Gearing up for multi-billion infrastructure projects
As Government gears up to spend R813 billion on infrastructure development over the next three years the Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of Southern Africa (Aspasa) is cautioning role players to begin consulting with building material suppliers to ensure availability and quality.
Aspasa director, Nico Pienaar, says planning needs to be done in conjunction with all role players so that materials such as sand and aggregates are available where required. Depending on the grade and type of aggregates required, materials may need to be sourced from different areas which might complicate or increase the price of projects.
“Sand and aggregates in concrete, bitumen or as bedding material, are the building blocks of almost all our infrastructure from roads to railways, building and pipelines. Yet few people realise how different the requirement is for each and every application.
“Different infrastructure requires different characteristics and properties of these materials and it is thus prudent to establish where the nearest sources are, what reserves are available, what transport implications exist and to secure supply and pricing at a predetermined rate.
“Otherwise, material may require transportation over long distances to ensure it meets the correct specification and quality. Contractors may be tempted to use unsuitable material from makeshift excavations or purchase from illegal suppliers practicing unsustainable quarrying, negatively impacting surrounding communities, and the environment.
By working with all relevant industries, plans can be made to bolster supply to meet demands. Where local supplies are an issue the industry could work together to stockpile materials or locate new and sustainable sources closer to where it is required.
This will also prevent collusion as all possible suppliers can be identified and terms, conditions and pricing obtained beforehand to ensure fairness. “We want to ensure that our industry is ready and stands to benefit from Government’s bold plans,” Pienaar concludes.