[Johannesburg, 06February 2017]: There was huge excitement in Logagane Village on Tuesday, 31 January 2017 for community members of the Ratlou Municipality, as Social Development Deputy Minister, HendriettaBogopane-Zulu, handed over Hydraform International interlocking brick and blockmaking machinery, donated by the MTN Foundation and valued at R1.2 million.
Bogopane-Zulu challenged Ratlou community members with mud homes to take every opportunity of using the Hydraform brick and block machinery as a means of eliminating poverty, inequality and unemployment. She added, "Community members will be able to make bricks and build their own houses. The initiative will reduce unemployment. However, we want them to understand the do-it-yourself (DIY) initiative. More people will be employed in this project after we have registered it as a non-profit organisation (NPO)."
"Those who will be working here will receive a stipend. However, the main objective is to ensure that the community stops relying on the government for RDP houses. The project will assist them to build decent houses. Wehave provided training and skills development to members of the cooperative and we will also monitor the project," said Bogopane-Zulu. "We will ensure the project benefits the communities across Ratlou," said Tebogo Modise, Mayor of Ratlou Municipality. "The project came about after the discovery of more than 3000 teenage mothers in the area. We want to address socio-economic issues and unemployment."
Executive Manager of the MTN Foundation, Graham de Vries, said, "Our partnership started in 2012 and we will continue to support the social development initiative. We will provide training for the Hydraform machinery."
Hydraform International's Sales Executive, Lusanda Zimase, attended the handover event in Logagane Village and said, "Hydraform's building system is different to the normal bricks that we know, in that it replaces regularly used bricks and cement with Hydraform blocks that interlock and are dry-stacked. A unique feature of the building system is that it uses soil, to produce an interlocking soil and cement block. By taking the world's oldest known building material, earth (soil) and giving it form and durability through Hydraform's innovative technology, the company has developed an earth brick that can reduce costs and construction times. Not only is Hydraform's building system proven and tested, it also boasts various other benefits such as: cost savings in construction, empowerment of unskilled people (including women), a simple building system, thermal insulation qualities, being three times as efficient as concrete block and twice as efficient as fired clay bricks, reduced transport costs, local soil used from project sites and bricks made where and when needed."