Clay brick sector geared for growth

Posted On Friday, 30 April 2004 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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CONTRACTORS and developers in the Western Cape with healthy order books have had fears allayed that a shortage of clay bricks

Construction IndustryCONTRACTORS and developers in the Western Cape with healthy order books have had fears allayed that a shortage of clay bricks that constitute more than two thirds of supply to the market - might cause a 2004 building bottleneck.

Expected demand for clay brick products this year is estimated at 400 million units more than 10% up from 2003.

In the last two years developments such as the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Century City office blocks, lifestyle centres, hotels, residential complexes and golfing estates have absorbed almost 370-million clay brick products per annum. Now, with favourable interest rates and governments’ promise of an expanded public works programme, the building industry is gearing for increased growth.

This follows the provincial administration budget released last month where it was indicated that expenditure for transport and public works is estimated at R5 billion for the next three years.

The Clay Brick Association (CBA) of the Western Cape (representing the national body of more than 100 members, who employ almost 12 000 workers, and supply 75% of the 3.5-billion bricks throughout the country) has put all systems in place to ensure production capacity is consistent for on-time delivery at all times.

To meet the industry’s increasing demand, the CBA is appealing to all parties involved in the co-ordination and planning of projects to include their brick suppliers at planning stages so that critical requirements can be scheduled into production lines, particularly where contractors have bound suppliers to contract pricing. Sales Director, Rod Taylor of Corobrik confirms: "The clay brick industry can ensure efficient supply if requirements are conveyed timeously to allow for proactive forecasting and planning." Says Frederick Kotze, of De Hoop Brickfields and newly appointed chairman of the CBA, Western Cape: "This year we are geared for an expected massive demand, particularly in the usual frantic second half of the year the peak building season."

Specialised plaster bricks are in high demand as designers and homeowners opt for the fashionable Tuscan-style developments. Audrey Jantjies, sales director for Apollo Brick has confirmed that the company has increased production and stock holding to accommodate an anticipated upsurge in supply.

Wayne Klaver a director of Brick & Clay, and also the CBA vice-chairman (Western Cape) is upbeat. "We have installed additional equipment and have increased our production capacity to cater for a market upswing."

Clay brick products, deemed most suitable to handle the weather conditions in the Cape, are a preferred choice for builders large and small.

To prevent a recurrence of last year’s intermittent problems with late rains, which interfered with some production plants, the clay brick-makers are also stockpiling for efficient supply during the winter season. The Western Cape has become a strong brick-making region with product supply extending beyond the Peninsula to the Eastern and Southern Cape, and other areas of Africa where substantial growth is also experienced.

For years, the clay brick industry has enjoyed ongoing support from the building and construction industries. Clive Archer, director of Crammix and vice-president of the national CBA expressed heartfelt appreciation to all contractors and clients for their dedicated support. 

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 21:14

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