Pictured: Bryan Perrie, managing director of The Concrete Institute

The Concrete Institute says a number of articles have appeared in both local and overseas press containing misleading and incorrect information regarding the newly-formed Concrete Institute and the demise of the Cement & Concrete Institute (C&CI).

In a recent press statement Bryan Perrie, managing director of The Concrete Institute and previously the C&CI, contextualises:

“The C&CI was a completely independent and unbiased organisation and recognized as such by the construction industry. The C&CI was never an association to provide services to its members nor was it mandated to do so. Its mandate and articles empowered it to provide services to the concrete construction industry on behalf of its funding members. The South African Cement Producers Association (SACPA), before closing down in 1996, was responsible for providing its members with a range of services. SACPA was replaced by the Association of Cementitious Material Producers (ACMP) which focussed primarily on environmental, health and safety issues.

“The decision to close the C&CI laboratory a number of years ago was unanimously agreed to by all four of the cement producer members of the C&CI.

“The closure of the C&CI was precipitated by the withdrawal of funding and the resignation from the C&CI by PPC, following which the other funders, AfriSam, Lafarge and NPC-Cimpor were compelled to resign as PPC’s withdrawal left a significant void in the structure and funding of the non-profit organisation.

“Following the regrettable and contentious closure of the C&CI and the subsequent strong reaction from both the construction industry and the academic fraternity in response to a potential loss of services, The Concrete Institute was formed. The initial funders of The Concrete Institute are AfriSam, Lafarge and Sephaku.

“The Concrete Institute has been created to continue providing independent, unbiased information, publications as well as accredited and internationally recognised training on concrete technology to the construction industry. The Institute is mandated to continue offering the following vital services previously offered by the C&CI:

  • Education and training – With the skills challenges facing the industry, this is seen as an essential requirement for the future of a qualified and suitably skilled construction industry of the future. The Concrete Institute will continue offering a range of internationally-recognised courses including Introduction to Concrete; Making Concrete Bricks and Blocks; Mortars, Plasters, Screeds and Masonry; Concrete Practice; Concrete Technology; Concrete Structures: Analysis & Design; Properties of Concrete for the Structural Designer and Constructor and the highly acclaimed Advanced Concrete Technology course.
  • A comprehensive Information Centre – Inherited from the renowned C&CI facility, this is one of the largest and most respected sources of information on concrete in the southern hemisphere and is widely used by the industry and students as a valuable reference source for technical information. The information centre is equipped with state-of-the art computerised information systems and produces a number of valuable publications.
  • Consulting – The Concrete Society will continue to offer invaluable advice on concrete-related issues including on-site visits by technical staff.

It is worth noting that The Concrete Institute intends to broaden its member base, not only to other cement producers but also to building and construction bodies and relevant academic organisations with a view to facilitating  greater cooperation amongst the various built environment industry players for the promotion and unlocking of growth opportunities in South Africa.
“The Concrete Institute looks forward to providing the construction industry with much needed services and information,” adds Perrie.