Corobrik’s new Kwastina Factory in Driefontein will enter full production by the end of March 2022.
The R800 million investment in the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility has gone hand-in-hand with a further R200 million earmarked to expand Corobrik’s concrete operations in KwaZulu-Natal.
Kwastina (‘Home of the Brick’) will produce clay face bricks while the concrete operation is targeted at the plaster brick and block market.
The factory is fully automated, from mixing the raw materials to the end product. Capable of producing 100 million bricks a year, it will easily meet larger volume orders and in a first for the South African market, Kwastina will have the flexibility to produce small quantities of bespoke products for the architectural segment.
“What makes this factory so exciting is that it allows us to compete anywhere in Southern Africa, landing product in regions traditionally not in Driefontein’s market as the new factory is more cost-effective,” says CEO, Nick Booth.
Kwastina has been touted as the most technologically advanced and environmentally friendly brick manufacturing plant in Africa. “It is an acknowledgement on our part that we need to progress and make those step changes that will keep us relevant for the next 100 years”.
The project was completed on budget, despite a three-month delay due to the Covid-19 hard lockdown in 2020.
“We believe we invested at the bottom of the cycle. All things being equal, if the government rolls out what it plans to, in terms of infrastructure like clinics, hospitals, police stations and schools, then Kwastina is ideally placed to make those projects more cost-effective and efficient. It is going to give us an advantage in the market, not just in terms of technology, but also in quality and consistency, which are critical for specifications involving tight tolerances”.