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updated 6:54 AM SAST, Mar 14, 2031
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As part of its commitment to social and economic upliftment, construction materials leader AfriSam puts its Centre for Product Excellence (CPE) at the service of small players in the concrete product manufacturing (CPM) sector – with great results.

While the ranks of CPMs include a number of large and well-resourced companies, there are still many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in this industry that need support to become sustainable. These operations often lack the in-house expertise and experience to fully optimise their production costs, often leaving them uncompetitive.

To help build a sustainable construction industry through empowering SMEs with the necessary knowledge and advice, AfriSam’s CPE offers its technical skills and facilities at no charge to its SME customers. Significantly, this support is offered across the country. In tough economic times especially, this can often give the customer the necessary edge it needs to survive and thrive.

Working with its customer Opehst BCM, a new business near Rustenburg, the CPE team was able to advise on the best cement and the most efficient process to make bricks, blocks and palisade walling with chrome slag instead of stone aggregate. Using AfriSam’s High Strength cement (42.5R) – to achieve high early strength – Opehst has been able to produce good quality products at low cost. It has entered the market with a competitive offering of products whose quality conformed to South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) requirements.

At Smartcrete in Centurion, the CPE was able to help improve the casting rate so the customer could keep up with growing demand without overly raising its cost base. Through the use of AfriSam’s Rapid Hard cement (52.5R), as well as a superplasticiser admixture and accelerator combination, Smartcrete successfully ramped up the output of its concrete tables, windowsills, wall caps, wall copings, stairs, treads, water channels and spouts.

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