- AfriSam MD Karl Meissner-Roloff discusses the medium-term outlook for cement demand in South Africa (2008-07-18). Footage: Danie de Beer, Editing: Shane Williams (3.20 MB)
AfriSam MD Karl Meissner-Roloff said that local cement consumption was still sitting at record levels, despite residential building having cooled off.
The infrastructure sector would continue to show attractive growth, as government and State-owned enterprises implemented the R400-billion-plus investment plan over the medium term, which would flow into the development of new power stations, rail and port investments, and upgrading the country's road network.
Meissner-Roloff said that the residential sector's consumption was "not down and out", and that many local construction groups were sitting with full order books on the infrastructure side.
"With the amount of work on the table, for at least the next five years, we should keep the volumes going at more or less the same levels as now," he told reporters in Johannesburg.
In the longer term, the industry could expect further growth, Meissner-Roloff commented, pointing out that the cement consumption per capita in South Africa was lower than other developing countries, at 250 kg/head.
"Future growth is there," he stated.
IMPORTS TO DECLINE
Meanwhile, Meissner-Roloff said that AfriSam would halt its current cement imports at the end of August or the beginning of September, after reaching a total of 300 000 t of imports for 2008. That was about the same amount that it imported the previous year.
He said a "large maintenance shutdown" at one of AfriSam's local plants had been the main reason for the high level of imports in the year.
All three of South Africa's biggest cement producers had to start importing the construction material after they underestimated growth in consumption, and capacity expansion projects had been delayed.