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Materials & Equipment News

Dangote Cement still interested in South Africa's PPC – CEO

By: Reuters     20th October 2017 Dangote Cement is still interested in acquiring South African rival PPC and would do a deal at the right price, its outgoing chief executive officer Onne van der Weijde said on Thursday. Weijde said PPC was a "good fit" for Dangote Cement, which is majority owned by Africa's richest man, Aliko... 

New business model drives group’s resurgence in Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     20th October 2017 Economic growth in Africa is ensuring a steady demand for infrastructure development and by tailoring its business model to access this demand, engineering services provider ELB Group has enhanced its activities on the continent and announced a return to profitability. 

New business model drives group’s resurgence in Africa
ACCESSING NEW MARKETS ELB has been focused predominately on the mineral and metals market and diversification will enable it to better protect its balance sheet during future commodity downturns

CSIR is looking to transform how infrastructure is built in South Africa

By: Keith Campbell     20th October 2017 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) continues to research innovations and initiatives to transform the local construction industry. This was reported by CSIR Principal Researcher Llewellyn van Wyk at the recent 6th CSIR Conference in Pretoria.  

PPC, NUM make headway on wage impasse

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th October 2017 Cement producer PPC and trade union National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have reached an agreement on wage negotiations at the company’s Slurry plant, in the North West. This followed a protected strike by the union on Monday after the parties were unable to reach an agreement through a Commission... 

NUM members down tools at PPC Cement over wages

By: African News Agency      17th October 2017 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said that its members at South Africa’s leading supplier of cement and related products, PPC Cement Slurry in Mafikeng, North West, have embarked on a strike over wages. This comes after the NUM gave PPC Cement a notice to strike on Sunday last week and... 

Seifsa president laments slow pace of metals sector transformation

By: Terence Creamer     13th October 2017 The slow pace of transformation in the metals and engineering sector continues to be of concern, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) president Michael Pimstein said during his presidential address in Johannesburg on Friday. He urged the sector, which represents... 

Seifsa president laments slow pace of metals sector transformation

Buried utility locating facility essential for accurate information

By: Simone Liedtke     13th October 2017 Utility management company Bosch Munitech’s specialised Underground Services Location (USL) facility encompasses advanced utility detection and mapping services, which are essential for providing accurate information on buried utility infrastructure layouts, says Bosch Munitech underground and... 

Buried utility locating facility essential for accurate information
NECESSARY SERVICE The Underground Services Location facility helps with the planning of new pipe designs, utility diversions and new construction

Supplier aims to change industry mindset

By: Simone Liedtke     13th October 2017 Industrial equipment supplier Smith Power Equipment (SPE) – a division of Smith Mining Equipment – is aiming to change the “bigger is better” mindset of the construction materials and equipment market in South Africa by offering construction equipment developer Kubota’s 3 t Kubota U30-6 mini... 

Supplier aims to change industry mindset
COMPACT EXCAVATOR The 3 t Kubota U30-6 mini excavator from Smith Power Equipment a compact machine

Product range to expand to construction industry

By: Simone Liedtke     13th October 2017 Owing to the risk posed by utility pipes, and electrical lines and cables in the ground, industrial product supplier Actum Industrial – part of the Actum Group – is targeting the construction, municipal, and oil and gas industry with its Ridgid range of tooling equipment – such as the SR-20 and... 

Product range to expand  to construction industry
BUILDING ON THE PAST The SR-24 utility line locating instrument builds on the SR-20 feature set, adding a global positioning system and wireless communication

Well-maintained equipment ensures market competitiveness

By: Simone Liedtke     13th October 2017 Ensuring that income-generation capacity is not reduced in any way by ill-maintained equipment is an important way of staying competitive in the market, states Cape Town-based specialised equipment hire company Burma Plant Hire Group (BPH) MD Theuns Burger. 

Well-maintained equipment ensures market competitiveness
THEUNS BURGER The proactive approach involves maintenance of a company’s equipment

Groundwater a viable water saving initiative

     13th October 2017 South African consulting and engineering firm JG Afrika is working hard to change the mind-set around using South Africa’s groundwater to mitigate water scarcity, despite project failures in the past. JG Afrika technical director Mark Schapers and JG Afrika executive associate Regan Rose agree... 

Groundwater a  viable water  saving initiative
MARK SCHAPERS JG Afrika’s systematic approach is transferred to all activities involved in completing groundwater projects

Nonconformance of standards exacerbates drought conditions

By: Nica Schreuder     13th October 2017 Fundamental conformities not being upheld during the manufacturing stages of pipe production has exacerbated South Africa’s current water scarcity, says plastics and polymer testing laboratory P.E.S.C. MD Graham Marsberg. “The basics of pipe manufacturing involves quality workmanship. This... 

Nonconformance of standards exacerbates drought conditions
CONFORMING TO STANDARDS SATAS or SABS accreditation is essential to ensuring reliable water infrastructure that adheres to strict standards

Western Cape municipality begins master plan to combat water loss

     13th October 2017 The Drakenstein local municipality in Paarl, Western Cape, has begun a 20-year master plan to replace old or ageing asbestos pipes in the region with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes, which will achieve significant success in reducing water loss throughout the municipal area. Water leakage... 

Western Cape municipality begins master plan to  combat water loss
MASTER PLANNERS Willem Liebenberg and André Kowalewski (right) of the Drakenstein municipality are at the forefront of the master plan

Italian company ensures engineering success in KZN

By: Robyn Wilkinson     13th October 2017 As it celebrates its sixtieth year in South Africa, Italian multinational engineering solutions provider Maccaferri will complete the construction of one of the country’s largest surfaces of mechanically stabilised earth walls to date – at 10 000 m2 – at the Mount Edgecombe interchange, in... 

Italian company ensures engineering success in KZN
MAMMOTH TASK Careful project management ensured that each of the nine mechanically stabilised earth walls was constructed and delivered to site as it was needed

Open immigration regime central to S Africa’s growth

By: Robyn Wilkinson     13th October 2017 Countries seeking to promote economic growth and job creation tend to adopt policies that create flexible and open immigration regimes, contrasting with South Africa’s adoption of restrictive immigration laws, which when coupled with bureaucratic inefficiency creates a barrier to the entry of... 

Open immigration regime central to S Africa’s growth
GARY EISENBERG South Africa’s foreign policy should never lose sight of the historical benefits that have streamed into South Africa from Italy

Renewed focus for construction equipment supplier

By: Simone Liedtke     13th October 2017 Welding and construction equipment-related supplier Renttech South Africa (SA) aims to provide an “unmatched” range of construction equipment for sale or to rent for the construction industry as part of its goal to grow consistently and sustainably. 

Renewed focus for construction equipment supplier
PREFERRED SUPPLIER Renttech SA is the preferred supplier of welding, power generation, lifting and rigging equipment to buy or rent in

Insurance plays vital role in construction project success

By: Simone Liedtke     13th October 2017 Owing to insurance playing a vital role in the ultimate success of a construction project, insurance provider Risk Benefit Solutions (RBS) says contractors and engineers need to ensure that a contract includes the contractor all risk policy, which includes cover against damage and any liabilities... 

Insurance plays vital role in construction project success
GEORGE DAVIS Every construction project is unique and has its own set of risks

Bunch of old bananas or building materials of the future?

By: Reuters     12th October 2017 Potatoes reborn as insulation, peanuts processed into partition boards and mushroom bricks that grow in five days - just some of the ways the building trade could change its wasteful ways and construct virtuous new cities. In a report released on Wednesday, international engineering firm Arup set... 

CSIR seeking to develop new methods to improve local infrastructure production  

By: Keith Campbell     11th October 2017 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) continues to research innovations and initiatives to transform the local construction industry. This was reported by CSIR principal researcher Llewellyn van Wyk at the recent sixth CSIR Conference in Pretoria. He noted that the country has... 

Tribunal approves settlement agreements with two chemicals companies

By: Anine Kilian     9th October 2017 The Competition Tribunal has approved settlement agreements between the Competition Commission and Investchem and Akulu Marchon/Chemical Initiatives (CI), with regard to price fixing and dividing of markets for key chemical input materials used to make detergents, cosmetics and toiletries. Akulu... 

LafargeHolcim names new CFO

By: Reuters     9th October 2017 Cement maker LafargeHolcim on Monday said Geraldine Picaud from French optics maker Essilor International would replace CFO Ron Wirahadiraksa next year. Picaud will take over on Feb. 1, 2018. Wirahadiraksa, who joined LafargeHolcim from Philips in December 2015, is leaving to pursue opportunities... 

Dangote withdraws PPC offer

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th October 2017 Nigerian cement maker Dangote Cement has withdrawn its nonbinding expression of interest for the acquisition of South African cement producer PPC. In September, Dangote proposed a combination of the two companies. 

Disregard for PPE one of biggest causes of fatalities in work-at-height environment

By: Simone Liedtke     6th October 2017 Disregard for using personal protective equipment (PPE) is one of the common causes of workplace incidents, accidents and fatalities resulting from falls from height at sites in South Africa, states the Institute for Working at Height Professional Body (IWH PB). 

Disregard for PPE one of biggest causes  of fatalities in work-at-height environment
CONTINUOUSLY EVOLVING Personal protective equipment is continuously evolving to ensure maximum safety

High-pressure water jetting pumps witness growth in market

By: Nica Schreuder     6th October 2017 In the last three to four years, hydrodemolition by means of automated technological advances has become an increasingly popular method for significant concrete repairs, says water blasting and surface preparation equipment supply company Total Blasting director Bradley Storer. Storer says the... 

High-pressure water jetting pumps witness growth in market
NONDESTRUCTIVE EFFICIENCY High-pressure water jetting allows for concrete removal without rebar damage

Innovative system helps control wastewater pumping

     6th October 2017 Pumps and valves producer KSB Pumps and Valves has introduced the PumpDrive variable speed system, for the effective and controlled pumping of waste water. The system has been designed specifically to overcome problems related to the pumping of waste water. Three innovative functions have been... 

Innovative system  helps control wastewater pumping
INDUSTRY PLATFORM The annual Agritech Expo in Zambia is an opportunity for industry stakeholders and consumers to communicate and find solutions

Manufacturer innovates to address lack of water and sanitation challenges

     6th October 2017 With South Africa’s lack of clean water and sanitation has pressurising the country’s pumps industry to provide solutions, pump manufacturer Sulzer’s new pump ranges cater to the country’s need for improved water and sanitation, with ranges specifically developed for water transportation and... 

Manufacturer innovates to address lack of water and sanitation challenges
TESTING STANDARDS Results of computational fluid dynamics and finite element analysis are validated through prototype and model testing at Sulzer

Predictive maintenance made portable

     6th October 2017 To detect early signs of component wear or failure in pumps and other mechanical assemblies, vibration sensors and monitoring systems company Monitran, represented locally by manufacturer Instrotech, has designed a portable, rechargeable instrument for measuring vibration levels. The MTN/VM220 is... 

Routine mechanical maintenance emphasised as preventive measure

     6th October 2017 UK-based pump supplier SPP Pumps has emphasised the importance of routine mechanical maintenance, among other preventive measures, to improve pump reliability. SPP Pumps’ products comply with mandatory UK and European regulations and approvals, which guarantee extensive testing of all pumps. 

Routine mechanical  maintenance emphasised  as preventive measure
QUALITY IN CONFORMING SPP Pumps conforms to various UK and European standards to ensure quality and longevity in their pumps products

Supplier extends pumps offering

     6th October 2017 Industrial equipment supplier Atlas Copco’s portable energy division expanded its offering for the dewatering market, launching more than 20 new heavy-duty, high capacity pumps in August. The launch included the addition of three high-flow models to its PAS range of centrifugal dry prime pumps.... 

Supplier extends  pumps offering
FLOW ACCOMMODATION Atlas Copco’s high-flow models are capable of handling flow rates of up to 1 400 m3/h

Companies to benefit from work apparel innovation

By: Simone Liedtke     6th October 2017 Ongoing innovation in fabric manufacturing has led to greater durability and flexibility in the material used for work apparel, and companies need to ensure that workers wear such apparel consistently and correctly to benefit from these innovations, says personal protective equipment (PPE)... 

Companies to benefit from work apparel innovation
CLEAR UNDERSTANDING A clear understanding of health, safety and environmental (HSE) challenges is essential for proper HSE management and procedures

Exhibition marks firm’s international re-entry

By: Simone Liedtke     6th October 2017 Protective workwear manufacturer Sweet-Orr is set to exhibit at this year’s A+A Trade Show exhibition – which is an important trade forum for safety, security and health at work – from October 17 to 20 in Dusseldorf, Germany. 

Exhibition marks firm’s  international re-entry
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT Sweet Orr benchmarks its continuous improvement process in order to maintain national and international quality standards

Work apparel company sees further growth in sales

By: Simone Liedtke     6th October 2017 Since the beginning of the year, industrial supplier and solutions provider Total Blasting – a subsidiary of Total Product Solutions Group – has sold more than 50 sets of water blast and water jet personal protective equipment (PPE) and the company foresees this number steadily growing at a... 

Work apparel company sees further growth in sales
SPECIAL DESIGN The personal protective equipment was designed to not restrict operator movement and flexibility

Afrimat Construction Index declined marginally in Q2

By: Irma Venter     6th October 2017 The Afrimat Construction Index (ACI) declined marginally in the second quarter of 2017. The ACI is released by JSE-listed industrial minerals and construction materials miner and supplier Afrimat. It is a composite index of the level of activity within the building and construction sectors,... 

Sanral releases draft empowerment policy it hopes will have snowball effect

By: Irma Venter     29th September 2017 The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) on Friday launched a draft transformation policy that seeks to have a “snowball effect” on the larger South African construction industry, says CEO Skhumbuzo Macozoma. “This policy is going to trigger a review of our supply chain management... 

Sanral releases draft empowerment policy it hopes will have snowball effect
Photo by Duane Daws
Sanral CEO Skhumbuzo Macozoma

Turbine installations at wind project completed ahead of schedule

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th September 2017 Khobab Wind Farm, in the Northern Cape has completed all 61 wind turbine installations, ahead of schedule this month. Further, Khobab, together with its adjacent wind farm, the Loeriesfontein Wind Farm, in the Hantam municipality, in the Northern Cape province, have achieved more than two-million... 

Turbine installations at wind project completed ahead of schedule
SOARING CONSTRUCTION The 100-m-tall Siemens wind turbines, which allow for optimum energy production, take between one and three days to construct, assuming favourable weather

BMG invests R400m in Joburg distribution centre 

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th September 2017 Technical solutions provider BMG, which is part of Invicta Holdings, has officially launched its BMG World site, in Johannesburg, which is the culmination of a consolidation and supply chain re-engineering strategy that began nearly ten years ago. “The company’s R400-million investment to upgrade... 

BMG invests R400m in Joburg  distribution centre
BMG MD Gavin Pelser discusses the upgraded BMG World site facility in Johannesburg. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Strategic review at Aveng likely to trigger noncore disposals

By: Terence Creamer     26th September 2017 Aveng executive chairperson Eric Diack, who has stepped in as acting CEO at the construction group following Kobus Verster’s surprise resignation, says a “no-holds-barred” strategic review is currently under way in a bid to improve the company’s immediate liquidity position and position it for a... 

Strategic review at Aveng likely to trigger noncore disposals
Aveng executive chairperson Eric Diack
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