With various technologies at the fingertips of every enterprise, it’s becoming increasingly important to innovate in order to stay ahead of the pack.
Fresh ideas and new technologies are birthed when businesses dare to venture beyond what is imaginable.
As market leaders in asphalt and road construction, Shisalanga Construction strives to manufacture groundbreaking technologies.
“We have always taken a keen interest in innovation and development. To maintain this standard, we are constantly looking for ways to improve and give ourselves an edge in the industry,” says Wynand Nortje, technical manager, Shisalanga Construction.
Shisalanga’s renowned Cliffdale laboratory is vital to the company’s success as an industry innovator. According to Nortje, the SANAS 17025:2017 accredited lab is the only one of its kind in South Africa, as it is directly linked to production in addition to being a testing facility.
Wynand and his team have moved away from the volumetric design system and have embraced a new, performance-
based approach. Their priority is to manufacture asphalt products with the desired result in mind. To ensure that its mixes have an overall enhanced pavement performance, Shisalanga tests and adjusts its technologies accordingly until a workable solution is reached.
Adopting a testing methodology can be expensive – as equipment upgrades are frequently needed and research and development processes tend to incur many costs. Despite these additional costs, testing methodologies are worth the resources, as they keep the company at the cusp of innovation.
“Having a fully equipped laboratory is absolutely necessary to embark on any kind of innovation. Without this, companies must outsource every test – a process that is tedious and costly. At Shisalanga, we are privileged to conduct most of these tests in our very own lab,” explains Nortje.
Shisalanga is committed to manufacturing asphalt and bitumen products that adhere to strict technical guidelines and are aligned with industry standards as set out by Manual 35. These Technical Recommendations for Highways (TRH8) govern the testing process and regulate the protocols to be followed.
Among the innovations to have come from the Cliffdale lab are Eco Asphalt – a mix that uses a proportion of locally-sourced recycled plastic in its bitumen – Shisalanga‘s own cold-mix formula, and a portable patching trailer using in-situ patching technology and 100% recycled asphalt.
“When we see an opportunity arise for a fresh paving solution, we go for it. We endeavor to improve upon what innovations already exist, as well as to introduce new asphalt and bitumen products to the market,” Nortje concludes.
Established in 1998, Shisalanga has grown from strength to strength in the roadbuilding industry. The company now not only manufactures and paves hot-mix asphalt but manufactures high-quality cold-mix asphalt and alternative, high-performance, environmentally friendly patching solutions. In addition, Shisalanga provides specialist solutions in laying surface and slurry seals, crack sealing, deep and shallow milling, in-situ stabilising, and hydro-cutting surface treatment. Shisalanga has become a leader in new innovations, leading the way with products such as steel slag manufactured asphalt – also a first in South Africa. This product is the preferred aggregate used for asphalt manufacture on the busiest highway in South Africa, the N3. Another milestone innovation is the use of recycled plastic in asphalt – not just helping
to save the environment but also improving the quality of asphalt with an otherwise