16 May 2012
South Africa’s largest clay brick manufacturer Oconbrick has won the PMR.africa Golden Arrow business leadership award for the fifth successive year in a competitive performance review of companies in its sector of the construction industry.
The Murray & Roberts Building Products group company took the prestigious trophy based on the findings of a national survey of the performances of brick manufacturers and suppliers of formwork and scaffolding.
A random sample of respondents representing building materials retailers and representatives of construction companies gave Oconbrick a 4.05 mean score out of a maximum of 5.00.
About 1-million stock bricks and semi-face bricks come off Oconbrick’s Vereeniging production line every working day, and at any time there are about 100-million bricks in stock, including still-maturing “green” bricks, brick clamps and bricks available immediately for the building and construction market.
”This is a huge output, which explains the company’s ability to routinely meet tight-schedule delivery promises and at the same time to offer competitive prices for a product of consistently high quality,” says operations executive Thys Meyer.
Oconbrick mines about 40 000m³ to 60 000m³ of clay every month to feed its hungry brick-making extruders. “The quality of the clay we mine determines the quality of the bricks we manufacture.” Meyer says, “so it’s a continuing search for the right kind of quality clays – both in the ground and in our technical laboratory.”
Strictly adhered-to environmental controls are well established in Oconbrick’s clay-mining process. “It’s not simply a matter of digging big holes in the ground. Rehabilitation of worked-over land is a continuous process,” says Meyer.
Competition for the annual PMR award recognizes excellence in the building industry while at the same time aiming to set benchmarks for others to aspire to.
In the latest survey, respondents were asked to rate suppliers based on 11 factors:
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