Corobrik’s new R800 million brick plant to boost SA’s economy

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The Kwastina factory was officially opened by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Corobrik CEO Nick Booth. The Kwastina factory was officially opened by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Corobrik CEO Nick Booth.

In a boost for South Africa’s economy that was for years dominated by mining, Corobrik, one of the country's leading brickmakers, on Wednesday launched the company's new brick factory in Driefontein, west of Johannesburg.

The Kwastina factory, which was officially opened last week, is the first factory Corobrik has built in almost 37 years. It is expected to produce 100-million bricks a year, 20-million more than the company now makes at its existing manufacturing facilities. ..

The brick manufacturing plant, Kwastina, isiZulu for the home of the brick, forms part of the pledge that Corobrik made in 2019 at the president's investment conference.

The plant, said to be among the most energy-efficient manufacturing brickmaking companies globally.

Not only will the high-tech, fully automated factory be able to produce large orders, but it is flexible enough to deliver custom products for the architectural market.

Speaking at the launch, President Cyril Ramaphosa described Corobrik’s investment as an integral contribution to the government’s ambitious investment drive of R1.2 trillion over five years.

“Corobrik has made a significant contribution to our efforts to extract greater value from our natural resources, by making its bricks from raw materials extracted from South African soil. This is an important part of government’s efforts to support localisation, supplier, and enterprise development, as well as empowerment”, he said.

Kwastina is not only one of the largest brick manufacturing plants in sub-Saharan Africa, but also one of the most modern and energy-efficient in the world. After a comprehensive analysis of Corobrik’s existing manufacturing process, the Greenfield project resulted in a new shaping plant, a new fully automatic wet side, a setting plant for direct setting, two tunnel dryers and two tunnel kilns, and a new unloading and packaging plant for dispatch packs without pallets.

“Kwastina is testament to our commitment to constantly innovate. It is an acknowledgement on our part that we need to progress and make those step changes to keep us relevant for the next 100 years,” commented Corobrik CEO Nick Booth.

According to Booth, Kwastina produces clay face bricks, while the company’s concrete operations in KwaZulu-Natal are targeted at the plaster brick and block market.

Booth says the factory will help the company meet larger volume demands. It is expected to broaden its export market to countries across Africa, including Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Corobrik plans to open another manufacturing plant in the next five years,  after the completion of an R800m factory in Driefontein, Gauteng, that will produce environmentally friendly building material.


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