all the major banks.

is the main contractor.

(Left, from left): A 30-tonne panel is lifted off the laying platform by a giant mobile crane; a panel is carefully lowered and guided into position; construction workers guide push-pull props to ground anchors while the crane operator manoeuvres a panel into its permanent resting position.

and windows, must be resolved before

Impressive development

the mall’s gable elevations. By contrast,

Durban-based Tilt Up Systems formed

roof-supporting columns were introduced

and cast the panels on site and was also

at the back of the building. The reason

responsible for the lifting design. Tilt-up

for this is that Zenprop plans to extend

panels form the external perimeter on

the retail floor area from 68 000m² to

three of the mall’s four elevations, the

90 000m² in the short to medium term.

fourth being the front of the building, which will be mainly glass-clad.

casting begins and each panel must be structurally designed and documented,” explains Versfeld. Structural, roof-supporting tilt-up panelling was employed at

“Using columns to support the roof will allow the panels to be easily removed, cut

One hundred and fifty-two panels, up

to size and remounted further back with-

to 8,4m wide and varying in height from

out the need for roof propping. To allow for

6,5-13m, were installed to provide perim-

the slope of the roof, we made the rear

eter walling totalling 9 620m². The panels

wall higher than it would have been had no

were cast with two layers of rebar on

extension been planned,” says Versfeld.

concrete sacrificial beds and, depending on their height, ranged in thickness from

Heavy lifting

150-225mm. Smaller tilt-up panels were

T ilt Up Systems managing director

also used in the construction of several

Charles van Eck observes that one of the

service yards for the anchor tenants.

most challenging aspects of this project

According to Aurecon structural

was lifting the panels, the heaviest weigh-

engineer Keith Bokelman, the prime

ing 52 tonnes, and placing them into

motivation for using tilt-up walling was

position using a heavy-duty mobile crane.

its exceptional strength and durabil-

“This was a highly specialised proce-

ity. “Tilt-up panels can take knocks and

dure and required careful designing and

bumps, especially from fork-lift trucks.

calculation in the placement of the lifting

That’s why they’re also widely used in

insert,” said Van Eck.

warehouse construction.”

“In some sections, the panels were placed on pad footings and temporarily sup-

Speed is critical

ported with push-pull props until they were

Construction speed is another major

connected to the roof structure. Once the

advantage, says Vivid Architects partner

panels were permanently in position, floor

Trevor Versfeld. “Time-lines are critical in

casting was completed, a process which

property development, especially in large

entailed placing backfill and, in some cases,

projects such as Table Bay Mall and tilt-up

soil cement against the panels. Soil cement

construction is much faster than masonry

was used to prevent the floor slab from

or cast in-situ walling. Lifting the panels

applying lateral loading on the pad footings.

and bolting them into position is amazingly

“In the majority of cases, the panels

quick. No scaffolding is required and, un-

were placed on the suspended deck be-

like traditional plastered masonry, it isn’t

tween the columns, a process which left

prone to cracking.

little margin for error in casting.

“However, the system does require advanced and detailed planning. All penetrations, such as loading bays, ducts


(Below): Resting between concrete columns, these panels have been bolted onto the decking and the roof structure.

STRONG PRECAST BARRIERS FOR BLOEMFONTEIN BRIDGE Vehicle restraint barriers from CMA member Rocla were recently chosen to secure the road-over-rail bridge upgrade project on Curie Avenue, one of Bloemfontein’s busiest roads.

conforms to Sanral’s standard profile re-

The functional Rebloc vehicle restraint

barrier chain are anchored to the road

barriers from Rocla, one of the subsidi-

surface to cope with impact at those

aries of the IS Group, were utilised due

points, if required.

quirements. The concrete barrier length of 6m also allows for faster installation and reduces costs as a result of fewer couplings. However, shorter elements are available for radius areas. Only the terminal elements at each end of the

to their strong safety features, as well

The Rocla Rebloc barriers installed at

as their resilience and durability in road

the Curie Avenue project included 200m of

traffic conditions. The Rocla Rebloc sys-

the 107cm-high barrier in the median and

tem also offers an integrated coupling

60m and 80m of the 81,4cm-high barrier

system which creates a continuous chain

on either side of the road.

of high-strength energy and force absorption, should a vehicle hit the barrier. The connecting facilities are integrat-

Alternative applications The Rocla Rebloc system can also be

ed into the specially profiled concrete,

used for:

which ensures that there are no loose

• Security at railways and airports.

parts or accessories that would require

• Protection at high-security areas.

maintenance or be subject to theft or

• At the base of mountains and hills to

vandalism. Maintenance of the Rocla Re-

contain land and mudslide debris.

bloc road barrier is anticipated only in the

• Prevention of illegal dumping.

event of a motor vehicle collision with the

• Blocking entrances to construction

road barrier and such maintenance would

sites or areas where access needs to

only be deemed necessary in extremely severe cases of impact.

be restricted. • Segregation of bulk materials. • Securing vacant land/buildings.

Safe and strong

Brink says that as far as quality

“We have an established relationship

is concerned, the Rocla units are un-

with Rocla and know that its products

surpassable, as the company is one of

are of a high quality. Its barriers offer

SA’s leading manufacturers of precast

good vehicle restraint safety features

concrete products for infrastructure

and this was a top requirement for the

projects. It was recently awarded ISO

Curie Avenue bridge upgrade,” says Frans

9001:2008 certification after an audit

Bower, operations director at Tau Pele

by TÜV Rheinland Inspection Services.

Construction, the Bloemfontein-based contractors for the project. “Over the years, much road and vehicle wear, tear and damage have occurred on this stretch of road and it was decided that increased safety measures, which included barrier and pedestrian protection, needed to be considered. “The Rocla Rebloc was the best available system, due to its simplicity of installation, low maintenance and well-designed reinforcement, which absorbs impact and may prevent even heavy vehicles from breaking through the restraint system.” According to Lodewyk Brink, Rocla sales consultant based in Virginia, the Rebloc system utilises the internationally recognised F-Shape System, which


(Above): New vehicle restraint barriers installed on Curie Road bridge in Bloemfontein.


Brickcast is supplying and installing its 50mm Style paving block for two bus stops on the Go!’s C2 route, which links Bridge City and KwaMashu via Berea Road to Umlazi and Isipingo. The paving of the first stop – which, during construction, was referred as the Stefanutti Stocks Work Package 3 project – was


completed at the end of July and cov(Above and left): Brickcast’s Style pavers being laid on the Stefanutti Stocks Package 18 bus stop on the Go! Durban C2 BRT route.


PAVING CONTRACT CMA member Brickcast Industries has won two tenders for Durban’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. The Go! Durban, as it is called, is an ecofriendly development which will help reduce the number of motor vehicles on the city’s roads by providing up to 85% of all Durban residents with access to safe, affordable and good-quality scheduled transport.

ers a total paved area of 2 000m² .The second stop, which forms part of the Bridge City interchange, is a 3 000m² installation and should be completed before the end of the year. Brickcast CEO, Shaun Sewnath, says that unemployed members of the local communities were recruited and trained to lay the paving. “This not only gave them work, but taught them a valuable skill which they can use on other paving projects,” he added. The pavers on both projects were laid on a sub-base of 150mm G7 aggregate topped with 25mm of river sand.

kerbstones were installed in driveways and parking areas that covered 450m, while 6 210 Florawall units were applied behind the kerbs so that seedlings could be planted in over 550m2 to enhance the landscaping aspects of the project. “The City Logistics warehousing pro-


ject also comprised a retention dam and after taking technical advice from the Technicrete ISG’s sales representative, Wayne Oliver, our engineer selected its Earthform retaining wall blocks to support the 150m2 surrounding the dam, while still giving a pleasing finish and an easy maintenance offering,” explains Metcalfe. “Our Florawall units give uninhibited

Building aesthetics, coupled with the need to conserve energy and natural resources, are factors that play an ever-increasing role in the development of commercial buildings. The selection of products needed to achieve these elements is therefore paramount to the success of the final appearance of any project.

Logistics’ new warehouse in Benoni,

root and water penetration, which is

Gauteng. “Technicrete’s price, reliabil-

needed for true plantability success. It’s

ity and proven track record with Civtek

a good-looking and practical product that

made it a natural partner for us on this

will enhance the appeal of any retaining ap-

project,” says Raymond Metcalfe, con-

plication. It can be stacked up to six layers

tracts manager at Civtek.

high, providing the grounding is suitable

“The new warehouse facility for City Logistics comprised 10 750m² of paved

and no additional loads are applied,” says Wayne Oliver of Technicrete ISG.

parking and roadways. Technicrete’s 80mm DZZ grey interlocking pavers


were chosen for their suitability for heavy

“Our DZZ interlocking pavers and our

duty-areas because of their hard-wearing

range of kerbing are known for their

In order to meet parking and landscap-

surface overlay, which is the best option

longevity when applied in projects that

ing aesthetic requirements, civil engi-

for a logistics facility.”

require a surface to withstand a heavy

neering contractor Civtek chose CMA

and high traffic flow, such as industrial

member Technicrete ISG’s pavers, kerbs

Good aesthetics

and commercial properties are sub-

and retaining wall products for City

“Technicrete’s figure 7 semi-mountable

jected to.”



Three concrete retaining block walls have been built at the Silverstar Casino entertainment complex in Krugersdorp, Gauteng, using CMA member Terraforce’s L11 blocks. The blocks were supplied by Terraforce licensee and CMA member ReMaCon Products, and the walls were designed by ReMaCon CEO Silvio Ferarris.


The walls were constructed after an amphitheatre, The Dome, designed and built by Otto Wijnberger of In2Structures, had been added to the site.


tops 6,5m at its highest point. Running


adjacent to the amphitheatre, it was built

age is provided by a rain channel which

grey blocks, resulting in a colour mix

by Powergate Construction at an angle of

was installed in the backfill behind the top

that blends in well with the surrounding

70˚. Backfill, which varies in depth from

layer of blocks.


Backing onto Roodekrans Ridge, the largest wall is 128m from end-to-end and

3-3,5m, was reinforced with Kaytech PC

Indigenous trees, grasses and shrubs

The two other walls, one 95m long and

50/50 geofabric at every third block layer.

combine with the foreground paving to

3m high and the other 91m long and 2m

Wick drains were installed on the cut

complement and soften the retaining

high, were built to secure embankments

face at 45˚ every 2m and these channel

wall particularly well, while the red soils

on the fringes of two parking areas. Both

water into a sub-soil drain. Further drain-

used for the backfill have stained the

were built by Powergate Construction.


EROSION CONTROL PAVERS CHOSEN FOR KOGELBERG NATURE RESERVE CMA member CEL Paving Products has supplied its EarthLock road and erosion block for paving 800m² of private road and parking ground at a newly constructed administrative centre at the Kogelberg Nature Reserve in the Western Cape. Cast 100mm thick, the blocks were laid over a two-week period in July by Bambana Management Services. According to CEL sales consultant Ray Green, the area required only limited ground preparation using a grader

designed with a light chamfer which al-

because EarthLock’s interlocking design

lows them to be laid at an angle to create

means the blocks are self-aligning. Geo-

a canal structure.

fabric was laid on some sections of the road to prevent water erosion.

(Above): Recently-laid CEL Paving Products EarthLock pavers at the Kogelberg Nature Reserve.

provides a permeable soil-filled surface

“Moreover, they can be laid in two different patterns: the standard layout

area of 25% and the closed-mesh variant is 18%.

“Additional structural strength was

at 8,35 blocks per square metre and the

“This installation will provide an en-

achieved by cabling the blocks together

closed-mesh layout using 8,8 blocks per

vironmentally friendly and trouble-free

with galvanised wire. They can also be

square. Both allow the growth of vegeta-

vehicular surface for many years to

matted or anchored and the blocks are

tion such as grass. The standard layout

come,” says Green.

A name truly cast in concrete

HOLLOW-CORE CONCRETE FLOORING ECHO PRESTRESS (Pty) Ltd. (Prestressed Hollow-Core Floors) Private Bag 1, Edleen 1625 Tel: 011 589 8800 Fax: 011 589 8955 Email:

ECHO PRESTRESS DURBAN (Pty) Ltd. (Prestressed Hollow-Core Floors) P.O. Box 40726, Red Hill, 4071 Tel: 031 569 6950 Fax: 031 569 6974 Email:

ECHO FLOORS (Pty) Ltd. (Reinforced Hollow-Core Floors) P O Box 706, Muldersdrift, 1747 Tel: 011 662 4600 / 083 602 0966 Fax: 086 667 2037 Email:

TOPFLOOR (Prestressed Hollow-Core Floors) P O Box 124, Sanlamhof, 7532 Tel: 021 951 7700 Fax: 021 951 7790 Email:


safeguarding excellence in precast concrete

CONTACT THE CMA FOR MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION Address: Office 0400, Standard Plaza Building, 440 Hilda Street, Hatfield, Pretoria, 0083 Tel: (011) 805 6742 • Email:


PRODUCER MEMBERS A FICK SEMENTWERKE BK Tel: (022) 913 1921 Province/Country: WC Pillar: PB AVENG INFRASET Tel: (011) 876 5500/872 1713 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI BOSUN BRICK BRITS Tel: (012) 250 1711 Province/Country: Brits BOSUN BRICK MIDRAND Tel: (011) 310 1176 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI BOSUN BRICK PE Tel: (041) 405 0100 Province/Country: EC BRICKCAST INDUSTRIES CC Tel: (031) 507 5525 Province/Country: KZN Pillar: PB/PI C.E.L. PAVING PRODUCTS Tel: (021) 905 5998 Province/Country: WC Pillar: PI CEMBLOCKS (PT Y) LTD Tel: (014) 538 0311 Province/Country: NW Pillar: PB/PI

LATEGAN CEMENT WORKS Tel: (021) 873 1154 Province/Country: WC Pillar: PB/PI


CONCRETE SOCIET Y OF SOUTHERN AFRICA Tel: (012) 348 5305/6944 Province/Country: PTA

MARLEY ROOFING Tel: (011) 316 2121 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB

ASH RESOURCES (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 657 0230 Province/Country: JHB

CPI CONCRETE PLANT INTERNATIONAL Tel: (02236) 962390 Province/Country: Germany

MOBICAST (PT Y) LTD Tel: 086 111 2346 Province/Country: WC Pillar: PB/PI

BASF CONSTRUCTION CHEMICALS SOUTH AFRICA (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 203 2400/ 2445 Province/Country: JHB

ILIFA AFRICA ENGINEERS (PT Y) LTD Tel: (012) 362 1473/ 0174 Province/Country: PTA

MONIER COVERLAND (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 222 7300 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB

BIRKENMAYER H (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 970 3880 Province/Country: JHB

JC PAVING CONSULTING Tel: (011) 431 0727 Province/Country: JHB

CHRYSO SOUTHERN AFRICA (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 395 9700 Province/Country: JHB

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

MVA BRICKS Tel: (012) 386 0050 Province/Country: PTA Pillar: PI PANDA Tel: (00267) 244 2107/8 Province/Country: BOTS Pillar: PB/PI PORTLAND HOLLOWCORE SLABS (PT Y) LTD Tel: (021) 972 1111/44 Province/Country: WC REMACON PRODUCTS CC Tel: (011) 393 5504 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PI

DECCAN DIE CASTINGS (PVT) LTD Tel: 91 80 28524121 Province/Country: India DELTA BLOC SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD Tel: (011) 024 4604 Province/Country: JHB DICK KING LAB SUPPLIES Tel: (011) 499 9400 Province/Country: JHB ECONO CAST (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 662 2159 Province/Country: JHB

SEKHUKHUNE & ASSOCIATES Tel: (012) 346 1945 Province/Country: PTA SNA CIVIL & STRUCTURAL ENG Tel: (012) 842 0000 Province/Country: PTA TACO VOOGT CONSULTING ENGINEER Tel: (012) 669 0125 Province/Country: PTA TJEKA TRAINING MAT TERS Tel: (011) 665 2777 Province/Country: JHB

CIVILWORKS (PT Y) LTD REAL TIME INVESTMENTS Tel: (011) 903 7023 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI

REVELSTONE (CAPE) (PT Y) LTD Tel: 0861 173 835 Province/Country: WC Pillar: PI

CONCRETE UNITS Tel: (016) 362 2236/386 1923 Province/Country: WC/JHB Pillar: PB/PI

ROCLA Tel: (011) 670 7600/7723 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI

HYDRAFORM INTERNATIONAL (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 913 1449 Province/Country: Gauteng

CONFRAMAT Tel: (086)1 33 5599 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI

SHUKUMA BRICKS (PT Y) LTD Tel: (041) 372 1013 Province/Country: EC Pillar: PB

KAY TECH Tel: (031) 717 2300 Province/Country: KZN

DECORTON RETAINING SYSTEMS Tel: (021) 875 5155 Province/Country: WC

COROBRIK (PT Y) LTD Tel: (031) 560 3111/ 3420 Province/Country: KZN Pillar: PI

SILVERTON PRECAST Tel: (012) 804 4525 Province/Country: PTA Pillar: PI

KERNEOS ALUMINATE TECHNOLOGIES Tel: (011) 444 3090 Province/Country: JHB

FRICTION RETAINING STRUCTURES (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 608 4321 Province/Country: JHB

CORESLAB (PT Y) LTD Tel: (087) 232 2462 Pillar: PB/PI

SIMSTONE Tel: (016) 362 2181/2/5 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI

KOBRA MOULDS B.V. Tel: 003111 356 2460 Province/Country: Netherlands

POWERGATE CONSTRUCTION Tel: 071 603 5070/086 263 6131 Province/Country JHB

MANITOU SA (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 975 7770 Province/Country: JHB

PYW PAVING Tel: (031) 903 1736 Province/Country: KZN

O.C.E.M. S.R.L Tel: 00393 357 999 084 Province/Country: Italy

VALCAL INTERNATIONAL EXPORT Tel: (011) 867 2471 Province/Country: JHB

PAN MIXER SA LTD Tel: (011) 379 3745 Province/Country: JHB


DERANCO PRECAST 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 FLOORS Tel: (011) 662 4600/668 1900 Province/Country: JHB ECHO PRESTRESS (PT Y) LTD Tel: (011) 589 8800/8899/8800 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB 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 Tel: (043) 745 1215 Province/Country: EC Pillar: PB/PI KEYSTONE WALLING Tel: 082 850 3512 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI

SMARTSTONE Tel: (011) 310 1161/1178 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI SOUTHERN PIPELINE CONTRACTORS Tel: (011) 914 8500 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PI TECHNICRETE Tel: (011) 672 1425/ 206 8920 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI TOPFLOOR CONCRETE Tel: (021) 951 7700 Province/Country: WC Pillar: PB VAKA CONCRETE Tel: (0263) 864 408 8100 Province/Country: ZIM Pillar: PB VANSTONE PRECAST (PT Y) LTD Tel: (012) 541 2056/1808 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI WEST END CEMENT BRICKS (PTY) LTD Tel: (011) 851 1005/1063 Province/Country: JHB Pillar: PB/PI

HAWKEYEPEDERSHAAB Tel: 00 459645 4000 Province/Country: Denmark

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 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


AFRISAM SOUTH AFRICA Tel: (011) 670 5500/ 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/(011) 626 3150 Province/Country: JHB SEPHAKU CEMENT 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



TermoDeck is a ventilation system using the building structure as an energy store

Air supply to Hollow Core system 14ºC

Surface into room 20-23ºC

Air supply to room


SOUTHERN AFRICA AGENTS FOR TERMODEK LIMITED: Contact: Mr. Peter Kernick • Fastdeck (Pty) Ltd • P.O. Box 404477, Gaborone, Botswana Tel: 00267 397 1974 • E-mail:

Precast Issue 3 - 2016  

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

Precast Issue 3 - 2016  

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