PPC has launched a programme of brick-making workshops in various townships, from Katlehong in Ekurhulen to Soweto in Johannesburg to Mamelodi in Pretoria, where there is a high concentration of brick-makers. The idea is to improve the skills of local brick-makers, enabling them to not only understand the science of accurate mixing of all materials necessary to produce quality bricks, but also to run their brick-making business efficiently and profitably.
“To live up to our brand ethos of ‘Strength beyond’, we aim to go beyond business as usual. That means not just selling product but also providing our customers with practical help that will improve their businesses,” says Njombo Lekula, MD PPC South Africa “The key purpose of these workshops is to impart knowledge and expertise to these business people and to ensure that they get the best value out of our product and, in turn they can produce the best 100% Msanzi 100% quality bricks and blocks for their customers.
“It’s all about strengthening the township economy and ensuring that we can serve the local community better. Better quality bricks, better houses and ultimately a more stable community.”
The workshops are led by PPC Technical Specialists who pass on the technical know-how to brick-makers but, says Lekula, that’s not the end of it. The PPC sales team then takes over to offer individual brick-makers support in growing and managing their businesses effectively with ongoing mentoring to complement the technical expertise transferred at the workshop.
In the first two weeks of the programme, PPC had already impacted 103 brick-makers, with many more to come. One of the workshops was held at Muzi Bricks in Soshanguwe.
The owner, Muzi Shongwe, wrote that his customers were thanking him for bringing PPC back to Kasi, and he had benefitted hugely from the technical advice he had received: “As a community of brick-makers we ask you to do many of these training sessions as you are the only cement company that cares about helping businesses like ours.”
Lekula says that feedback of this nature shows the value of what PPC is trying to do.
“We have always understood that the infrastructure our products help to create is much more than just buildings – it is where people live and socialise and do business.
By supporting local brick-makers we are not only helping them to develop their businesses, we are contributing to building the country, quite literally.”