Heavy Clay

Corobrik to start up new Driefontein facility in 2020


Corobrik, South Africa’s leading brick maker, will double the production of the Driefontein factory, reaching 100,000 pieces/year

About two years ago, Corobrik, South Africa’s leading brick maker, embarked on an important 5-year investment program to grow its business and develop new markets.

Speaking at the South African Investment Conference held in Johannesburg at the beginning of November 2019, Corobrik’s chief executive Dirk Meyer said that the lion’s share of the initial R1-billion allocated during 2017/8 would go towards an R800 million (€50.4 million) mega factory that will be built alongside the existing Driefontein factory in Gauteng.

Due to become operational as of November 2020, the plant will be the biggest and most environmentally friendly face brick factory in Africa. The new zero-waste Driefontein facility will produce around 100 million bricks per year – double that of the existing facility there – using fully automated energy-saving kilns. As a result, the new plant will use only a third of the energy currently used by its predecessor, which will be shut down and demolished once the new facility is fully operational.

Moreover, the factory will generate 20% of its electricity needs from renewable resources. The project will enable Corobrik to expand its product range with high-quality face bricks in different sizes, formats and colours, enabling the company to keep pace with new building trends and architectural styles. In terms of technology, the new Driefontein facility will follow in the footsteps of the Rietvlei facility, where in January 2019 Corobrick commissioned a R65 million upgrade that included the installation of a blending dehacker which automatically blends bricks off the line and packages them in a convenient format. A total of 1,000 jobs were created during construction of the Driefontein facility with a further 60 permanent positions to be created as the factory comes on stream.

The remaining R200 million will be spent on construction of a second manufacturing facility in the KwaZulu-Natal province to the north of Durban. Corobrik currently produces around a billion face bricks/year. As well as serving the domestic market, the group also exports to the USA, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, the Gulf states and other African countries.