Stepping towards sustainability

Published 16 January 2013

South Africa has a strong cement industry that is now remodelled with many new plants and high standards of cement production. Cheap imports, skilled labour shortages and a lack of government funding still frustrate local producers, but research into lower emissions and more sustainable products continues. By Hanlie Turner, Cement & Concrete Institute, South Africa.

The thriving metropolis of Cape Town, South Africa

The Cement & Concrete Institute (C&CI) has reported YoY growth in cementitious sales for five consecutive quarters to 2Q12, heralding the long-awaited start of an upswing in the market after a couple of years of declining sales (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: quarterly domestic cementitious sales, 1Q09-2Q12

Cementitious sales declined steadily for a few years after the major activity South Africa experienced during the lead up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup with the construction of infrastructure such as airports, roads and stadiums. Since then, the South African construction industry has manifested the same lacklustre performance as that of many other countries after hosting similarly large international events. Going forward, construction analysts forecast a sluggish recovery with the building confidence index rising slowly.

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