Face to face - Crushing it since the 1990s

By Ntsako Khosa

Located in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, independent dolerite quarry Midmar Crushers prides itself in providing real solutions to clients. This is embedded in their business philosophy, which has seen them winning consecutive awards from Aspasa.

profile 001Midmar Crushers achieves great heights by sustaining their safety and environmental impact focus.
Image credit: Midmar Crushers

Producing a variety of concrete and road stone, dust, subbase, and gabion stone for more than two decades, the quarry holds its employees in high esteem. Founded by the Fourie family, “The business aims to provide customers and the community with high-quality aggregates at affordable rates,” says Midmar Group marketing head, Cassy Fourie. Fourie goes on to describe how the aggregates they sell are more than just stone. The stone sold is used to build roads, schools, and houses, which uplifts and improves the community. Aggregates produced on the quarry supply the Department of Transport, local municipalities, local contractors, and agricultural businesses and they make sure that the aggregate is top-shelf.

The drive to produce quality aggregates is seen in the testing of it, which is done biweekly at local laboratories. This testing is done to ensure that the material meets Committee of Land Transport Officials (COLTO) specifications. These are specifications for the exclusive use by state road authorities for road and bridge works. Some of the projects that they have supplied include upgrading the national N3 highway, assisting in the construction of Spring Grove Dam, upgrading of the Midmar Dam, and the majority of interleading infrastructure in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

profile 002The stone is used for various applications, from concrete stones and blocks to gabion baskets for soil retention.
Image credit: Midmar Crushers

Their special focus on attention to detail has led them to win the same Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of South Africa (Aspasa) award three times in less than five years. “Midmar Crushers was recently awarded the Aspasa About Face Top Independent Performer Award for Environmental, and the Initiating Safety, Health and Education’s (ISHE) Top Independent Performer Award for Health and Safety. These awards have been received by the company in 2014, 2016, and 2017,” shares Fourie.

She elaborates, “Aspasa awards are given on completion of two on-site theory and practical full-day audits. The About Face award for environmental recognises that the company maintains outstanding environmental business practices and acknowledges the measures used to control and minimise environmental impact. The ISHE award acknowledges the importance that Midmar Crushers places on health and safety for its employees and their working environment. The company carries out stringent controls and checks to ensure the highest level is maintained in its daily work. Once the audits have been completed throughout South Africa, the rankings are then distributed to over a hundred mines where acknowledgement of the top achievers are made.”

For Midmar Crushers, the award is an honour, as it is one of the highest accolades in the quarrying industry. Fourie says that being recognised as the top independent quarry in South Africa and being rated third overall, reflects the hard work and dedication of their staff to ensure their safety and earn the respect for Midmar Crushers’ impact on the environment.

Looking at the industry

Business has its challenges, whether internal or external. Fourie shares some of the external forces affecting the industry: “From an economic perspective, we are affected by the pressure felt in the mining industry as a whole, as well as the current challenges faced by the end consumer. There is often volatility regarding projects supported by government and municipalities, which requires close management. Midmar Crushers has learnt some valuable lessons in this regard and has taken measures to broaden the customer base within the current area as well as customising products to consumer needs.

Profile 003From left: Colleen Cluett (environmental auditor) hands over the Aspasa About Face environmental award to Bronwyn Moore (regional mine manager of Midmar Crushers).
Image credit: Midmar Crushers

“With the ever-growing legal compliance requirements, an uneven playing field caused through inconsistent interpretation of legislation, and illegal mining, makes for a tough business environment. We make sure that we stick to our business philosophy and our values to guide us through these challenges.”

Midmar Crushers also operates in a semi-rural area in close proximity to a town that, like many small communities in South Africa, is afflicted by poverty and challenging leadership dynamics. The growing social challenges and leadership complexities destabilise the synergy required to operate effectively as a business. However, their leadership team works hard to ensure that these issues are managed fairly and that all stakeholders are considered in the process.

“We take a long-term view regardless of the challenges, in the knowledge that our presence is ultimately good for the local economy and the well-being of the community,” she says.

profile 004Marius van Deventer (auditor) and Bronwyn Moore (on right) with the 2017 ISHE Top Independent Performer Award for Health and Safety.
Image credit: Midmar Crushers

Reaping the rewards

Midmar Crushers stands by the philosophy “Effective change through contact”. It is clear that this change is practised with staff as well as clients. Making the two happy is a tough balancing act; however, they seem to be doing it well and are being recognised for it. 


 

Product of

IMD logo White

Interact Media Defined (IMD), is one of South Africa’s leading multi-media magazine publishers READ MORE

Talk to us

JHB T : +27 (0) 11 579 4940
CPT T : 0861 727 663
E : admin@interactmedia.co.za

13A Riley Road, Bedfordview,
South Africa 2007

© Interact Media Defined (PTY) LTD