Recent heavy rains led to the collapse of a bridge forming part of the R61 at Tsomo Junction between Ngcobo and Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape. Rocla was contracted to supply 30 Rectangular Portal Culverts as part of the emergency rehabilitation project that was conducted along this route.

Rocla’s Rectangular Portal Culverts are specifically designed to provide for stormwater flow underneath roads. The culverts are 2100 mm x 2100 mm in size and conform to the required strength classes.

Graham Howell, Sales Consultant for Rocla in Gqeberha said “Rainbow Civils approached Rocla to supply these culverts. When a road collapses the urgency for the rehabilitation was not lost on our technicians”.

“The team at Rocla double stripped a RP2100 Gang Mould so that we could increase our manufacturing output to six culverts per day, and get the culverts on the road as quickly as possible” Howell said.

The Rocla Rectangular Portal Culvert consists of a deck and two legs and is placed on a concrete base. This base can be cast in-situ or prefabricated. The standard strength classes for these pipes are 75S, 100S and 125S. Special intermediate strengths or heavier loading requirements can be designed and manufactured. For angled road crossings, skew culverts can be manufactured.

“The only alternative roads for motorists who use the R61 regularly after the road collapsed were the R409 between the junction and the N2 at Ndabakazi, and the R408 between the N2 at Idutywa and R61 at Ncgobo commented Mike Coetzee, Regional Manager for Rainbow Civils. The rehabilitation of this section of road therefore required immediate action. We have worked with Rocla before and knew the quality of their product. We also knew their manufacturing capability would enable them to respond quickly to such a project”.

“The order was placed late January 2022 and the first Rectangular Portal Culverts arrived at site on 4th February, with the last having been delivered on 15th February 2022. The culverts were on schedule and were as per our required specifications. Rocla’s service is renowned throughout the industry, and this R61 project was a perfect example of how they respond to a critical situation” concluded Coetzee.

“Rocla is the preferred supplier of stormwater management products throughout South Africa due to the high standard of its manufacturing processes, ability to customise to requirement and the dedicated assistance offered from our technical engineers to assess the correct pre-cast concrete stormwater solution in cases similar to the R61 collapse” commented Howell.

“The Rocla Team pulled out all of the stops for this project with no diminishment of product quality or service standards. A great achievement” concluded Howell.


We all drive over them, complain when they go missing, but seldom realise the crucial role manholes play in the construction of underground pipelines. Rocla, who is the leading manufacturer of precast concrete in Southern Africa, designs and manufactures standard and customised manholes.

Precast concrete manholes provide a working chamber for an easy and cost-efficient access for technicians and their equipment needing to inspect or conduct maintenance.

Placed at regular intervals along the pipeline, used as a junction where stormwater pipes meet up, or where stormwater flow needs to be redirected as well as for ventilation along sewerage systems, precast concrete manholes are still the preferred choice for infrastructure projects due to their durability (lasting up to 100 years). Assembled at site, they are quick and easy to install.

Rocla’s precast concrete manhole with an interlocking joint profile together with the application of a sealing material makes for a simple yet effective solution.

The Manhole chamber sections are supplied in lengths of 1000mm, 500mm and 250mm, and are available in diameters of 750mm, 1000mm, 1250mm, 1500mm and 1800mm and 1950mm but special sizes can be accommodated. Manholes may be manufactured with step irons to facilitate a safe, steady and easy entry and exit.

Special intermediate or larger sizes can be designed and manufactured subject to a feasibility study, and Rocla engineers can assist in this evaluation process.


Cover Slabs are available for sealing the manhole chamber. Rocla also manufactures Reducer Slabs for use in deep manhole chambers, enabling the diameter of the chamber to be reduced in order to make it more cost effective. Step Irons can be cast into the wall of the chamber whilst concrete lids are also offered as an alternative to the conventional cast iron lid.

Reported high theft rates of the cast iron lid option often leave numerous manholes open and exposed, resulting in a health and safety risk. The heavy nature of precast concrete lids, combined with the zero-resale value of the precast concrete lid reduces the temptation for theft.

Manhole components can be used with both storm water and sewer applications. In the case of sewer applications, Rocla will make use of dolomitic aggregates. Precast concrete manholes are ideal where maintenance-free, high quality solutions are required.


Rocla Sanitation partnered with Izandla Ziyagezana Trading to enter their Mkhondo based Community Cast Factory in the IMESA/CESA Excellence Awards 2021, in the Community Upliftment and Job Creation category. They were awarded second place for their Supply and Delivery of Waterborne Structures project within the rural Rustplaas Village in the Mkhondo Municipality, Mpumulanga.

The Rocla Sanitation/ Izandla Ziyagezana collaboration emerged as a result of Izandla Ziyagezana’s support for Rocla Sanitation’s Thuthukisa Initiative of ‘taking the factory to the people by empowering communities to be manufacturers in their own right’. Izandla Ziyagezana has specialised in community manufacturing and erection of low flush dignified sanitation since 2006 when the company was formed.

Dumisani Simelane, Managing Director of Izandla Ziyagezana commented “We are very proud to have been judged runner-up in the IMESA/CESA Awards. It is an acknowledgement of the importance of the work we are doing within rural communities”.

“The Rustplaas Project has so far created at least 23 new jobs, and we thank the Mkhondo local municipality for supporting this initiative. Projects such as Rustplaas show how job creation can be achieved in its simplest form through a transfer of skills on how to manufacture sanitation units of a good quality. The Rocla Sanitation Thuthukisa Initiative benefits both the local community and small businesses like my own,” said Simelane.

The Rustplaas Project enabled the local community to collaborate with on-site casting and stripping of 238 twin eco toilet top structures and pit structures in the 2020-21 financial year and a further 204 tops structures in the 2021-22 financial year. The Rustplaas community were also trained in the receiving and dispatching of casting kits and the associated materials from stores. Training of local SMME’s and community members was given in:

•           Mixing and batching

•           Casting and levelling of concrete

•           Curing and aftercare of concrete

•           Stripping and cleaning of products cast

•           Packing of stock and yard housekeeping

•           Loading and delivery of products

•           Onsite training in erecting

•           Administration and bookkeeping

Andre Labuschagne, Product Development Manager for Rocla Sanitation said “We are very pleased to have been placed second with Izandla Ziyagezana in the prestigious IMESA/CESA Awards.  This recognition for our Thuthukisa Initiative confirms our belief that many rural communities, through skills training, enjoy the benefits of healthier sanitation facilities as well as work opportunities. This has been proven through our collaboration with Izandla Ziyagezana, who from day one, have believed that this kind of initiative is imperative to the wellness of people residing in rural areas”.

“We look forward to continuing our relationship with Izandla Ziyagezana and will be collaborating with them on an 800-unit waterborne toilet project in Driefontein, Mkhondo shortly” said Labuschagne.

A concept called ‘pancake casting’ enabled Rocla Sanitation to offer a real on-site manufacturing capability that requires only a small piece of land with almost no infrastructure needed. This process involves casting one item on top of another in frameless single use moulds of a similar size in a planar form.

The panels are continuously cast one on top of another until typically full stacks of four toilets or 4 Twin Eco Pits are reached. The product is typically left to cure for two weeks. New castings can continue to be made during this curing process at other locations, using the same tools.

Labuschagne added “The communities that urgently require toilet units are often found in rural areas of the country. Many of these areas have no infrastructure. Meaning ‘to share’ the Thuthukisa Initiative’s philosophy led to the development of the ‘Community Cast’ toilet unit that can be simply manufactured by local community entrepreneurs or SMME’s and be ready for use within two weeks”.

“We would like to see our collaboration with Rocla Sanitation grow, our aim is to roll-out the Thuthukisa Initiative countrywide” commented Simelane, adding “There is so much added benefit for local communities. The goal is to provide health enhancing sanitation units to the community through the wider impact of skills transfer to the community and to also help to fight poverty and unemployment”. The IMESA/CESA Excellence Awards is a biennial event and the awards took place in Cape Town on 11 November 2021 alongside their 84th IMESA Conference. The IMESA/CESA Community Upliftment and Job Category focuses on projects demonstrating labour intensive construction, skills development, community awareness and participation.


Lwazi Goqwana has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer for the Infrastructure Specialist Group (ISG) effective immediately. ISG is South Africa’s leading manufacturer of precast concrete solutions and products for the construction, infrastructure and mining sectors.

An Engineer by profession with 25 years of working experience in Manufacturing, Construction, Financial Services, Logistics, Energy and Government Services. Goqwana has worked for multiple organisations including Unilever, Tiger Brands, Barclays Africa, Transnet and the Department of Public Enterprises.

Goqwana commented “I am very excited to be joining one of South Africa’s iconic companies. I look forward to joining the existing management team as we lead ISG forward in a way that will enhance our competitive position in the market”.

With an Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cape Town and an MBA in Strategic General Management from Milpark Business School, Goqwana brings a wealth of technical and operational excellence as well as executive management experience to ISG.


Rocla has supplied 414 spun concrete distribution poles to the Enel Green Power developed Karusa and Soetwater windfarms projects in the Northern Cape. These are for an overhead line required to join into the Eskom Komsburg Station.

Kevin West, Sales Consultant for Rocla said “Although our spun concrete distribution poles were specified for the project, we worked closely with the customer to ensure that our poles met their strict customised requirements. We designed various poles to meet the differing lengths of the overhead line, these were designed for specific usage on the projects”.

“The pole lengths varied from 15.6m to 19.2m for the overhead line. Rocla supplied 146 distribution poles for the Karusa windfarm and 268 poles for the Soetwater windfarm. Each farm will have a total of 64 turbines running along the escarpment” said West.

Spun concrete distribution poles are a cost-efficient solution because of small servitude requirements, and are quick to install. They offer a durable, long-term solution with minimal maintenance. Spun concrete poles are exceptionally strong through 360 degrees, not having the major and minor load axis that normal poles have. The unique centrifugal manufacturing process used gives the Rocla spun concrete pole extra strength properties, not found in cast concrete poles.

“It was an exciting project to be part of as we believe windfarms are alternative sources of power and are an essential part of the energy mix for South Africa” concluded West.

Spun concrete poles offer a lifespan of over 50 years.

Rocla manufactures a range of concrete pole solutions for electrification, reticulation, telecom masts, lighting, security monitoring and stadium use.


Rocla and Technicrete, part of the Infrastructure Group of Companies (ISG), funded the conversion of 14 pit latrines into flushing toilets and supplied associated paving and concrete structures at the Tsekere Primary School, Ga-Raphahlelo in the Limpopo Province. The total funding by ISG for the project was R350,675.00.

“Tsekere Primary School had 14 pit latrines which were not in a good condition or really usable, so they were sealed and then converted into flushing toilets” commented Malebusa Sebatane, Group Marketing and Communications Manager for ISG. “We decided to fund the upgrades to their sanitation system in order to provide clean and safe sanitation units for the pupils of the school, as ISG believes that every school should have properly functioning sanitation units. Every child has a right to personal dignity”.

Sebatane added “We appointed Enviromould Product Solutions to install the Rocla designed and Agreement approved, Eaziflush low flush toilet pedestals with a child seat lid incorporated. Included in our donation was funding for septic tanks, cisterns and all the associated plumbing components. We provided funding for the refurbishment of the roofing sections and repainting of the toilet doors.  An additional two Rocla manufactured Sanitation Community Cast Toilet Top Structures were also supplied which increased the total number of toilets to 16.”

Rocla’s precast concrete sanitation units are a cost-effective solution to one of the most basic and essential needs in South Africa – the need to supply clean, hygienic and cost-efficient sanitation not only to schools but also to the homes of people living in rural areas. All of Rocla’s sanitation units are designed as water saving units that can function on the existing grey water output from a household rather than requiring fresh drinking water.

Additionally, Technicrete supplied 90 square meters of 50 mm grey Bond Brick pavers that have been installed around the sanitation units and the school’s hand wash basins. Technicrete’s Bond Brick is particularly suited to this kind of environment due to its durability and sturdiness.

The associated transportation costs for Rocla and Technicrete’s precast concrete products to site was also funded by the ISG.

“ISG is proud to have funded these sanitation and infrastructural upgrades, which the school so clearly needed. Inside the classroom, ISG donated R4,000.00 worth of calculators for the learners to use with their studies – safety and hygiene outside of the school coupled with educational supplies for inside use, will hopefully make an impact upon the learning experience” concluded Sebatane.


Outlying rural areas are often confronted with major inconveniences when severe storms or the rainy season comes around. Roads become flooded, bridges submerge under water or are completely washed away, cutting off communities from food supplies and essential services. Gadiboye Village, near Kuruman in the Northern Cape is such a location. Rocla recently supplied Rectangular Portal (RP) culverts and bases and the link slabs to ensure that the storm water was effectively dispersed without cutting off the Gadiboye Village community from its school and shops.

Rocla Sales Consultant, Dillon Carter, said “The Gadiboye Village project required RP culverts measuring 3600mm x 3000mm with RP bases of 3600mm. Rocla is the only company that manufactures RP culverts of this size and we manufactured 32 for this particular project”.

“The installation is unique, and a first in terms of bridge design in South Africa, in so much that four rows of eight culverts in length were installed in a culvert-link-culvert-link formation” said Carter. Bolts and anchor grout were required to secure the slabs to the culverts and were supplied by Rocla and Technicrete Mining Division, as well as a crane, which was hired by South 32 Mine, the project investor, to offload the culverts at site.

“An integral part of this culvert project was the 24 3600mm link slabs that we supplied which were crucial to the formation of the culverts for this particular application. The style of the formation was not unsimilar to a truck and trailer concept” said Carter.

Rocla’s pre-cast concrete RP Culverts are recommended for use in storm water applications, they provide a waterway underneath road. The unit consists of a deck and two legs and placed on a concrete base. The RP Culverts have also been used at railway tracks, mine tunnels and also can be inverted as a drainage ditch.

The culverts are normally supplied in 1,22m lengths and in 50S, 75S and 100S strength classes, but custom-made designs can be manufactured as they were for the Gadiboye Village project.

Special intermediate strengths or heavier loading requirements can be designed and manufactured but would be subject to various material constraints and would need evaluation by our engineers on an ad hoc basis.

“One can easily forget about the sometimes dire situations our communities find themselves in outside of our main city centres, but we believe that our culverts and associated components will make a tremendous difference to the Gadiboye community once the rainy season commences” concluded Carter.


Transmission and distribution power lines in suburban and rural areas need poles that can withstand harsh environments, inclement weather and vandalism, in order to ensure the continuous supply of electricity. Rocla’s spun concrete transmission and distribution poles are well suited for the exacting requirements of electrical distribution line construction.

The durable, maintenance free spun concrete poles are exceptionally strong through 360 degrees, whereas normal cast concrete poles have a major and minor load axis. The unique centrifugal manufacturing process gives a uniform densely compacted concrete along the whole length of the pole. This gives the Rocla spun concrete pole extra strength properties, not found in cast concrete poles.

Spun concrete transmission and distribution poles offer a cost-effective solution due to small servitude requirements, simple and economic funding methods and a quicker installation turnaround time. They offer a durable, long-term solution with minimal maintenance. Rocla spun concrete poles systems are ESKOM approved and have been tested at Eskom’s Rosherville Testing Station.

A bonus for the farming community as a result of the systems small servitude requirements is that is well suited to intensive farming on high-value land.

Rocla offers a variety of pole lengths in single, jointed and double pole solutions, and Rocla’s engineering technical team are able to customize spun concrete pole solutions to meet specific customer sizing requirements as well as design and manufacture products for non- standard applications.

Spun concrete poles offer a lifespan of over 50 years.

Rocla manufactures a range of concrete pole solutions for electrification, reticulation, telecom masts, lighting, security monitoring and stadium use.