Aspasa, formerly known as the Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of South Africa, reports that miners of building material commodities are standing ready to assist the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government and construction firms to repair roads and essential infrastructure that was damaged in severe recent floods.
Sand and aggregates comprise about 70% by volume of the material that will be needed for ground stabilisation, roadworks and construction work to repair damaged infrastructure.
No estimates have been presented, but Aspasa believes several thousand tonnes of stabilisation material will be required to reclaim land lost to erosion as a result of being washed away.
Road aggregates, sand and stone for concrete, aggregates for railway ballast and a variety of other uses also need to be procured.
Aspasa director Nico Pienaar says some of South Africa’s largest and best-run quarries are situated in KwaZulu-Natal and, combined with other such mines around the country, are easily able to meet future demand.
“All of our members in the province have households and workers who have been affected by the floods. They see it as their responsibility to get involved and work together to rebuild the province as quickly as possible,” he says.
The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport recently launched a pothole repair campaign to address damage to roads during the floods. “This is the type of project we want to get behind and assist with.
“There is lots of work that needs to be done and our members are right behind the construction heroes that are rebuilding our neighbourhoods,” says Pienaar.
While the construction and stabilisation work needs to be done rapidly, Aspasa recommends that strict control still be maintained over the quality of materials used and that its members be used as far as is possible to ensure the infrastructure lasts beyond the next storm and for generations to come.