On Friday 29 October 2021 the Khaya Khanya Lightweight Concrete Factory was launched in Atlantis – the first of its kind in Africa. Directly translated, Khaya Khanya means ‘light house’ in Xhosa.
This was a celebration of the start of a wonderful and exciting new journey in polystyrene recycling. “Never in our wildest dreams have we imagined such an amazing project,” said Cindy Orange, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company. The concrete factory manufactures a brick made of a mixture of polystyrene and concrete. The brick is the same size as a normal brick, but a fraction of the weight. However, it is much more durable than standard bricks and designed to build better houses, keep the cold out in winter and the heat out in summer. There is also no need for cavity walls and it is claimed to be waterproof, fireproof, sunproof and windproof, all while being cost effective. Local pastor and Orange`s father, Dr Michael Adams, is the project manager. He said that the day of the launch was not a day by luck, but a day purposed by God. “This brick is going to spread like wildfire, just like the sanitisers did,” he said. Chief Operating Officer and master of ceremony on the day, John Adams, introduced Hilton Cowie, from Envirolite as the ‘genius of this brick’. Cowie has been in the building industry for 25 years and in 1998 he built a home using alternative methods. He then developed this brick seven years ago. “People thought we were crazy back then, but we persisted.
This brick represents perseverance of 25 years,” said Cowie. He explained that the brick is made only of recycled material, which is the most important part. The recycled material is made up of different types of plastic, plastic that would have ended up in the ocean and on landfill sites. He added that the price is pretty much the same as a standard brick, but consumers save on transport costs due to the light weight of the product. “The brick is Agrimark certified, meaning that all tests were done and it qualifies for all seven categories. According to Adri Spangenberg, the Polystyrene Executive at Polyco, the plan is to have many of these factories where the community is involved. They would be able to sustain themselves and jobs will also be created in the process. “We are more than ready to move forward with this exciting new project that will not only create employment, but also help to educate and equip those who will become a part of this business venture,” Orange added.Apart from a scrumptious lunch, goodie bags and a range of beverages served to guests, the Ingrid Beets School of Dance gave an exhilarating dance performance as part of the launch, rounding off a successful launch of a game-changing product.