Lafarge South Africa, the local presence of the international Lafarge Group, the world leader in building materials, is closely involved in Phase 1 of the visionary Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for Westonaria Borwa in the West Rand. This exciting development perfectly illustrates the essence of Lafarge's new branding with its ambition to contribute to Building better cities. The ambition reflects the huge global trend to urbanisation that we witness dramatically throughout South Africa. The Group is committed to using its unparalleled technical strength to help provide solutions for building better cities that are more compact, have more housing, more durable, more connected, more beautiful and are more desirable places in which people can live, work and play
Conceived in terms of the National Government's ‘Breaking New Ground' policy, Phase 1 of Westonaria Borwa consists of 1 547 housing units, with the total project scope comprising approximately 6 700 housing units. The IDP embodies all forms of housing tenure including fully-subsidised housing, bonded housing and social housing, as well as all the relevant ancillary land uses such as institutional, educational and commercial. 1 150 houses in Phase 1 are intended to be fully-subsidised houses, and the remainder will be bonded houses and apartments. Lafarge South Africa's cement business line worked with the developer, Crimson King Properties, to develop the optimum solution for the project's cement requirements. Lafarge is supplying the versatile premium technical cement, Powercrete Plus 42,5R, which is supplied in bulk to an on-site silo that has been provided by Lafarge.
Private public partnership working well
The development is being undertaken in a partnership between Crimson King Properties, who also donated the land, and the Gauteng Department of Human Settlement. The subsidy component of the development is designed to assist in the relocation of residents on the official housing waiting list, coming from the nearby informal settlement of Bekkersdal.
"In addition to batching their concrete, the developer had the capability to batch their own mortar and plaster. The optimum solution was to standardise on using only bulk Powercrete Plus instead of several different grades or bagged product," says Lafarge's Mike Fisher, Key Accounts Manager - National Construction.
To date, 1 547 residential stands have been fully serviced with water, sewer, roads, stormwater and electricity reticulation. 1 000 fully-subsidised units have been built and a further 150 fully-subsidised units are under construction. The finishing work required is tiling, door fitting, glazing, painting, plumbing and installation of ceilings. Installation of street lights has been completed.
"Lafarge really stands out as a supplier - their support has been a tremendous help," says Crimson King's Plant Manager, Francois Marais. "From the very beginning, they worked with us to understand what the Borwa scheme would involve, what we would need and how they could help. Standardising on the versatile Powercrete Plus cement was certainly the right decision - it has enabled us to batch customised mix designs conveniently on site by blending with extra fly ash. The mixes have excellent workability and give well above standard strength results with no rework required. Lafarge not only supplied a silo for Powercrete Plus but they also supplied another for fly ash. Lafarge is certainly credited with playing a significant role in the successful implementation of the Borwa scheme."
Focus on sustainable development of labour and entrepreneurs
Construction of 150 of the subsidised houses is being carried out under a Community Builder's Programme launched by Crimson King Properties in partnership with the Westonaria Local Municipality. The Programme is based on the principles of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), which will create jobs as well as provide valuable training for approximately 150 unskilled and semi-skilled workers. In addition, the aim is to enhance the skills of approximately ten SMME's that have been identified through local community liaison structures.
An exciting future
As well as the rapid progress being achieved with the housing units in Phase 1, the civil services for Phase II are already 22% complete. The prospects for providing disadvantaged communities in the area with good housing and the basic facilities that will form a desirable modern city are looking exciting.
"The ultimate concept for Westonaria Borwa," adds Lafarge's Fisher, "is to create a fully sustainable development with clinics, churches, primary schools, crèches and public parks. Lafarge is proud to be part of this successful and visionary scheme."
NOTES TO EDITORS
Located in 64 countries with 65 000 employees, Lafarge is the world-leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in its Cement, Aggregates and Concrete businesses. In 2012, the Group posted sales of 15,8 billion Euros.
Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities, working for sustainable construction and architectural creativity to help build better cities around the world: more beautiful cities that are better connected, have more housing, and are more compact and durable. Since 2010, the Lafarge Group has been part of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the first global sustainability benchmark, in recognition of its sustainable development actions.
In South Africa, the company manufactures and supplies cement, aggregates, readymixed concrete, gypsum plasterboard and interior building fittings. It focuses on providing solutions to help the sustainable development of better cities that benefit the country's people. Through having a strong presence in all of its business lines, it is in a unique position to contribute to urban construction, while also helping to build better rural towns and villages.
Lafarge South Africa also demonstrates active concern for the conservation of the country's wildlife heritage and is a major supporter of the world's first dedicated baby rhino orphanage in Limpopo Province.
Additional information is available on the website at www.lafarge.co.za
For further information, please contact:
Country Communications Manager
011 657 0000
Glasshouse Communication Management
Bridget von Holdt
011 646 9992 / 0826100650