Poor quality cement blamed for building defects

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The lack of proper use concerning cement has a negative bearing and is one of the reasons behind defects on public buildings; PPC Cement General Manager Werner De Beer said at a media training workshop on cement and its works recently. He said the construction industry was important on the economic wellbeing of the country as, “it is critical for the growth of the economy and the long term development of the nation.

As such being knowledgeable in various aspects that defi ne this industry is critical for long term sustainable growth,” De Beer said. De Beer said they have observed that a lot of mistakes are made on site sometimes either by the constructor or builders. “Issues such as cement water ratio, reinforcement of cement, in some cases lack of proper sifting of sand and a whole array of issues that we have seen on sites for large buildings ” De Beer explained.

He said the unfortunate eventuality is that such buildings will have foundation defects that will lead to cracks and in some cases the cracks make the building inhabitable.In recent times, PPC faced fi erce competition from imported cement as it is in most cases cheaper than locally produced ones. De Beer said his company was aware of the price benefit behind the increase in imports, “however, ‘do not be pennywise but pound foolish” he used the British idiom, meaning that in most cases those that are highly diluted and have less strength thus less value. “Cement cost only two to fi ve percent of your total building cost, while that building is a long term investment, so it is important to do home work on the glue that puts it all together.”

De Beer said though they have competition in the market, they found it right as cement expects to let people know of what is in the cement bag. “We strive to empower the market so that all industry players including consumers make informed decisions,” he said, adding that this way people will know what to expect from the 50kg bag of cement that they buy from retailers.