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world Lafarge Cement Customer Newsletter

August 2012 issue no. 16

Your No.1 choice, from the world leading cement producer.

• • • •


An encouraging outlook Welcome to Our World The halfway mark People on the move



• Delivering cement safely to you



• Gathering momentum • Lafarge partners with an eco-friendly children’s home • Doornpoort Primary Build It with Lafarge

CUSTOMERS • • • • • • •

Roadbinder contract for Bakwena highway World-Class spreading service Bigboy Revival Scooter competition a hit! Buildcrete now in a handy 25kg bag Working with our customers for our customers A great day on the green Lafarge Customer Portal




QDSA’s technical service in demand Testing radiation shield grade concrete Quality road construction The SANS 50450 specification for fly ash



• Behind The Scenes • Randfontein reaches out to students






Our Country CEO, Thierry Legrand looks forward with the new organisation in place . After several difficult years, 2012 has shown prospects of being a year of business growth. Nonetheless, we have endeavoured to prepare for all possible market scenarios and remain focused on customer service.

Thierry Legrand

By now, many of you will have heard of the restructuring taking place in the international Lafarge Group. In essence, the organisation that had been based on product lines has been changed to a country-based structure.

Giving meaning to change The objective is to be more proactive and responsive to the building materials market, with the aim of accelerating the development of the Group through growth and innovation. Implementing this change in our organisation will give us a more effective focus on our primary concern: to identify and meet the needs of our customers.

Innovation Backed by the unparalleled technical resources of our parent group, innovation has always been one of our strengths. It is the way in which we continually endeavour to meet the clear needs of customers to be competitive in today’s challenging markets. Our innovative products and services are aimed at improving providing better value and enhancing the productivity of users of our cement and concrete.

Communication Good communication channels are a vital service to our customers. An example of our commitment to market leading communications was the recent introduction of our unique Customer Portal service – a first in the local cement industry. Apart from using it to conveniently order cement and monitor the progress of your order, registering for the Portal provides easy access to product news and information on a round-the-clock basis, 365 days a year.

Confidence coming years While the rest of 2012 will undoubtedly still be challenging, we look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead and to contributing to a successful year for your business. My regards

Thierry Legrand Country CEO


• Win with Our World 2012 | CEMENT NEWSLETTER | PAGE 3


Welcome to Our World It seems that it was only yesterday I was saying how 2011 had flown by and here we are half way through 2012! In this issue of Our World, communication is a strong theme. At Lafarge, we believe that building long-lasting customer relationships is the key to the success of our business and, like any good friendship, needs regular contact, communication and appreciation of needs. Our innovative Customer Portal adds another channel to the various ways that we can ‘talk’ to you and you can ‘talk’ to us – the difference with this channel is that it offers you 24/7 convenience through your keyboard, 365 days a year. Registering for access to our Customer Portal is easy, so sign up and stand a chance to win super prizes! Another communication programme, involves inviting groups of customers to look round our production and distribution facilities and meet some of the people who are dedicated to supplying you with innovative, world class, lower-carbon footprint cements. Jeanne de Power



on the move Desmond Maharaj was appointed Project Manager in support of Country CEO, Thierry Legrand, in Cement Operations and Organisation in March 2012. Desmond is a chartered accountant who completed his training at PriceWaterhouse Coopers and joined Lafarge as the Cement Financial Controller in 2008. “The evolving cement market presents many opportunities, with Lafarge being in an excellent position to shape the future. This will be done by drawing on our global expertise, continuous innovation and passionate, dedicated people who steer the business with determination and discipline.”

The technical services of our highly regarded Quality Department Southern Africa continue to be in demand: read how they are contributing to the better understanding and development of solutions for topics as diverse as high density radiation shields and unsightly efflorescence deposits on concrete. We are proud of the work of the Lafarge Education and Community Trusts: we bring you an appreciation of some of their remarkable achievements in uplifting the quality of education for communities in the areas that Lafarge operates. Our “BigBoy Revival Scooter” competition was an outstanding success! We had a mountain of entries to process, with some great ideas on how to help save our environment. Congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to the participating stores for providing the promotion such enthusiastic and creative support.

Roelof Jacobs, previously Assistant Manager - Project Plants in Aggregates and Concrete was appointed Products and Customer Support Manager at QDSA effective 1 June 2012 reporting to Dr Reinhold Amtsbüchler. Roelof holds a National Diploma and a B.Tech in Civil Engineering from Central University in the Free State. He joined Lafarge as a Trainee Technical Controller in Bloemfontein in 2006 and has since grown from strength to strength.

Be sure to look out for a chance to win with this issue of Our World! My regards Jéanne de Power Editor

Nonhlanhla Manzini was promoted to Project Engineer at QDSA on 1st January 2012. She was previously the Quality Supervisor at our Lichtenburg Plant where she had also done her in-service training.

THE HALFWAY mark As we reach the halfway mark of 2012 it is necessary to assess ourselves and determine whether we are aligned with our business environment, our objectives and of course our customers. There has, so far, been much to be positive about!

She completed her National Diploma in Chemical Engineering at Vaal University of Technology in 2009. Nonhlanhla is excited about her new position and sees huge potential in the organisation.

At Lafarge we always strive to innovate in a way that offers our customers the best value for money and we have done so on our popular Buildcrete and Powercrete Plus brands. Buildcrete remains the reliable, established 32,5R all-round performance offering now with optimized recommended mix proportions, meaning, less cement is required when compared to a 32,5N cement. Powercrete Plus has proven its high strength performance and reliable quality and as such is now classified as a 42,5R - offering higher early and ultimate strength gain. Hence its befitting that this product is trusted by world leading readymix companies.

Faiza Surtie was recently appointed as Cement Sales Consultant dealing mainly with the Gauteng Construction sector.

The above mentioned is evidence of why Lafarge cement remains your No. 1 choice through our commitment to continually offer products and services that add value to your business. Be sure to look out for our promotional packaging in-store and ask for your No. 1 choice, ask for Lafarge! As we enter the second half of 2012, I look forward to hearing your ideas regarding how we can best serve you. Share your thoughts with me on

Emmanuel Ngubane

She joined the company in 2008 as a Call Centre Agent and was subsequently promoted to Sales and Orders Administrator in the Cement Business Unit. Faiza is currently studying marketing for a better understanding of customer needs and looks forward to meeting more of you as her position unfolds.

My regards Emmanuel Ngubane National Marketing Manager - Cement








cement safely to you

The achievements of the Lafarge Education and Community Trusts

The Lafarge drive to achieve and maintain industry leading Safety standards embraces our subcontractors as well as our employees.

The Education Trust

The international Lafarge Cement Division presents annual awards aimed at encouraging innovative thinking in various categories of company activity. Last year, one of these was Transport Safety and we congratulate our Supply Chain Department on achieving third place in the Transport Safety category for their Vehicle Safety Inspection entry.

In addition to involvement in the upliftment of the Bodibe community and schools in the North-West Province, the Lafarge Education Trust now also works with Mzimela schools in KwaZulu-Natal. The first phase of the education system improvement project largely involved the construction of a new administration block for the Zimeme Secondary School. Since then, an annual budget has been committed to implement a Whole School Development Project in partnership with the Adopt-a-School Foundation. There are 26 schools participating in the project and progress is impressive: • Construction of two classrooms and two administration blocks is well under way at three high schools • 46 local people have been employed and are acquiring skills and an income • Language and literacy baseline testing has been organised for eighteen primary schools in order to develop relevant training interventions • Four high schools will be receiving maths training and support materials

An innovative system, developed in conjunction with the Lafarge IT Department, has replaced the company’s paper based procedure for recording vehicle inspections with a mobile electronic information pad. When a vehicle wishes to enter a site, the data can be quickly retrieved to contribute to the decision whether or not to permit access. Persistently offending vehicles and drivers may be blacklisted on the system. To guard against unsafe vehicles that have been declined entry permission at one site trying to enter another Lafarge site, the captured data will be replicated overnight to other sites. The information will also be shared transparently with transport contractors in the interest of promoting improved all-round safety performance. The system is currently being rolled out at two major sites after successful pilot studies last year and we believe it to be the first of its kind anywhere in the international Lafarge Group.

The focus is not merely on bricks and mortar projects: the Lafarge Trust also seeks suitable partnerships to help provide a holistic, more effective response to the challenges facing rural schools through: • Addressing eyesight problems among learners • Improved nutrition and livelihoods • Improved language and literacy through the promotion of reading • Good governance and leadership training for the local community structures • Teacher training workshops

“We can see the remarkable difference that the Lafarge Education Trust is beginning to make in the community. Despair and the feeling of helplessness are being replaced by confidence and enthusiasm. We have a long road to travel but we are with the right partners.” Inkosi Mpiyezintombi Mzimela, Inkosi of the Mzimela Clan and Chairperson of the Mzimela Schools Development Committee

The Community Trust The Lafarge Community Trust promotes community empowerment through upliftment initiatives. This year, the Community Trust introduced the Lafarge Community Trust Awards for Excellence to recognise good performance for the academic year. The aim is to show public appreciation of the efforts of individuals and groups and, in doing so, to inspire all students and community members to strive for excellence. Awards will be presented to the Mzimela community in the following categories: • Most improved learners: three learners who have shown the best improvement in Maths, Science and English • Top achieving matriculant based on overall matric results • Sports: Best performing schools in soccer and netball • Learner overcoming life’s challenges • Outstanding school results attributable to good leadership, improved school management and performance • Best performing teacher (in Grade 12) by subject: Maths, Physical Sciences and English

Lafarge employees sign a pledge on safety day, further emphasising the importance of safety at Lafarge . PAGE 6 | CEMENT NEWSLETTER | 2012





Lafarge partners WITH AN

contract for Bakwena highway

eco-friendly children’s home

Lafarge Cement has been awarded the roadbinding cement supply contract by main contractors, Esorfranki Civils, for Sections 2 and 3 of the Bakwena N4 Toll Road Upgrade project. The 18km section of highway runs from Brits towards Rustenburg. The contract involved the supply of over 8 000 tons of RoadCem - the project is well under way.

Lafarge has partnered with the New Jerusalem Children’s Home in Midrand, Gauteng, which provides holistic quality care to orphaned, abandoned and HIV-positive children and prepares them for a brighter future. Lafarge donated cement, furniture and teaching materials for an extension to the Home’s pre-school classrooms. This has enabled care and support to be offered to 40 more children from the local community. Our Gypsum division provided material to finish the ‘green’ house that has been made from used containers and is now home to a third of New Jerusalem’s 80 children.

“It is a fast-track project that will be using four spreading tankers every day,” says Johan Leech, Lafarge Area Manager. “We obtained the contract by being able to offer our unique soil stabilisation product RoadCem, supported by the good relationship built up with Esorfranki that reflects our track record of reliable service.

New Jerusalem shares Lafarge’s passion for ‘green’ sustainable development: paper, cardboard and plastics are recycled and the children are taught to appreciate the need for preserving the earth for future generations.

We are delighted to be working on this project and aim to continually offer affordable road binding solutions to our customers.

“.... what an absolute joy it has been partnering with Lafarge ...... we have had nothing but outstanding service from both Lafarge Cement and Lafarge Gypsum ....” A thank you note from the Home.


spreading service

Helping New Jerusalem children have a brighter future: Lafarge contributed to extra classrooms.


The Lafarge Cement spreading service for road binder cements is now even more advanced and efficient! A strategic partnership with Stolz Africa provided us with a state-of-the-art Stolz Site Spreader which we can now offer our customers. The first spreader of its type in Africa, this industry-leading unit offers virtually dust-free spreading with increased productivity to meet challenging contractual deadlines. The Stolz spreader features automated radar controlled application delivering precise amounts of our road binding cements (RoadCem and Buildcrete). Having the flexibility of a dedicated cement spreader on site will greatly increase productivity. In addition to its extensive use in road

construction, the unit is ideal for airport construction and wherever large areas of disturbed soil needs to be stabilised. Currently, the Stolz spreader is being used in Gauteng and is already achieving impressively even and rapid application rates. The variance in application rate is minimal, resulting in much reduced wastage and more rapid progress on the project. Eventually, we plan to extend its area of operation to the entire geographical footprint of Lafarge Cement and other regions of the country.

Build It with Lafarge

Lafarge Cement was asked by the Spar Group’s Build It store at Bon Accord in the north of Pretoria, to help them support the nearby Doornpoort Primary School. The school was started on a provisional basis from nothing a few years ago while the government assessed whether population growth in the area would warrant building a proper facility. To help raise extra funds for the school, Lafarge initially sponsored a raffle with soccer balls signed by André Arendse, the retired Bafana Bafana goalkeeper and well-known SuperSport presenter. Our attention was then brought to the fact that there was only one tap servicing the entire school’s drinking water requirements. As a temporary measure, we provided Lafarge branded water bottles that could be filled at home. Furthermore, we donated cement to help with a project to pave the school’s parking area. We enjoy a good relationship with the Build It Bon Accord store and are happy to continue partnering them in improving the facilities for the school learners. The signage erected at the school, ‘Doornpoort Primary Build It with Lafarge’, is evidence of successful partnerships with our customers, as we work together towards community upliftment. PAGE 8 | CEMENT NEWSLETTER | 2012

First of its type in Africa, the state-of-the-art Stolz Site Spreader. 2012 | CEMENT NEWSLETTER | PAGE 9



Bigboy Revival Scooter


We would like to extend our thanks to all participating stores on our Big Boy Scooter competition and congratulate our 30 winners who all received a Big Boy Revival 150 Scooter courtesy of Lafarge.

Our popular, tried and trusted Buildcrete cement is now available from Lafarge in a convenient 25kg bag. The renowned Buildcrete brand is well established as the ideal general purpose solution for a wide range of applications. While the traditional 50kg bag meets the handling needs of larger projects, the new 25kg pocket is especially suited to the requirements of smaller DIY and repair jobs around the home.

competition a hit!

now in a handy 25kg bag

The competition saw a massive number of entries flying into our headoffice after the closing date in March of this year. We appreciate all the effort that was put into this campaign, especially those stores that went the extra mile to make the most of this unique campaign.

Benefits of the 25kg bag • Fits conveniently in your shopping trolley and your car • Easier and safer to carry while working on a project • No wastage - the smaller 25kg bag gives the option of making different mix quantities without leaving half-used 50kg bags to go to waste • Being exactly half the standard 50kg bag makes it easy to measure out the mix quantities

A highly creative store promotion for our scooter competition.


with our customers for our customers

Moses Ntombela, Abraham Mcwango and Mr Nick Griffiths from BBS MICA Empangeni.


Cashbuild Meadowdale

John Vermaak

Benoni Sand & Buildware

Marcel Engelbrecht

Rochas Paint & Building Supplies

Jan Pienewald

Cashbuild Vereeniging

Victor Phadi

Cashbuild Tembisa

Frank Ranbambi

Monarch Building Supplies

Chris Hackforth

Rietpan Hardware

Lesley Sello


Our customer Kagiso Mabelebele of Maruapula Trading won the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) tender to supply 272 tons of cement for the construction of a new reservoir in Jozini, northern KwaZulu-Natal. Part of the DWA infrastructure scheme is to supply potable water to Area 17 of Jozini to bring clean, safe water to over 1 000 households. For the purpose of Maruapula’s tender, Lafarge’s Buildcrete 32,5R was specified.

We congratulate all the

scooter winners: KZN

Ladysmith Mica Hardware

Sthembile Radebe

Travis Hardware

Lindiwe Mjadu

Mbazwana Build It

Bongi Mthethwa Khethiwe Menyuka

Builders Market Shayandima

Shakes Netshivhale

Jozini Quickbuild

Africa Hardware

Martin Barnard

BBS Empangeni

Abraham Mncwango

Build It Giyani

Elleck Manyike

Magic Build

Molate Mampenie

Builders Market Bloem

David Thebeagae

Hardware Market

Rindilani Makhuge

Platinum Build It

Hendrik Coetzee

Build It Potch

DJ Bloem

Bethanie Hardware & Timber

Portia Ndlovu

Cashbuild Bethal

Johan Engelbrecht

Build It Numbi

Benston Malele


Build It Kathu

Anet Strauss

Miguel Frad

Roch Building Supplies

Deon Lloyd

Cashbuild Plaza

Samuel Khoza

DOH Brits

Dedrick Moralo

Cashbuild Middleburg

Hendrik Bean

DIY Depot

Enoch Mapaletsebe

MPUMALANGA Lowveld Building Supplies


Lafarge facilitates a winning solution

Hearing that she had won the tender, Kagiso opened a cash account with Lafarge Cement in March 2012 but was unable to secure bridging finance to be able to supply the cement in accordance with the tender conditions. In circumstances such as these, Lafarge believes it is imperative to include the local community and did so by introducing Maruapula Trading to one of our local retailers in Jozini (Quickbuild Hardware) to help with the supply of the cement. The Manager of Quickbuild, Paulus Mdlalose, was able to set up an account thereby resolving the issue that Maruapula Trading was facing by granting them workable payment terms. From Lafarge’s perspective, we arranged to run the contract tonnage of cement through the Quickbuild business to ensure Kagiso received her cement timeously. “It proved to be a win/win solution with advantages for all three parties. Our customer, Kagiso is delighted and thanked Lafarge for going the extra mile to help her. She has delivered several loads of Buildcrete 32,5R to date. Quickbuild is happy because they have been able to extend their volumes with us, while it was an opportunity for Lafarge to reward them for being our brand ambassadors and growing the Lafarge brand in the Jozini area.”




A Great Day

on the green


After a much anticipated wait, Lafarge proudly hosted our golf day at the prestigious Houghton Golf Club. This highly regarded course is rated among the top ten in South Africa. Over 100 customers and Lafarge staff took to a day on the green for an American Scramble style game allowing golfers of all handicaps to make the most of this special event. The event culminated with roars of laughter from our guest entertainer and comedian Martin Jonas. A great day was had by all and everyone agreed that the real prize was the fun spirit and camaraderie that prevailed at this event. We look forward to seeing you at our next Golf Day!


The Customer Portal has been developed as an innovative answer to better customer service and as such Lafarge has endeavoured to reward those who have embraced the positive changes that have been created with them in mind. Lafarge would like to congratulate the winners of the Portal Competition which was run from October 2011 to the end of April 2012. We have extended our incentive programme, so keep on clicking.

We extend thanks to our CFO, Connie Bester for hosting the prize giving dinner and extend congratulations to our winners: Nearest to the pin (9th hole): Bongani Zuba Nearest to the pin (16th hole): Morne Steyn Longest drive (5th hole): Konrad Pretorius Longest drive (10th hole): Johan Grobler

Etienne Schoeman of 3Q received his brand new Samsung 42� flat screen TV from Jaco Kruger.

Jacob Dakada hands over the Sony Home Theatre system to the excited Deon Britz of Lintel Suppliers.

Elliot Witbooi of Mmabatho Crushers proudly holds up his 3in1 cappuccino maker. PAGE 12 | CEMENT NEWSLETTER | 2012





technical service in demand Efflorescence investigation for a major CPM customer Late last year, Technicrete, a major customer for our Powercrete Plus and RapidCem cements, requested the assistance of our Quality Department Southern Africa (QDSA). The company needed an investigation done on all the materials being used to make its masonry products for potential contributors to efflorescence (typically an unsightly fluffy white deposit of calcium hydroxide that forms on the surface of masonry products). Technicrete is the leading manufacturer of concrete products in the mining and construction industries and prides itself on producing concrete products with high quality finishes.

It’s so easy to order cement online and even easier the 2nd time around. There are many reasons why you should be using this service, such as: Convenience: You can place an order at any point in the day, providing you with a large time framework to work with. One web address gives you access to all of our products. Mobility: You can order cement from your yard or project site as long as you have internet access and you are able to track your order at the same time. Control: You are able to access all of your invoices and credit notes or product information as and when you need it. You will enjoy having access to all your information on the Portal and the latest news on Lafarge. And it takes less than 10 clicks to place a new cement order with us via our Portal. • Customers simply have to complete a Portal registration form, obtainable from their local Lafarge Sales representative or our Customer Care (0860 109 275) • All you will need on your computer is Internet Explorer 6 or a higher version, or Mozilla 3,5 software • You generate your own password and user-name to ensure the access is exclusive to yourself The new online service enables customers to interact with us 24/7, 365 days a year. In addition to easy placement of orders and monitoring of order execution status, our innovative system also offers various other benefits, such as: • • • • • •

Rapid processing of orders Tracking of deliveries around the clock Easy management of account Access to order history Immediate information on new products and promotions Access to product support information: technical specifications, applications and performance • Viewing the latest offerings from Lafarge Cement PAGE 14 | CEMENT NEWSLETTER | 2012

With the help of the Lafarge Cement sales team, masonry products such as various pavers, kerb stones, precast panels and roof tiles were collected from nine different locations, together with samples of fine aggregates and the water used for mixing. QDSA’s Analytical and Physical Testing sections tested Lafarge cements and carried out full water and sand analyses to check for impurities and any undesirable characteristics. Samples of all masonry products were subjected to a potential for efflorescence test as recommended by SANS 1215. This was a difficult and long process that required some sample preparation by diamond core drilling and masonry saw cutting. Several of these tests took more than a month.

SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Can anyone in my company use the Portal? The Portal was developed to enable multiple users in the same company to have different categories of access. For example, a customer’s buyer can be restricted to placing orders and tracking deliveries, whereas a customer’s credit department would probably only need access to account information. It is a service aimed at meeting your needs – tell us how you would like it set up. Does it replace the Cement Call Centre? No, the new Portal communication channel will complement our Call Centre service. In fact, the Portal window will feature pop-ups reminding visitors to the site that our Call Centre personnel are available to help them during normal business hours. We anticipate that overall communications between Lafarge Cement and its customers will benefit as the Portal will decrease the load on our Call Centre resources, allowing more time for person-to-person contact.

Lafarge Cement!

There was no evidence that Lafarge cements directly promote efflorescence in concrete masonry products. All water samples were suitable for concrete making but some of the fine aggregates investigated had the potential to be problematic. Technicrete expressed their appreciation for QDSA’s thorough evaluation of the efflorescence issue. Lafarge assured them of further assistance in the future should it be necessary.


radiation shield grade concrete The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA) recently contracted Lafarge Cement’s Quality Department Southern Africa (QDSA) to assist in the development of special high density concrete for use as a radiation shield. Haematite, the red iron ore from Sishen, was selected as the aggregate to achieve a heavy, dense concrete. The ore has a nominal density of 5,2 compared with normal concrete aggregate that has a density of +/- 2,7. A powerful jaw crusher had to be used to reduce the lumps of Haematite to a stone size of < 25mm. The concrete mix specification called for a Class 52,5N cement and our RapidCem and Fastcast were ideal for the purpose.

Your any day, any time, online cement supplier

The preliminary mix designs produced a fresh wet mix density as high as 3,7 and, as a precaution, small batches were prepared to avoid damage to the laboratory concrete mixers. Tests have been completed and resulted in an excellent 28 day compressive strength of 55 MPa and 8MPa flexural strength, while also achieving the target high density.

For further information or to arrange for registration to use our Cement Portal, please contact:

The award of this contract by NECSA is another indication of the high regard in which QDSA is held in the South African construction industry. The SANAS accredited Civil Engineering testing facility complies with ISO/IEC17025 and has a proud 16 year track record of continuous accreditation.

• Your local Lafarge Sales Representative • Our customer service team on: 011 657 1010 or, • Download an Application form from our website:

Potential efflorescence test.

Flexural strength testing of very dense radiation shielding concrete. 2012 | CEMENT NEWSLETTER | PAGE 15


Behind The Scenes – customers see


how quality cement is made

road construction

Customer Visits to our production facilities continually form part of our campaign to build long-lasting customer relations. To be able to enhance our service, we want to know our customers and their needs better: equally we want them to know more about Lafarge. Our customers will have had the opportunity to meet the people who make the cement that they buy, as well as why it takes such a huge capital investment and skilled team to make high performance quality cement.

QDSA looks at bitumen versus concrete Dr Reinhold Amtsbüchler, Manager of Lafarge’s QDSA, was recently invited by the Institute of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa to participate in a panel discussion on Quality Road Construction.

Richards Bay builds customer relationships The first in a planned series of Customer Visits to the Lafarge Richards Bay Grinding Station took place earlier this year where representatives from Bay Brick, Monier Roofing, BBS Mica, Builders Trade Depot Empangeni were invited to a conducted tour of the facility followed by lunch.

Lafarge was asked to comment on why concrete had not assumed a more dominant position in the South African road construction industry, Dr Amtsbüchler said this was mostly for short-term cost reasons. While the growing infrastructure in South Africa required many more kilometres of roads, the decisions are often based on available finances. This meant that more affordable tar roads were often the final choice. Unfortunately, the maintenance of these roads then becomes expensive in the long term. In fact, the maintenance costs associated with concrete roads are much more affordable when compared with other road surfaces. Well-designed and constructed concrete offers exceptional durability and long life in any structure. While Lafarge supports the Cement & Concrete Institute in undertaking various concrete road studies, the company also produces products that can improve the quality of the tar road network in South Africa. In particular, the road binder cement, RoadCem, enhances soil stabilisation in the base of a road by controlling plasticity and enhancing the strength of various road making materials to ensure an even road surface. Looking to the future, the concrete study that is showing exceptional promise is the use of ultra-thin, high-strength overlays which have an extended life expectancy of about 40 years. It requires resurfacing only once or twice in its lifetime, whereas a typical asphalt road needs a strict maintenance programme to keep it in good condition, starting within 2 years of placement. In Dr Amtsbüchler’s view, the key challenges facing our road industry are developing short-term cost-effective solutions to meet the increasing traffic loads and changing the mindset of the industry to better understand the long-term benefits of concrete with its unrivalled durability properties.


After a safety induction, the visitors were shown the ‘A-Z’ of the process and expertise involved in making the Lafarge Powercrete Plus product that they all use. Particular emphasis was placed on demonstrating Lafarge’s rigorous quality control procedures and describing the effective contingency plan to ensure supply to customers in the event of a plant outage. The visitors were impressed with the level of professionalism and attention to quality. They all agreed that there is far more to a bag of our cement than meets the eye!

H&I visit Lichtenburg Cement Works


Sales Consultant for North West and Free State, Jacomien Dippenaar, is reinforcing relationships with her customers by organising a visit each month to one of our sites. Earlier this year she took a party of nine staff from H&I, a major client of hers, to see the “behind the scenes” at Lichtenburg and meet some of the production and quality control personnel. The size of the plant and the complex process of control to guarantee quality made a tremendous impact on the visitors.

Lafarge RoadCem: an innovative road binder for the road construction industry.

Illiad Training Academy’s Annual Lichtenburg visit Each year the top 10 students from the Illiad Training Academy are rewarded with a three day excursion to the Tswana Lime Quarry, Lafarge Lichtenburg Works and Wynberg Readymix facilities. The group of 11 sales personnel were introduced to the plant by Eric Fournel, Operations Manager at Lichtenburg Works and were taken through a safety induction and Lafarge overview before entering our facilities.

The SANS 50450 specification for fly ash

The students were able to experience the full cement making process by starting at the Tswana Lime Quarry, hosted by Nico Breytenbach, Quarry Manager on day 1 through to the production, packaging and laboratory testing processes on day 2. The 3rd day our guests enjoyed a full tour of our Readymix production and testing processes at our Wynberg facilities.

Currently all South Africa’s building materials specifications are undergoing review, and in May 2011, the SANS 50450 specification - based on the European EN 450 specification - covering fly ash was added, improving on the previous local standard. EN 450 is a modern specification that was extensively revised in 2010, driven by the major swing to extended cements and increasing use of recycled materials as co-combustion fuels with coal.

We look forward to hosting the Illiad group each year and are delighted to report another successful tour. We wish the top 10 students all the best and we look forward to hosting the next group in the upcoming months.

At Lafarge Cement, we consider the use of consistent quality raw materials as an integral part of producing reliable quality cement products and we welcome the introduction of SANS 50450. The new specification is both a recognition of the vital role that fly ash is playing in the development of innovative products for our construction industry and a means of ensuring the protection of all fly ash end-users. The most likely problems from using unspecified or non-compliant fly ash will be variability in concrete mixes and/or high water demand, resulting in poor workability and reduction in the efficiency of admixtures. The fly ash that we use to manufacture our innovative range of extended lower-carbon footprint cements is sourced exclusively from Ash Resources. They are proud to say that they are already able to deliver DuraPozz®Pro, DuraPozz® and PozzFill® products, which are compliant with the new SANS 50450 specification.

The annual Illiad Training Academy Plant Visit. PAGE 16 | CEMENT NEWSLETTER | 2012





reaches out to students Our Randfontein Grinding Station’s Communication Outreach programme, invited secondary schools in the area to visit the site. Here they learned about Lafarge and got insight into a career in the cement industry. In another initiative, Randfontein hosted a group of civil engineering students from Vaal University of Technology, building on Lafarge’s traditionally close ties with the University.

Matric students visit Randfontein Earlier this year, 67 maths and science matric students from AB Phokompe Secondary School were welcomed by Plant Manager Sibu Hlatshwayo and given a presentation on Lafarge as the world’s leading cement company. After further presentations on safety, the production process, sales and marketing, the students were given a tour of the plant. The talks aimed to provide the students with an appreciation of the different career opportunities available in Lafarge. “The visit was a success, with students showing a great deal of interest in this new industry in their neighbourhood,” says Sibu. “We are planning two more visits by secondary schools this year. While these visits will help the students make better informed decisions about their future, we also learn more about the local communities and can show that Lafarge is a responsible, caring neighbour.”





Vaal University of Technology visit A party of 45 first and second year civil engineering students from Vaal University of Technology visited the Randfontein plant. The visit was part of a broader appreciation of cement and concrete manufacturing processes. Before a factory walkabout, managers at the site gave the students in-depth presentations on Lafarge and the technology involved in the Grinding Station.

Answer the following three questions correctly and you could win one of our

super LAfarge hamperS!

Knowledge of all these processes is part of the University’s study curriculum and we were only too happy to oblige to our future engineering customers.

(The answers can be found in this issue of Our World.)

“It was rewarding to see the genuine excitement and curiosity to learn as much as they could,” says Lafarge Readymix’s Quality Controller, Foster Mthombeni, who organised the day’s activities. “It gave these future engineers good exposure to Lafarge, while also giving us the chance to know them better. It is important for us to introduce ourselves as our relationship with the University will improve our interaction with the industry in general, and make Lafarge products and capabilities better known. The association with these students makes sound business sense as several of them will undoubtedly be future customers or even employees of Lafarge.”

1. How many clicks does it take to order cement on the unique Lafarge Customer Portal? 2. What make of roadbinder spreader has Lafarge imported? 3. Buildcrete now gives you the choice of a convenient smaller bag option, what weight is it?

Send your answers to

Jeanne De Power: Private Bag X26 Gallo Manor, 2052 or e-mail: COMPETITION RULES:

Competition closing date:

30 Sept 201 2 Vaal University students learned a great deal from their visit to Randfontein Grinding Station.


This prize is non-transferable. The prize cannot be exchanged for cash. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The winner will be notified via phone. Staff members of Lafarge, their advertising agencies and immediate families may not enter this competition.


Which company offers you the ultimate solution in soil stabilisation?


INNOVATION IS ONE OF OUR KEY STRENGTHS! We are proud to offer our customers: • • • •

Choice Value-added solutions Products that support sustainable construction Processes and Products which reduce CO2 emissions

Lafarge South Africa • Tel: 011 657 0000 • Fax: 086 631 0006 •

My World - Issue 16  

Lafarge Cement Customer Newsletter

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