by Johan van Wyk


Sustainable readymix under the spotlight


While readymix concrete remains the single most important construction material used in Southern Africa, the sustainability of supply of all materials used in its manufacture needs to be secured to ensure that suppliers are able to keep pace with construction projects in years to come.

This year the annual conference of the Southern Africa Readymix Association (SARMA) will focus largely on securing the sustainability of the industry in future by means of improved practices, advanced methods and machinery, as well as some “out-of-the-box thinking from speakers that will focus on new and different ways of producing readymix.

The “Readymix Conference by SARMA” is an annual institution among members of the readymix, cement and construction industries and aims at aligning the abilities of manufacturers and suppliers in the industry with current and future needs of the construction, engineering and architectural industries. Raw material suppliers to the industry (cement, aggregate, extenders and admixtures) also play an active role in the conference and provide insight into new products available in the industry.

Paving the way forward

“This year we want to focus much of our attention on future sustainability and have invited speakers like Jason Drew, who built an empire by farming with flies and mosquitoes for example, and will be able to provide delegates with insight and ideas on doing things differently in order to succeed in a competitive environment.

“We will be looking at energy saving initiatives that can be implemented both by our manufacturers on site, as well as by customers making use of Sarma members’ products. Carbon taxes are another topic to be discussed and we will also look at ways of reducing our environmental footprints and manufacturing green products.

“Simultaneously we will share ideas on new formulae and new techniques that are able to support sustainable building techniques and will look at new building methods that make use of readymix concrete to speed up construction of houses and buildings etc. Some innovative machinery will be displayed and discussed. Money saving methods through the elimination of wastage, faster more efficient construction methods and other methods will also be discussed,” says SARMA general manager, Johan van Wyk.

Participation welcomed

It is a jam-packed schedule that will enormously benefit delegates. In keeping with the theme of sustainability members will also be able to share in incentives that will offset their entire annual Sarma membership fee in savings and enable the funds to be redeployed back into the business. Outdoor and indoor displays of conference sponsors will showcase products and equipment used to manufacture and deliver readymix concrete, as well as equipment used to transport and place concrete on construction sites.

The conference will be followed by the association’s annual general meeting and is open to all Sarma members. “Following interactions between our members, suppliers and customers, we will bring our members together to decide upon the future path of our association and to draw up a new agenda and action plan for the year ahead. We therefore advise everyone in the industry to be part of the change and to participate in both the conference and the AGM.

The conference will take place at Misty Hills Conference Centre on the West Rand on 13-14 August 2014. Those who wish to attend the conference should book early to avoid disappointments.

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Issue 42