AfriSam executive calls for responsible cement manufacture

AfriSam executive calls for responsible cement manufacture
01 February 2022

Hannes Meyer, cementitious executive at leading cement producer AfriSam, calls for improved an circular economy, responsible manufacturing practices and a level playing field for South African cement producers on carbon emissions.

“To produce this valuable resource, we must start with mining our own deposits. We then process the ingredients through complex technologies that demand considerable financial investment and expertise,” he says. 

The range of products that result must form part of an intricate supply chain before arriving where it must be used, he says. Almost the entire value chain, however, is local – creating market demand and local job opportunities all along the way. 

“In addition to the basic requirements of the cement business, South Africa's cement producers are also mineral rights holders who must comply with mining regulations, which includes Social and Labour Plans," he added. "In addition to normal business legislation, we must go the extra mile to promote development in and around the communities where we operate.”

Added to the industry’s responsibilities, he notes, is the growing pressure on all South African businesses to reduce carbon emissions. However, the government’s recent carbon tax has created a further imbalance in the market that disadvantages local players. “With the wholesale import of cement from countries unencumbered by a carbon tax, there is no level playing field for responsible local manufacturers who are often undercut by imports not governed by our rules,” he says. 

The danger of further weakening the South African base of responsible manufacturers, he says, is that the country will need to rely mainly on its own internal capacity if it wants to generate inclusive and sustainable economic growth into the future. With government hoping to raise infrastructure expenditure, there must be strong local construction expertise and products to implement these projects.

Published under Cement News