The unique generic benefit package that clay brick construction provides for achieving eminently sustainable built environments for people to live, work, learn and play, is being continuously added to by Corobrik through the systematic pursuit of social, economic and environmental interventions to advance Corobrik’s value proposition to its clients and South Africa at large.
This is according to Musa Shangase, commercial director of Corobrik, which has been a stalwart in the country’s brick manufacturing industry for well over a century.
He cites as an example that, on the socio-economic front, the restructuring of the business and the creation of the company’s staff trust has effectively placed 26% of the equity of Corobrik in the hands of employees.
“This broad-based ownership has supported improved productivity levels and contributed to Corobrik’s sustained performance in the recent challenging economic environment,” Shangase said.
Of the balance of the 74% of equity in Corobrik, nearly 40% was black equity, adding to Corobrik’s BEE status and contributing to the company’s relative competitiveness in the public sector.
Complementing Corobrik’s three building schools geared to advancing bricklayer training and skills development in the industry, Corobrik runs more than 40 bursaries for staff, does internships in factories, provides apprenticeships and sales training, and operates production, engineering and geological trainee programmes to deepen competencies.
With respect to environmental and economic sustainability, he said that systematic investment in advanced technologies had been key.
“Greater dematerialisation has been facilitated, using fewer inputs per brick produced, whether regarding fossil fuels or the use of raw materials, coupled with enhanced yields of first grade products of equal or better performance attributes and lower onsite carbon footprints.”
“Corobrik is also currently busy with a R1 billion investment programme focused on the conversion from coal firing to natural gas firing, extrusion technology to advance dematerialisation and the wider employment of robotics to improve yields of first grade products and mitigate energy usage during peak-load periods,” Shangase said.
He said that excellent progress continued to be made, thus widening the platform incrementally for Corobrik to be a value partner in the South African building sector.