The generation of coal dust around conveyer systems and transfer points is a problem for operators of coal mines, coal plants and similar facilities. Coal dust is a contributor to lung disease and it therefore poses a threat to not only workers in these facilities but even to residents of neighbouring communities. It also poses a safety hazard, as it can spontaneously ignite causing potentially life-threatening fires.

Coal dust also impacts on the efficiency of coal handling systems – and hence productivity and profits. Equipment and machinery can become thickly coated with dust, which increases the need for regular cleaning, while dust ingress into moving machinery reduces its lifespan.

To control the problem, reliance is generally placed on dust suppression and dust extraction systems. While this all well and good, there is a tendency to over-rely on these systems, which results in them doing more ‘heavy lifting’ than they need to and often more than they can manage.

Visual inspection of a transfer chute underway.
Visual inspection of a transfer chute underway.

According to Alwin Nienaber, Technical Director of South Africa’s Weba Chute Systems, a globally recognised leader in chute technology, a more effective approach is to focus on the engineering and positioning of the transfer chutes that form an integral part of most conveyor systems.

“This can relieve 50 to 80 % of the problem,” he says. “Suppression and extraction of the remaining dust then becomes a much more efficient component in a broader and more holistic solution.”

He adds that at the heart of any effort to control dust is an understanding of material flow and of the effects of uncontrolled velocity and impact. As he says, “Dust is really just one of a number of unwanted consequences of a lack of control over material flow, including degradation of the material being moved.”

Reinforcing this point, Nienaber’s colleague, Dewald Tintinger, Technical Manager at Weba Chute Systems, notes that most chutes simply provide an open channel for material to fall through, before being discharged onto the next conveyor or outlet. The result is that material can spread in an uncontrolled manner as it travels, which invariably creates much more dust than is necessary.

Tintinger says Weba Chute Systems can provide custom-engineered chute designs which deliberately create a flow path for the material based on its inherent qualities, speed and volume and the throughput requirements of the installation.

Screen underpan onto a conveyor transfer chute at a coal mine in Limpopo.
Screen underpan onto a conveyor transfer chute at a coal mine in Limpopo.

“Using sound engineering principles, chutes can be designed to minimise the physical impacts that create dust,” he says. “We base designs on the ‘supertube’ effect, allowing controlled transfer of material onto the conveyor belt. This also reduces wear and tear on the belt.”

To allow it to model the behaviour of material being transported via conveyors and chutes, Weba deploys specialised technology including three-dimensional software. It also verifies its designs prior to manufacture using discrete element method (DEM) simulation.

As a final point, Nienaber says that strategies to control coal dust are best formulated at the design stage and that the earlier Weba Chute Systems is involved, the better the outcome.

“The configuration or general arrangement of equipment within a plant or between structures is important,” he maintains. “In our experience, we have seen the benefit of being able to advise plant designers on the optimal positioning of chutes and related equipment at the planning stage. The result is invariably a sharp reduction in dust creation and a more efficient flow of material.”

A screen underpan onto a conveyor transfer chute at a coal mine in Limpopo being inspected by Weba Chute Systems personnel.
A screen underpan onto a conveyor transfer chute at a coal mine in Limpopo being inspected by Weba Chute Systems personnel.


Pilot Crushtec International’s standing as a leading supplier of crushing and screening solutions has received a global endorsement following the 2022 Distributor of the Year Award from Metso Outotec, ranking the company as the best performing Metso Outotec dealer in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Adam Benn, Director, Capital Sales, North EMEA, Russia & CIS and Southern Africa at Metso Outotec, says the selection criteria considered the full spectrum of what it takes to be a successful distributor, not only from a capital sales perspective, but more importantly the execution of customer service initiatives.

“The award is recognition for all-round business performance, covering not only financial performance, but also customer service by delivering on a number of specific initiatives including customer training events, new product launches, marketing campaigns and technical competence development, to name a few,” says Benn.

Francois Marais, Sales & Marketing Director at Pilot Crushtec, says the award demonstrates the company’s commitment to the success of its customers. “For us, this award signifies that our efforts to help our customers achieve their contractual obligations and ensure sustainable business operations are being recognised at the highest level,” says Marais.

Through its aftermarket regime, Pilot Crushtec places a huge emphasis on customer satisfaction. Testimony to the relentless focus on aftersales service, says Marais, are the over 93 000 individual items in its parts inventory and over 2 500 individual wear items. On a monthly basis, the company despatches an average of 6 788 items from its warehouse and its technicians drive more than a million kilometres a year.

Francois Marais, Sales & Marketing Director Pilot Crushtec, Anthony Bouvié, Vice President EMEA AGG DMO Metso Outotec, Sandro Scherf, CEO Pilot Crushtec, Jorge Abelho, Technical Support Director Pilot Crushtec and Adam Benn Director, Capital Sales, North EMEA, Russia & CIS and Southern Africa Metso Outotec.
Francois Marais, Sales & Marketing Director Pilot Crushtec, Anthony Bouvié, Vice President EMEA AGG DMO Metso Outotec, Sandro Scherf, CEO Pilot Crushtec, Jorge Abelho, Technical Support Director Pilot Crushtec and Adam Benn Director, Capital Sales, North EMEA, Russia & CIS and Southern Africa Metso Outotec.

Commenting on what made Pilot Crushtec stand out in 2022, Benn says despite the challenging business environment in southern Africa, Pilot Crushtec achieved impressive growth in all aspects of the business. This includes sales of both mobile and stationary equipment as well as the continuous development of service and support capabilities. 

“In particular, Pilot Crushtec excelled at being a key contributor to many ‘best practice’ as well as product and service development initiatives, ensuring that the Metso Outotec offering not only remains relevant today, but is ready for tomorrow’s customer needs,” says Benn.

The same view is echoed by Juha Yli-Petays, SVP, Global Distribution Management at Metso Outotec, who says Pilot Crushtec has over the years put customer satisfaction at the centre of its business model. “Since taking over the distributorship in 2016, Pilot Crushtec also demonstrated total commitment to the Metso Outotec brand. With a wide market coverage, the company has a deep understanding of local customer needs,” concludes Yli-Petays.


When flooding at an iron ore mine in South Africa’s Northern Cape province meant it could no longer access the floor of one of its pits, it called in IPR for a sustainable solution.

Rental Development Manager at IPR, previously known as Integrated Pump Rental, Ruaan Venter says the solution began with a dewatering plan. This was vital, as the mine had experienced challenges with groundwater ingress for many years – and these were not being resolved.

“A common open pit dewatering method is to use pumps to extract water from the lowest levels of the mine,” explains Venter. “However, it is often not enough to perform only this step. Rather, the whole groundwater table around the mine has to be lowered, so that the pit is not continually filled with incoming water.”

He says IPR’s eight years of experience in designing and manufacturing dewatering systems has given it a depth of insight into efficient and reliable groundwater control. The company’s approach is to apply best practice in dewatering applications, and not just send a pump set to site without a good understanding of the operating conditions and the specific challenges being faced.

IPR supplied a large diesel driven pump set to an iron ore mine in the Northern Cape.
IPR supplied a large diesel driven pump set to an iron ore mine in the Northern Cape.

“In this case, we identified that the primary issue was the application of incorrect dewatering pumps, which were not performing the duty required,” he says. “IPR implemented a programme to assess and then repair the existing pumps on site – bringing them up to OEM specification so that they would perform reliably and deliver the expected results.”

In line with the dewatering plan, the mine’s own fleet of pumps was supplemented by a custom offering from IPR. This involved some units being purchased outright from IPR, and other pumps taken on a long term rental agreement. Venter notes that dewatering has seasonal variations, and this could mean that some pumps stand idle for several months during dry periods.

“Our rental programme is offered in recognition of this to relieve customers of the cost of owning equipment that is not optimally utilised,” he says. “Instead, we supply pumps sets that are fully kitted out according to the customer’s requirements – and they are ready for operation.”

He points out that the plan for this mining customer also included an appreciation of water quality and characteristics.

IPR is the Atlas Copco master distributor for its range of dewatering pumps.
IPR is the Atlas Copco master distributor for its range of dewatering pumps.

“Groundwater and process water contain abrasive and corrosive elements in varying quantities,” says Venter. “These have an adverse effect on pump performance and life – and need to be built into the pump specifications.”

A key aspect of the plan was therefore to ensure that all pumps performed optimally, to eliminate the risk of repeated flooding. IPR is therefore maintaining all pumps on site, including its own fleet and those belonging to the mine.

“Well-matched solutions help to maximise the longevity and efficiency of the system and also optimise cost-performance ratios,” he says. “IPR ensures we deliver these results, by supplying a complete dewatering package made up of the pump, engine or motor and couplings – as well as auxiliary equipment such as vacuum pumps, control panels and monitors. This service delivers high head pumping where the water levels must remain low for continuous production reliability.”


As the demand for market leading Grindex pumps steadily increases, official distributor of this dewatering pump brand, Integrated Pump Technology is growing its support capacity to keep customers well served.

“Our expansion into the SADC region and beyond has been built on the proven quality of rugged Grindex pumps underpinned by the strength of our support services,” says Justin Bawden, Key Account Manager at Integrated Pump Technology. “We have therefore been continually building our growing network of agents and developing their expertise to support our end-customers.”

The company’s Grindex distributorship in Southern Africa has been so successful that its recent five-year renewal from its principals included another seven countries into which it will expand: Angola, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Bawden highlights that in-country representation – with good local stockholding and accredited repair facilities – is key to the current strategy.

“We have always prioritised our customer support, and work closely with our distributors so they are equipped to meet and exceed customer expectations,” he says. 

To ensure there is sufficient stockholding close to customers, Integrated Pump Technology holds extensive stock at its Johannesburg headquarters. It also engages regularly with its distribution network to analyse customer demand and trends in each region. This, Bawden says, allows the right stockholding levels to be planned within easy reach of customers. 

“This way, we make sure we keep the right equipment and fast moving consumable parts stocked and available, ensuring a quick turnaround time and less downtime for the customer,” he says. “Rapid response time is always important, especially in countries like DRC and Zambia which have some of the wettest mines in the world. Any disruption in dewatering activity can lead to mining operations being flooded, equipment damaged and production time lost.”

The company also looks for distributors with suitable workshop facilities, so that all servicing and repair work can be conducted regionally to the OEM specification. This engineering quality that these workshops deliver, he argues, is vital to minimising future downtime on the customer’s site and preventing production losses.

Training and skills transfer are other important aspects of how Integrated Pump Technology empowers local distributors. Such skills development is done either at their head office or in-country, and is conducted by experienced experts from the Johannesburg operation. 

“Our strategy is to grow with the local communities in which we operate, engaging and developing talent from those areas – to serve that customer base with above average support,” says Bawden. “With our combined expertise and resources, we can help customers identify and implement sustainable solutions to their most challenging applications.”

He explains that the performance and longevity of the Grindex range of pumps is considerably enhanced by Integrated Pump Technology’s hands-on approach. 

“With well trained technicians located close to customer sites it is easy to conduct regular maintenance and servicing to OEM standards, and this definitely reduces the total cost of ownership for mines and plants,” he says. 

Good communication is also an essential part of Integrated Pump Technology’s formula for successful relationships with customers. Not only can distributors communicate their needs directly with the Johannesburg head office, but Integrated Pump Technology can engage the Grindex experts abroad to help resolve any technical queries. 

“We back up our training with valuable user manuals and equipment documentation that help distributors and customers to ensure that Grindex pumps are optimally selected, operated and maintained,” says Bawden. “Where customers make it possible, field service teams can also conduct on-site work for certain kinds of repairs. Our focus is on reducing downtime for the customer – wherever the site is located, and contributing to them achieving the lowest total cost of ownership.”


The future of FLSmidth has been redefined as a pure play mining company, which will renew its focus on sustainability, service and technology. 

Speaking during the recent Investing in African Mining Indaba 2023 in Cape Town, FLSmidth Vice President for Mining Site and Service Sales Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and South Asia, Alistair McKay explains that this strategy will enable the business to better service existing and new mining customers.

“We are now very much a mining-focused company,” says McKay. “Moving forward, we are fundamentally more focused on our core technologies – moving away from the engineering project realm and really looking to our innovative products to drive value for our customers.”

He highlights that FLSmidth’s CORE’26 mining strategy prioritises sustainability, service, technology and performance. This provides the platform to pursue its purpose of ‘mining for a sustainable world’ with a mission of ‘delivering solutions for tomorrow’s mine’.

“This direction creates more clarity on where we will direct our resources – and that will be towards moving our best-in-class products forward through our extensive research and development capability,” he says. “As before, this also relies on our close working relationship with our customers, through our technical feedback loop.”

He emphasises the vital role that mining will play in the global energy transition. This, he says will rely on the efforts by mines and their technology partners to evolve sustainable strategies for mining to continue to deliver responsibly. 

The HPGR Pro will take grinding to the next level of efficiency.
The HPGR Pro will take grinding to the next level of efficiency.

“Mining will be an essential industry for many years, and we are ensuring that we play our part in the industry’s future – to the 2030 sustainability goals and well beyond,” he says. 

This focus on product evolution enhances the value of FLSmidth’s range of offerings within customers’ integrated projects. Venkatesan Punniyamurthy, FLSmidth’s Vice President for Capital Sales in Mining, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and South Asia, notes that the repositioning will see the company’s competence and resources fully focused on their products and their performance. 

“As we move toward a more service-centric model, we will continue to work with customers over the full lifecycle of the asset,” says Punniyamurthy. “Even after the equipment is sold and installed, our R&D insights can provide continuous optimisation through digital and other enhancements to our technology.”

Mines can therefore expect an ongoing contribution by FLSmidth to productivity and profitability, with products that also support the achievement of sustainability targets. 

Applying innovative technology to the energy-intensive crushing circuit, for instance, can reduce power costs and assist the decarbonisation process. Water saving technologies like filter presses and high pressure grinding rolls (HPGRs) will also play an increasingly important role in conserving water – especially in areas that become drier due to climate change. 

McKay says the scope for evolving mining technologies was significant as the world looked to Africa for many of the minerals demanded by a low-carbon future. The Mining Indaba Africa 2023 showed once again that stakeholders in the mining sector – from company shareholders to governments and communities – are expecting steadily more attention to be placed on how responsibly mining in conducted. 

“Through our CORE’26 strategy, we are strengthening our role as a global partner for equipment life-cycle performance and sustainability,” he says. “Our strategic acquisitions over the years – including the recent acquisition of thyssenkrupp’s mining business – have created a powerful portfolio of solutions across the flowsheet. Fine-tuning our strategy will allow customers to fully leverage both our decades of experience and our leading technology offering.”


It is artificial to define a separate ‘safety culture’ within a company, when what is really at stake is its ‘business culture’ as a whole – the way employees are managed, treated and valued. 

This is the point made by Trevor Schultz, Risk Executive at Murray & Roberts Cementation, who highlights that safety and employee wellness are far from ‘soft’ issues. In fact, they represent the core strength of every business, especially those engaged in demanding industries such as mining and construction.

“Safety is not supposed to be a division within a company, where we delegate that responsibility away from others and into the domain of a few,” says Schultz. “Instead, safety is an outcome of our business culture – the result of all the related strategies and policies that we adopt.”

In the case of Murray & Roberts Cementation, for instance, the Minerals Council principles of Zero Harm are embraced and applied. Within the company, there are long-held policies and values that drive an established culture of conducting work right the first time, with no short cuts. 

“Our system of values within the organisation is robust, but it is regularly tested through annual reviews and feedback from across the company,” he says. “What is vital is that the principles we subscribe to are practiced every day – not rolled out for a special occasion or to tick a box in a survey.”

Visible Felt Leadership, for instance, shows its value to employees only when it is genuinely and continuously applied by managers, and its results within the company have been significant. He comments on the trust, openness and communication that is fostered among staff by this culture of respect and concern. It is as much part of Murray & Roberts Cementation’s business culture as the ISO standards and other important programmes / initiatives to which it commits. 

“We regard these formal safety standards as a minimum in how we perform,” he says. “It is now a foundation from which we strive to achieve more.”

Staying at the leading edge of safety also means learning and sharing best practice from a variety of partners, from company clients and other mining businesses in the global Murray & Roberts Group, to the learning hub of the Minerals Council.

“Our rewards and recognition programme, while successful, has traditionally been based on lagging indicators – rewarding results after they have been achieved over a period of time,” he says. “We are now working on a proactive awards programme, which rewards employees for reporting meaningful leading indicators.”

The aim here, he points out, is to prevent or eliminate unwanted events from materialising in the first place. This could include reporting  all  incidents immediately, or warning co-workers about hazards or dangerous situations. It also encourages employees to submit safety suggestions, and to participate actively on safety committees or teams. 

Schultz notes the important advances being made by technology that generates and distributes real time information that can enhance operational safety. This enables supervisors and managers to be proactive rather than reactive. Among the most exciting current developments are proximity detection systems, which have extended their capability to the automated retardation of trackless mining machinery. He returns to his central point about culture and behaviour, however, as the central pillars of safety. 

“All players in the mining industry need to focus constantly not only on systems and technological innovations, but also on the employee behaviours, attitudes and motivation needed to create a strong safety culture,” he says. “This kind of change – which positively alters employee attitudes and actions one by one – requires a substantial investment of time and effort.”

The results are certainly there to see, with Murray & Roberts Cementation recently earning recognition from the Association of Mine Managers of South Africa for achieving six million fatality-free shifts over the past seven years. At the in-house safety awards, the Murray & Roberts Group honoured the company with three prizes for outstanding performance in the Zero Harm category. 


Signalling its recognised and specialist expertise in dry-type transformers, Trafo Power Solutions will this year design and deliver almost 50 mini substations to a growing copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“This significant order is testament to Trafo Power Solutions’ experience and capability, and the value that we have created for customers over the years,” says the company’s managing director David Claassen.  

Trafo Power Solutions has a soldi track record for the design and supply of mini substations in the mining sector.
Trafo Power Solutions has a soldi track record for the design and supply of mini substations in the mining sector.

The customer’s specifications for the mini substations vary between 630 kVA and 1,600 kVA, and will be supplied in both 11 kV and 33 kV formats – with multiple configurations of low voltage output from 400 V and 690 V, including dual secondary in some cases. The design specifications will allow the units to be applied in a combination of surface and underground applications, which required compact designs and innovative approaches to cooling.

Among the benefits of dry-type transformers in underground mines are their safety features, notes Claassen. Due to the absence of oil as a cooling agent, dry-type transformers are a very low fire risk – and there is also no environmental risk of oil leakage or spillage. Maintenance is also minimised by the use of air for cooling instead of oil; this obviates the need for regular oil testing and replacement.

A 1000 kVA dry-type mini substation suitable for outdoor mining applications.
A 1000 kVA dry-type mini substation suitable for outdoor mining applications.

“Our experience and track record with dry-type transformers have given us a good understanding of the rigours of deploying electrical equipment like this in a demanding mining environment,” he says. “As an African company we have worked all over the continent and understand the conditions; this has developed our ability to design and manufacture mini substations for various applications.”

Trafo has supplied dry-type transformers around Africa including South Africa, Zambia, DRC, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. The units will be delivered to the DRC mine in batches over the course of 2023.


The four massive concrete blocks that anchor the Msikaba Bridge in the Eastern Cape are key components of this iconic project, being built by the Concor-Mota Engil Joint Venture (CME JV).

According to Concor’s project director, Laurence Savage, the blocks represent the engineering on which everything else rests. “Since they are largely buried structures, they tend to be overshadowed by other, more dramatic, elements of the bridge, such as the 127 m high concrete pylons, but they are just as critical and their construction has been challenging in many aspects. The geology has been complex and each anchor block has faced its own unique demands, be it the location on site, geology, extent of rock fragmentation and water ingress .”

The Msikaba Bridge, which forms part of the South African National Roads Agency Limited’s (SANRAL) N2 Wild Coast project, will span the 198 m deep Msikaba River gorge and will help to drastically cut travel times for vehicles travelling between the Eastern Cape and KZN. It features a main span of 580 m which, on completion, will rank as the longest main span constructed by the cable-stay method in Africa. 

The bridge is being built from the north and south banks of the gorge and comprises two identical ‘halves’, each spanning 290 m, which will meet mid-point over the gorge. Each half is supported by 17 pairs of cables attached to the inverted Y-shaped pylons, one on each side of the gorge. The pylons are back-stayed into the anchor blocks, two on either side of the gorge, by 34 pairs of cables – 17 for each half – which are positioned 130 m behind each pylon. 

Each anchor block has a length of 49 m, a width of 10 m at the base (narrowing to 4 m on the spine of the structure), a depth of 17.2 m, and a mass of 21 500 tons. Their construction has been underway virtually since work on the Msikaba project began in earnest in late 2019. They will reach completion shortly, mere weeks before the deck is launched over the gorge. 

Very precise blasting techniques were required for the bulk excavations for the four blocks with the blasted rock material being cleared out using 30 ton excavators and ADTs supplied by local sub-contractors. Extensive lateral support was installed in the side walls. 

Construction of the blocks has involved the placing of 4 100 m3 of structural concrete and 2 650 m3 of mass concrete, as well as the fixing of 200 tons of reinforcement in each anchor block. Each block was cast incrementally with 11 lifts varying from 1.25 m to 1.75 m per lift. 

Commenting on the difficulties faced during construction, Savage says these have included working in deep excavations and confined spaces, sometimes with heavy machines, and working in and over reinforcing, with much of the work taking place at night. 

He also points out that a key principle of the project has been the use and involvement of the local community and various local business partners and sub-contractors. “This meant that many of our workers were untrained when we recruited them, as were a number of the sub-contractors. Today, these partners and sub-contractors are key contributors to the success of the project,” he says. 

As a final comment, he notes that the Msikaba project passed the 3 million LTI-free man hours mark in October 2022. “This is an amazing achievement which is a credit to everyone on site, but especially to the teams on the anchor blocks who put in many of those 3 million hours,” he says. 


Sandvik’s new D25KX rotary drill rig, combining reliability and technology, has arrived in Africa – but its legacy has preceded it. 

This is because the Sandvik D25KX is an improved version of the mining contractor’s drill rig of choice – the D25KS – according to Nelize Nel, Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions’ acting business line manager for rotary drills. The new model sees a redesigned cabin with significant ergonomic and safety enhancements. 

Large cabin windows now allow greater visibility from the operator’s swivel seat and control panel. With a focus on operator comfort, the cabin systems include a seven-inch mobile grade touch screen and PLC control. Added intelligence of the touch screens and digital gauges gives the operator real-time feedback on machine performance and monitors machine health. There is even a seat in the cabin for a trainer or supervisor to accompany the operator when working. 

“These enhancements have been applied to a design which retains the elements that made the previous model such a success,” says Nel. “These include the robust base and frame, the rigid lattice-style mast, and the heavy duty pulldown chains.”

She points to the large population of the legacy model that developed in Southern Africa since they were introduced over two decades ago. Around 20% of the approximately 500 machines sold globally were active in this region. This demonstrates the popularity of the design and the positive reception of the new Sandvik D25KX. The first unit to arrive in the country has already been sold, and will do duty in a Northern Cape iron ore mine. 

Equipped as a down the hole (DTH) hammer drill, the new Sandvik D25KX drills hole diameters from 127 mm to 203 mm. It can reach a drilling depth of 45 m, with a maximum pulldown force of 184 kN. Its efficient handling of drill pipe ensures shorter cycle times so that more holes can be drilled.

“Ease of maintenance continues to be a central feature of this model, and customers will be able to work on it as easily as they have on the previous model,” she says. “This will ensure high levels of confidence about the uptime that these units will deliver.”


As demand for innovative concrete solutions has grown around Africa, CHRYSO Southern Africa has extended its footprint to get closer to customers with the products and services they need. 

Armand van Vuuren, commercial manager exports at CHRYSO Southern Africa.

According to Armand van Vuuren, commercial manager exports at CHRYSO Southern Africa, the company’s expansion strategy has been pursued for almost a dozen years – with great results. There are now distributors in a range of key markets including Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“We also have an established office in Nairobi, Kenya and are expanding into Tanzania,” explains van Vuuren. “Through our extensive presence across Southern, Central, East and West Africa, we supply not just the readymix and precast sectors, but also specific construction and infrastructure projects.”

The expertise and resources of CHRYSO Southern Africa’s distributors in these countries is supported by the technical team in Johannesburg, who can step in whenever necessary with the required specialised input. He emphasises that these partners are carefully chosen to act essentially as extensions of the company – delivering the same high level of service wherever their clients work. 

“Africa is an exciting continent, and this is where future economic growth is going to come from,” he says. According to the African Development Bank, the expected growth rates in West and Central Africa are expected to be 4,2% and 4,6% respectively in 2023, while East Africa will reach 5,5% in growth terms. 

Van Vuuren highlights the extent to which many countries have invested heavily in infrastructure in recent years – demanding large volumes of concrete for civil engineering projects. The construction work involved in the Decongestion Project for Zambia’s capital Lusaka, for instance, has changed the face of that city in a matter of years. 

“CHRYSO Southern Africa and our distributors have been working with a range of contractors and other businesses to ensure that their concrete meets the exacting specifications of the contract,” says van Vuuren. “Whether the application is bridges, dams, mining infrastructure or precast manufacturing, we continue to play a vital and growing role in Africa’s development.”

An important element of CHRYSO’s presence is the stock that is held by distributors in their respective regions – giving customers easy access to product as and when it is required. End-customers are provided with full site support from a technical perspective, including access to the specialist team in South Africa. 

“With our current momentum, we are planning to set up more of our own offices and production facilities in key regions, paving the way to serve larger and more complex requirements,” he says. “Africa’s leading countries have their plans in place for future development and, despite the occasional setbacks, they are on track for long term growth. CHRYSO Southern Africa is working with the concrete and construction industries of Africa to help make this happen.”

This strategy is bolstered by recent acquisitions by its parent company, Saint-Gobain, of companies such as GCP Applied Technologies that will offer access to innovations and new products. Firmly committed to customer centricity and proximity, the organisation has local operations in 45 countries and this footprint provides its service offering to more than 100 countries.