BREAKING NEWS: FEM Establishes R750 million Education Fund

fem-mad-logosFEM Establishes R750 million Education Fund

21 November 2016, Johannesburg

Thelma Pugh, Managing Director of FEM

Thelma Pugh, Managing Director of FEM

With the spotlight on the South African education system over recent months, a welcomed announcement has been made by The Federated Employers Mutual Assurance Company (FEM) following the establishment of the R750 million FEM Education Foundation.

The FEM Education Foundation was formed by FEM policy holders in an effort to contribute to the education system, with a core focus on generating additional skills in the building industry.


Francois Pienaar, Make A Difference Leadership Foundation

Through the establishment of this education foundation, FEM and the construction industry is responding to the education crisis which has reached boiling point, both in the construction industry and within all levels of our education system. FEM has committed to this important initiative – the first step of an ongoing scholarship programme – which is to be made available to the children of employees in the construction industry.

‘’FEM thanks its policyholders for approving the establishment of the R750m FEM Education Foundation and is proud to announce that this first initiative and launch of the programme is in partnership with Make A Difference Leadership Foundation (MAD Leadership Foundation) – one of a number of partners with whom we aspire to engage with,” says Thelma Pugh, Managing Director of FEM.

Initially, 37 scholars will be awarded scholarships providing comprehensive financial and personal support to assist them through high school and their first tertiary degree. This initial sponsorship amounts to an estimated R49 million, with the possibility of FEM allocating additional funding for scholarships in the following years. The first 37 applicants are currently being confirmed for 2017.

Founded by former Springbok captain Francois Pienaar, Make A Difference Leadership Foundation focuses on leadership development through education. The approach is to identify academically talented scholars, who do not have the necessary financial resources, and offer them integrated support in the areas of education, mentorship, leadership and life-skills development.

Comments Francois Pienaar, ‘’This partnership is a very exciting time for Make A Difference Leadership Foundation. It entrenches what we have aimed to achieve and builds on what we have been working towards, that is to develop long-standing, mutually beneficial partnerships with corporates who share our values and goals. This allows us to create sustainable educational opportunities for young people with leadership potential who do not have the financial resources to afford a good education, thus providing hope to many scholars at a time in South Africa where such help is so desperately needed. This partnership presents to us an opportunity to expand our reach to identify, develop and support even more deserving young leaders year-on-year, allowing us to dream bigger for South Africa. We challenge and encourage corporates from other industries to step forward, as FEM has done, to invest in education and ultimately help grow your industry through a new generation of leaders.’’

Adds Pugh, ‘’When the FEM Board, with the full approval of our shareholders, agreed unanimously that these funds be applied to the establishment of the FEM Education Foundation, it was immediately apparent to myself and the Board that this was indeed the perfect opportunity to make a significant difference to education and the promotion of strong leadership within the construction industry through the meaningful growth of talented individuals. It is with great pride that through the FEM-MAD partnership, we are able to put in place this first initiative to finance and nurture the first intake of selected learners through their secondary and tertiary education.’’

FEM will continue to work diligently and steadfastly on this programme in the years ahead, with a view to expanding it further and entrenching it within the building industry.

The Federated Employers Mutual Assurance Company (FEM) was established as a mutual insurer in 1936 and on the introduction of the Workmen’s Compensation Act 1941 was granted a licence to continue to transact workmen’s compensation insurance for the building industry. Its business operations are essentially confined to the insurance of employers against their liabilities under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 1993.

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Credit: SA Builder


FEM Awards R1,035 million once off special merit rebates

fem logo downloadFEM Awards R1,035 million once off special merit rebates

At a Special General Meeting held on 19th October 2016, shareholders of the Federated Employers Mutual Assurance Company (RF) Propriety Limited (FEM) approved a distribution of R1,035 million to qualifying policyholders in respect of a once-off special merit rebate scheduled to be paid before the end of November 2016.

The purpose of the payment was reduced the Company’s accrued surplus and thereby align its capital position to board-approved long term strategic targets and to recognise and reward those policyholders who have made positive contributions due to their focus on health and safety.

Whereas annual merit rebates are determined based on policyholders underwriting results in each particular year, the special merit rebates were designed to recognise policyholders’ contributions to the company’s underwriting profits over the long-term. Consequently, the principles applied to determine policyholders’ qualification for the special merit rebate and their individual allocations are similar to those used for the annual merit rebate calculations, but have been adapted to cater for the longer calculation period applicable and is directly related to health and safety performance.

Relevant details of the main qualifications and allocation criteria applicable, including the period in respect of which calculations were performed can be found on FEM’s website at:

From the desk of the President

Significant B-BBEE concession gazetted

Master Builders South Africa welcomes the much-awaited Draft Construction Sector Charter which was recently released for the mandatory 60-day public comment period by the Minister of the Department of Trade and Industry who stated: “The Construction Sector Code remains one of the key sector codes that affect domestic infrastructural development and as such, is one of the catalysts for the implementation of B-BBEE in the country.”

The Amended Construction Sector Code recognises that the nature of the construction sector is dominated by joint ventures and outsourcing. However, in order to ensure that outsourcing does not dilute the actual benefits accruing to black people, it stipulates that no more than 25% of the value of a contract can be outsourced to an entity or entities with a lower B-BBEE status level.

This will also have ramifications that will need to be well understood for transformation to be advanced and take root in the new era of 30% ‘set-asides’ as contemplated in the Draft Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act which is currently under consideration by National Treasury through the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer after the public comment period closed in July.

The above-mentioned DTI media statement was also preceded by a much welcome concession in the application and interpretation of Empowering Supplier Status which replaced Value Added Status under the renamed element of Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD).

The DTI have communicated (Gazette No.40375) that a concession will be awarded on the Empowering Supplier status. Previously, only Exempted Micro Enterprises (EMEs) were automatically granted the Empowering Supplier Status.

As per this notice, however, all suppliers with valid B-BBEE certificates issued before or on 30 April 2016, regardless of whether they are Exempted Micro Enterprises, Qualifying Small Enterprises or Generic Enterprises, are considered to be empowering.

The notice further confirms that all valid B-BBEE certificates issued on or after 1 May 2016 would also be deemed to be empowering, irrespective of the company size or black ownership, until further notice. This is a significant concession. MBSA urges all its members to ensure that they are in possession of valid B-BBEE Certificates.

Similarly we look forward to the finalization of the Draft Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act. This will go a long way towards providing policy and regulatory certainty in what is an already ‘congested’ regulatory environment which also brings about ‘compliance fatigue’. We do however accept that regulation is a necessary evil which can sometimes become a blunt instrument if not applied and enforced effectively.

We commend the Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan for the delicate balance he managed to strike under very difficult fiscal and macro-economic constraints as he delivered the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) late last month.

It remains to be seen whether the Minister of Finance and the National Treasury in particular as well as the Government in general have done enough in terms of fiscal consolidation to stave off a potential ratings downgrade by the rating agencies when they visit the country next month. The country and the sector could use some festive cheer in what has been a tumultuous and whirlwind year.

On behalf of Master Builders South Africa, I wish you all a joyous, safe and relaxing festive season and a prosperous and constructive 2017.

Bafikile Bonke Simelane



AfriSam’s Dry Mortar product allows immediate access to an already blended dry mortar solution that ensures product integrity and quality construction on a project

AfriSam’s Dry Mortar product allows immediate access to an already blended dry mortar solution that ensures product integrity and quality construction on a project


Contractors in the built environment face numerous challenges in the constrained market conditions of today. Primary amongst these is the need to dramatically improve productivity on site which is exacerbated by the fact that majority of projects are fast track. This places contractors under even more pressure in terms of delivering within a shortened construction programme schedule.

Add to this the challenges of containing costs, eliminating wastage and pilferage while delivering with reduced margins.

Amit Dawneerangen, national sales manager Gauteng, AfriSam, says that in the changing construction environment it is essential that contractors take an overall view of project costs and not just look at individual material costs.

The Class II mortar has been specially engineered as a dual purpose mix that can be used for both mortar and plaster work

The Class II mortar has been specially engineered as a dual purpose mix that can be used for both mortar and plaster work

Significantly, and in response to demands from contractors for increased convenience, AfriSam developed its AfriSam Dry Mortar product. This allows immediate access to an already blended dry mortar solution and according to Dawneerangen is proving to be very attractive to time-pressed contractors.

The AfriSam Dry Mortar solution offers contractors a number of benefits in addition to time and cost savings. Using a pre-blended mortar mix will ensure optimum product integrity and subsequently quality construction on a project.

Repeat business is always a strong testimony for a product and

AfriSam’s Dry Mortar product can be delivered in 10 or 20 ton silos to meet customer and project requirements

AfriSam’s Dry Mortar product can be delivered in 10 or 20 ton silos to meet customer and project requirements

the reality is that once a customer has experienced the AfriSam Dry Mortar product, it becomes a standard on all of the contractor’s projects.” Dawneerangen says.

Customers who have used the product have been particularly impressed with the finish achieved when used in plaster applications. In some cases architects on projects have also commented on the superior finish and are starting to specify the product because of its aesthetic value.”

Dawneerangen says that the use of superior sand is essential to produce a quality plaster or mortar as this raw material makes up

Attaching a mixer with a water tank to the silo will deliver a wet product that is ready to use

Attaching a mixer with a water tank to the silo will deliver a wet product that is ready to use

as much as 80% of the mix. In addition to using superior quality sand, it is also critical that the sand be completely dry prior to the blending process to prevent any possibility of the cement reacting to the water content.

AfriSam has partnered with Stick a Tile to produce the innovative mortar and plaster solution. The sand used in the AfriSam Dry Mortar product is quarried at the Stick a Tile operation in Meyerton.

The sand being used is consistent from a grading perspective and the particle size distribution lends itself to producing a superior end product,” he says. “Use of inferior sands in these mixes not only affects the strength of the plaster or mortar, but also impacts negatively on the workability as well as the finish, especially in the case of plaster.”

After being quarried, the sand is dried to the requisite level, and blended with AfriSam’s All Purpose Cement in a controlled environment at this bespoke plant. The plant has a 400 ton per day capacity and is fully automated. Batch printouts are produced to verify consistency and ensure optimum quality.

A mortar pumping system can be connected to the silo to facilitate the easy transfer of the product for high rise construction projects.

A mortar pumping system can be connected to the silo to facilitate the easy transfer of the product for high rise construction projects.

In addition, samples of the dry mortar product are taken at regular intervals and tested at AfriSam’s Centre of Product Excellence to ensure compliance with the required specifications.

Dawneerangen says the traditional methodologies used for mixing of mortar and plaster lend themselves to scenarios where there is a lot of wastage. “Removing the human error element from this process has seen a number of contractors significantly decrease wastage and more importantly increase the productivity on site allowing them to bring projects to completion on time and within budget,” he says.

Manual blending of a mortar is labour intensive and time consuming, and requires careful attention to ensure the correct ratios of sand and cement are used. Incorrect blending or mixing will certainly affect the final product and in the case of plaster result in cracking.

The AfriSam Dry Mortar solution alleviates human error and goes a long way to ensuring the integrity of the work being done. This Class II mortar has been specially engineered as a dual purpose mix that can be used for both mortar and plaster work. It will achieve a minimum strength of 5 MPa at 28 days.

Dawneerangen says that SANS 50197 compliant AfriSam All Purpose Cement was selected as this cement offers a spectrum of functional attributes that provide customers with guaranteed quality performance in concrete, mortar and plaster applications.

It is an advanced composite cement containing milled clinker as well as advanced mineral components and additives, and therefore the ideal component for the AfriSam Dry Mortar product. While offering the lowest carbon footprint in the 42.5N strength class, this cement ensures optimum workability, another important requirement for contractors.”

The AfriSam Dry Mortar product is supplied in either 10 ton or 20 ton silos offering optimum flexibility as customers can then decide on the size required based on individual project requirements. By supplying product in silos, there is a considerable space saving advantage on a construction or building site as the need to accommodate large stockpiles of sand and store bagged cement is eliminated.

To add to this, stockpiled building materials are often pilfered on site and by using the AfriSam Dry Mortar silos, theft is virtually eradicated and there is a similar significant reduction in wastage.

The 10 ton silo is delivered fully loaded from the facility, while the 20 ton silo is delivered to site empty and filled via bulk tanker. Discharge into the silo is conducted using a closed conveyance system which ensures product integrity and the elimination of any dust during the process. Not only does this guarantee optimum quality of the product, but the process also complies with all the requisite environmental regulations, a factor that underlines AfriSam’s long-term commitment to environmental stewardship.

Dawneerangen says that on smaller projects where automated systems are not being used, the dry mortar can be discharged from the silo directly into wheelbarrows or other mixing vessels. Other options include attaching a mixer with a water tank to the silo so that when dry mortar is discharged, it comes into contact with the water from the tank and delivers a product that is ready to use. This wet product is then discharged into a utility unit such as a dumper or concrete hopper. Where high rise construction is taking place and there is a need to convey the mixed mortar upwards, a mortar pumping system would be connected to the silo to facilitate the easy transfer of the product.

Another area where productivity is being realised by contractors is in terms of procurement as it is no longer necessary to deal with a number of different contractors, i.e. procurement of sand from one supplier and then bagged or bulk cement from another.

It is an exceptionally simple one step order process for AfriSam Dry Mortar, and the construction industry is already realising significant gains from this innovative product.

Contact details:

Maxine Nel, AfriSam

Tel : +27 011 670 5893

Email :

CSCC urges construction industry to comment on the new Draft Construction Sector Code

cscc-logoCSCC urges construction industry to comment on the new Draft Construction Sector Code

The Construction Sector Charter Council (CSCC) has reminded the construction industry at the new Draft Construction Sector Code (DCSC) has been approved and was gazetted on 28 October for public comment within 60 days thereof.

It is crucial therefore, that stakeholders and interested parties in the industry submit any comment promptly to the addresses listed below,” says Thabo Masombuka, CEO of the Construction Sector Charter Council.

Thabo Masombuka, CEO of the Construction Sector Charter Council.

Thabo Masombuka, CEO of the Construction Sector Charter Council.

The new Draft Construction Sector Code is not only aligned to the revised generic B-BBEE codes that were issued by the Department of Trade and Industry in May 2015, it also introduces a significant number of new measurement areas that seek to propel black economic empowerment to the next levels,” continues Masombuka.

The new Draft Construction Sector Code introduces, inter alia, the following :

– increased targets for black ownership in both the Contractors/ Manufacturers and Built Environmental Professionals (BEPs)

– assurances regarding black ownership status as a consequence of black shareholders exiting the measured entity

– no provision for a transitional period.

– the Scope Of Application now includes Built Environmental Professionals; Contractors; and Manufacturers and Suppliers of building materials, plant hire and equipment.

Exempted Micro Enterprises (EMEs) have the opportunity to enhance their B-BBEE level contribution

– revised measurement of joint and unincorporated ventures (JVs)

– revised Measurement Weighting Points

Public commentary process

Interested parties and stakeholders should submit their comments on the Draft Construction Sector Code to the following:

At the DTI

Attention of Jacob Maphutha / Mologadi Leshiba

At the CSCC

Attention of Thabo Masombuka

The complete gazetted DCSC can be downloaded here:

It is envisaged that the new revised construction sector code will be in force by 1 March 2017.

What does the transformation of global power markets mean for SA’s renewables industry?


What does the transformation of global power markets mean for SA’s renewables industry? 

According to a recently released report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the surge in renewables energy projects globally has changed power markets for good.

Over the next five years, the IEA forecasts that renewables will remain the fastest-growing source of electricity generation, with their share growing to 28 percent in 2021, from 23 percent last year.

Renewables are also expected to cover more than 60 percent of the increase in world electricity generation over the medium term, rapidly closing the gap with coal. Generation from renewables is expected to exceed 7 600 terawatt-hours (TWh) by 2021, which is equivalent to the total current electricity generation of the US and the European Union combined.

The recently completed Noupoort Wind Farm in the Northern Cape comprises 35 turbines producing a total of 80MW

The recently completed Noupoort Wind Farm in the Northern Cape comprises 35 turbines producing a total of 80MW

We are witnessing a transformation of global power markets led by renewables and, as is the case with other fields, the centre of gravity for renewables growth is moving to emerging markets,” IEA executive director Dr Fatih Birol said in a statement.

South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer’s Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), which was launched in 2012, has contributed to the global uptake of renewables in recent years, but with national utility Eskom’s announcement that it won’t be putting out any more tenders for more renewables projects for, it remains to be seen what direction the country’s renewable energy sector will take and whether it can seize the opportunity provided by an increase in the demand for renewables.

According to Eskom, “To prevent a repeat of the R4.27-billion net economic loss recorded in the first six months of 2016, Eskom should not sign the remaining expedited renewable IPPs, including bid window 4.5. In addition, costs linked to bid windows 1 to 3.5 should be ring-fenced and funded separately,” the utility said.

The continued growth and opportunity for renewable project growth in both South Africa and the rest of the continent will be a keen focus area at the upcoming Africa Energy Indaba, Africa’s premier energy event – which takes place annually in February at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. The event is the meeting place for Africa’s renewables deal-makers. At the 2017 event, as well as at its hugely popular annual IPP & PPA Conference, investors, renewables companies, utilities and African government representatives will come together to chart the way for a renewables sector in the region that continues to expand and attract investment.

According to experts sharing at the recent World Energy Congress in Istanbul, Turkey in early October, for Africa, public-private cooperation will be crucial.

In many rural contexts in Africa, renewables are providing an engine for local development and poverty reduction. However, wind and solar make up less than 5 percent of power generated, in part because of the challenges their variability poses to integration into the power grid.

The IEA further cautions that rapid progress in variable renewables, such as wind and solar PV, could exacerbate system integration issues in a number of markets, while the cost of financing remains a barrier in developing countries. These issues are now playing out in the South African context.

However, of the two-thirds of people in Africa without access to power, 80 percent live outside urban centres, therefore a mix of off-grid renewable power instalments could be the key to electrifying rural Africa with consumers buying power locally and paying via mobile phones.

Government support and a sound regulatory framework have been critical in countries where off-grid power projects, such as portable lights, rooftop solar panels and micro-grid electric companies, have been implemented.

The Africa Energy Indaba takes place on 21 and 22 February at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg

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Kohler re-affirms its commitment to Africa

Laura Kohler

Laura Kohler

Kohler re-affirms its commitment to Africa

Kohler Africa, a global leader in kitchen and bath plumbing products, has announced that its presence in Africa is fast expanding with dedicated showrooms in several sub-Saharan African countries including South Africa, Angola, Uganda, Kenya and Mauritius.

The potential of this market was clear and we realised the need to further strengthen our African roots prompting the opening of our dedicated office based in Johannesburg in February 2014. This office services the entire sub-Saharan region. The company will be opening a showroom in Nairobi, Kenya early next year and will drive further growth across the continent,” said Laura Kohler during a visit to South Africa in October. Laura is Senior Vice President – Human Resources & Stewardship at Kohler Co.

The company has a legacy of over 143 years in innovation, bold design and a singular level of quality over a broad range of price points. The core pillars of the company remain firmly entrenched in modern art, design technological innovation and craftsmanship aimed at creating a unique bathroom experience.

We pride ourselves on being able to adapt our style to the markets in which we operate, and Africa is no different. Pivotal to the Kohler brand is the level of quality that remains consistent across the product range, guaranteeing consumers a high quality product unique to Kohler standards, irrespective of the price. The creation of sustainable products that conserve water is a given requirement for any product we develop, which is particularly important in Africa,” she added.

Laura discussed the company’s stewardship programme in which over 30 000 Kohler associates around the world join together serving as stewards to strengthen their surrounding communities. There are currently 50 locations worldwide actively driving initiatives and moving forward for the greater good.

She also highlighted the recently launched Kohler Clarity water purification product, which can filter up to 40 litres of water per day, meeting the drinking water needs of a typical family. With an estimate ceramic filter life of up to one year, Clarity costs less than 1 cent (USD) per person per day to operate. At the end of the filter’s useful life, the cartridge can be easily removed and replaced, eliminating the need to purchase a new system.

In keeping with Kohler’s sustainable product development mind-set, the lid, base and nut contain recycled plastics from toilet seat production. The corrugated box, designed to minimise non-biodegradable packing material, is shaped to optimally fill a shipping container to reduce shipping costs and can be worn on the back for easy transport.

At Kohler, we believe better business and a better environment go hand in hand. We believe it, and we act on it. We feel a responsibility to work in harmony with nature, and in everything we do, we stay mindful of our responsibility to future generations. We’re learning as we go, and six years in, we believe more firmly than ever that integrating business and environmental principles is undeniably better – for our company, our associates, our customers and the environment. We believe, for us, it’s the only way forward,” concluded Kohler.

Training in concrete technology in high demand in Africa


John Roxburgh, lecturer at the School of Concrete Technology, recently conducted training in Lagos.

Training in concrete technology in high demand in Africa

Training provided by The Concrete Institute’s School of Concrete Technology is increasingly in demand in a number of sub-Saharan countries.

John Roxburgh, lecturer at the School of Concrete Technology, has recently conducted the School’s SCT20 Concrete Practice course in Lagos, Nigeria. The popular one-day course – organised for Key Account Managers of LafargeHolcim – includes a laboratory session and deals with, for example, the properties of concrete; mixing as well as placing and compacting concrete; formwork, reinforcement and joints; precast, pre-stressed and low-density as well as hot weather concrete.

Bryan Perrie, MD of The Concrete Institute, earlier this year also provided technical assistance for the construction of a new highway near Nairobi, Kenya.

Perrie in early July this year also conducted the School’s SCT22 Concrete Road Design and Construction course in Lusaka, Zambia. This course – which was attended by 18 civil engineering consultants – was presented in conjunction with the South African Road Federation. It is likely that the School will be asked to present further SCT22 courses in Zambia in future. The one-day training focuses on the technology applied in the construction of concrete pavements and covers aspects such as supporting layers, thickness design (using The Concrete Institute’s cncPave computer program), as well as joint design, detailing and layout among many other subjects.

Perrie is a global authority on concrete pavements and currently is vice-president of the International Society for Concrete Pavements, based in Washington.

The School is also likely to present training in Namibia later this year, and training presented by The Concrete Institute at the School in Midrand often draws students from other parts of Africa, including Ghana, Uganda, and Lesotho.

‘’In addition to the requests for training from other African countries, the School also has many distance learning students for our SCT41 and 42 correspondence courses: General Principles and Practical Applications of Concrete Technology & Construction. These courses are equivalent to stages 2 and 3 of training offered by the Institute of Concrete Technology in London, and ICT certificates are awarded to successful learners. The 2016 correspondence courses will start in September and we again expect strong support from sub-Saharan Africa,” said Roxburgh.

He added that the increasing recognition of School of Concrete Technology training by other African countries is testimony to the unmatched track record and respected status of the School. “With increasing unaccredited and unqualified training in concrete technology now being offered in South Africa, the School of Concrete Technology remains the trusted and leading provider of education in its field on the entire African continent.”

PMSA: celebrating 40 years of innovation and customer service

Walter Ebeling, managing director of PMSA

Walter Ebeling, managing director of PMSA

PMSA: celebrating 40 years of innovation and customer service

Leading manufacturer of brick, block and paving machines on the continent, PMSA, is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The OEM continues to focus on technological development, such as the introduction of its new Ultravibe vibrating system.
PMSA has also been fine-tuning its internal processes and systems over the last five years, from automated tracking of spares and parts to a new CRM system. “We have 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 new Ultravibe. 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, 1 400 mm by 1 100 mm production board machine incorporating all of our latest advances in its design,” Ebeling reveals.


PMSA celebrates its 40th anniversary with ongoing product development

PMSA celebrates its 40th anniversary with ongoing product development

“We undertook these latest developments in order to allow our customers to be more productive. The best means of achieving this is if your equipment is more reliable. That is why we have been in business for 40 years, as we are continually improving our machines and technology,” Ebeling elaborates.
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 compared to the more costly 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 so as to boost productivity and final quality,” Ebeling stresses.
“We are unique in the industry in being a specialist manufacturer that is able to cover the entire business spectrum, from establishing a business to boosting the bottom line through the application of appropriate technology.”

Sika’s structural strengthening for urban core station

Sika’s structural strengthening for urban core station

Application of Carbodur S 1012

Application of Carbodur S 1012

A globally acclaimed structural strengthening system from Sika was chosen for the refurbishment of Pretoria’s Mabopane Station, the third busiest railway station in South Africa handling some 115 000 commuters per day.

By identifying high-density activity nodes, called urban cores, the City of Tshwane’s Metropolitan Spatial Development Framework aims to restructure the city to promote economic development and growth. Since 2000, when it was recognised as one such urban core, the area around Mabopane Station has already undergone several massive upgrade programmes including access roads, 45 000m2 of retail facilities, as well as addition of a bus and taxi rank.

In 2016, it was the turn of the station itself to receive refurbishment. Commissioned by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) as part of its National Station Upgrade Programme, MMA Posten Engineers SA wasted no time in specifying Sika CarboDur S1012 plates SikaWrap-300 C, SikaWrap-600 C and adhesives, Sikadur-30 and Sikadur-330. Sika’s Peter van Eden was the Technical Sales Consultant advising on-site.

Applying Sikadur 30 to Carbodur plates

Applying Sikadur 30 to Carbodur plates

Specialist construction company, Freyssinet was appointed to apply the Sika system. Manufactured from carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFPR), Sika CarboDur plates were bonded onto the station walls as external reinforcement. Although these non-corrosive, pultruded, laminates are extremely strong and durable, they are supplied in lightweight rolls allowing for easy transportation and installation. Sika CarboDur plates can be used in a variety of applications including increasing serviceability and durability, increasing load bearing capacity, or even for repairs to structural elements after earthquake damage. Extensive Testing and Approvals of this outstanding product are available from numerous countries worldwide.

Sikadur-30 (800 kits), a thixotropic, structural two-part adhesive based on a combination of epoxy resins and special filler, was used to bond a total of 10 420 meters of Sika CarboDur S1012 plates. Easy to mix and apply, Sikadur-30 provides excellent adhesion, hardens without shrinkage and is impervious to liquids and water vapour.

Constant dust from construction and earthworks in the vicinity hampered the project while moving scaffolding around the busy station proved a further challenge for the contractor. As part of the specified structural strengthening system, SikaWrap-300 C (800 m) and SikaWrap-600 C (1 200 m) were applied to the station walls. Manufactured from unidirectional, woven, carbon fibre fabric with mid-range strengths, both products are low density for minimal additional weight, and are used in many different strengthening applications to increase flexural and shear loading capacity on reinforced concrete, masonry, brickwork or timber.

While SikaWrap-300 C is designed for installation using either a wet or dry application process, SikaWrap-600 C is designed for only a wet application process. Since the carbon fibre fabric is flexible it is particularly suitable for application on different surface planes and geometry. In comparison to traditional strengthening techniques, SikaWrap-300 C and SikaWrap-600 C are extremely cost effective.

Sikadur-330 (869 kits), a two-part, thixotropic, epoxy-based impregnation resin/adhesive was used as a bonding agent for the SikaWrap products. Easy to mix and apply, it provides good adhesion to many substrates and requires no separate primer.

Structurally strengthened by such state-of-the-art products, Mabopane Station is destined to stand proudly for many years to come as the hub of this important urban core while the highly progressive City of Tshwane Municipality is a step closer to realising its ambition of becoming an African Capital City of Excellence.