Modern Quarrying

Great Karoo Crushing (GKC) was formed in 1999 as a joint venture between Haw & Inglis (H&I) and the then Worcester-based Prima Klipbrekers (Afrimat) to fulfil the material requirements of H&I road construction contracts. Dale Kelly visited GKC’s Chris Tait at H&I in Durbanville to find out more about the wholly-owned subsidiary and for an update on some of the projects it is involved in.

GKC became a wholly-owned subsidiary of H&I in 2002. Starting off with two crushing plants, it has expanded to six semi-mobile multi-stage crushing plants, two mobile crushing plants and two screening plants.

Great Karoos Chris TaitGreat Karoo Crushing’s Chris Tait heads up the plant and equipment side of the business (Dale Kelly).

Tait heads up the plant and equipment side of the business, while his partner Jacques du Randt is the crushing specialist. “By handling the plant side in-house, we are able to get a better price on our crushing products. We also service everything here on site which includes the generators for the various sites. We have about 12 crushing or building sites on roads and bridges and I have my mechanics and service mechanics on each site for mechanical maintenance. We also maintain all of our crushing plants.”

According to Du Randt, GKC’s crushing plants have crushed 621 715 77 t this past year, and he says that if everything goes well, “we will reach the 1 000 000 t mark again this financial year. Since the first crushing contract in April 2001, GKC crushing has now crushed 14 360 352 46 t, which is some 866 000 t a year.”

During the year, the company moved and commissioned three crushing plants. Current crushing projects include:

  • Ngceleni Quarry: GKC is operating and maintaining the Blue Rock Quarry plant, which was bought by Blue Rock Quarry during the past year. The plant produces 5 000 t of aggregate on average, which is sold to the local communities. The foreman is Ruben Sindelo.
  • Libode Quarry: GKC is crushing various products for Blue Rock Quarry for commercial sale as well as supplying Triamic’s Libode site with concrete aggregates. On average, the plant produces 10 000 t of aggregates, which are sold to the local communities. The foreman is Carlo Dyason, and both quarries are managed by Morne Petrus in terms of technical and client issues. Ben Jankie is GKC’s administrator for both quarries.
  • Majola Tea Quarry: Crushing for the Majola Tea project has been completed (308 590 t) and GKC is currently crushing for the Libode II project from the same quarry (119 303 t). On completion, the plant would have crushed 426 893 t and it is envisaged that all crushing will be completed shortly. The foreman is Ben Burger.
  • Jeppes Reef Quarry: Crushing was completed in June 2017 (609 190 t) and the plant is currently undergoing a comprehensive maintenance before the next project. The foreman is Henry Jafta.
  • Hamburg Quarry: Establishment of the two crushing plants started in October 2016 and the plants were commissioned in March 2017. These plants are supplying the Birah project with crushed material and to date have crushed 224 762 t of the required 1 321 067 t. This is by far the largest crushing project undertaken by GKC, and is scheduled for completion in August 2019. The foreman is Jaco Hanekom.
  • Rheebok Quarry: Establishment of the crushing plant commenced in February 2017 and the plant was commissioned in June last year. The plant is situated in AfriSam’s Rheebok Quarry and is supplying crushed G1 and G5 for the Abbotsdale and Hopefield projects, along with occasionally assisting AfriSam by crushing G2 and G5 for its commercial clients. To date the plant has crushed 134 342 t of the required 644 543 t. The crushing project must be completed in April 2019

Du Randt says that the foremen listed above are only some of the key people involved in completing a successful crushing operation. “Management would also like to acknowledge each and every employee not mentioned here, who have contributed to the projects. Without them working tirelessly in the least ideal conditions on a construction site, GKC would not be able to do what we do.”

Kalbaskraal project

The Kalbaskraal project is located on the N7 Section 1, between Atlantis South (26,3 km) and Kalbaskraal (39,1 km) north of Cape Town.

Talking further about H&I’s business, Tait says the Cape-based construction company was founded in 1984. “It is a leading independent contractor operating throughout South Africa, and has recently expanded its focus to include certain SADC countries.

“With GKC being responsible for fulfilling H&I’s significant plant and crusher equipment requirements, we are able to ensure that H&I has the capacity to tackle large road construction projects, often in remote areas.

“About two years ago, we had eight mobile plants running but we have downscaled slightly and also moved into the commercial sector,” he tells MQ. “We have two projects in Umtata that are crushing commercially for one of our sites and we are also going to crush commercially in King

Williamstown. We are hoping to start up another crushing plant in Botswana close to the border and this will be our fourth commercial plant.”

Some of the projects underway include:


GKC is crushing for the Birah project on the R72 between Port Alfred and East London. The H&I contract started in November 2016 and is due for completion in April 2020. The contract consists of the upgrading of 35 km of road between the Birah River and the Openshaw Village on the R72. To date H&I has constructed 25 bypasses (ranging from 120 m to 1 200 m) for the accommodation of traffic and therefore could only start building main road layer works in November last year.

Estimated final roadwork quantities are as follows:

Fill: ± 300 000 m3

SSG: ± 190 000 m3

Subbase: ± 180 000 m3

Basecourse: ± 87 000 m3

Surfacing: ± 515 000 m3


This project is located on the N7 Section 1 between Atlantis South (26,3 km) and Kalbaskraal (39,1 km) north of Cape Town. The project comprises the construction of a new carriageway and the upgrading of the existing carriageway for the N7 over a length of about 12,8 km, between the new Atlantis South / Philadelphia Interchange on the southern limit and north limit just north of Kalbaskraal rail line crossing.


The contract commenced on 9 January 2017 and has a contract period of 36 months. The project is located on the N7 Section 1 between Leliefontein (39,1 km) and Abbotsdale (49,1 km) close to Malmesbury, north of Cape Town. It comprises upgrading the existing single carriageway to a dual carriageway with 2 grade separated interchanges at Abbotsdale and Tierfontein. It includes the construction of minor and divisional roads to provide controlled access to adjacent properties, in the order of 12,0 km. Before any construction could commence, 10 km of Telkom optic fibre had to be rerouted from the RHS to LHS of the new carriageway alignment. These optic fibre lines traverse all the way back to Atlantis and enter the sea at Melkbos, and then run up the East Coast under the sea to the UK.

Tait says that although the group focuses mainly on new roads, bridges and resurfacing, it has also moved into structural concrete. “We entered the renewable energy market in 2013 and have to date completed turbine wind farms on the N7 near Vredenburg (47), a 43-turbine wind farm just before Port Elizabeth and three at Komga, north of East London.

“We have also moved into the marine construction environment with the rehabilitation of keys, construction of small craft harbours and large jetties and reservoirs,” he adds.

H&I’s expansion and diversification of construction services over the past 33 years has led it to market-leading status, but with innovation and entrepreneurship deeply ingrained into its fabric, the company is certainly not resting on its laurels.

Some of the structures currently underway by H&I include:

  • Bonnievale: The work included the fixing of 10 m x 350 mm steel strengthening plates to the soffit of the existing bridge around the top section of existing piers, jacking up the existing bridge and replacing all the bearings and finally widening the existing deck to both side; all of which was done over the environmentally-sensitive Kogmanskloof River. Although not a big contract in volume or in monetary terms, it was technically challenging with the key to success being detailed planning and adaptability to change. The bridge jacking operation was carried out by H&I and the team lead by Robert Dawson and Stephan Nel is looking at a planned completion date of March 2018.
  • N7 Hopefield Interchange: The scope includes reinforced earth-retaining walls, three post-tensioned bridges and an agricultural underpass. Structural work got underway in September 2017 with bulk excavation for the earth retaining system of all three bridges almost complete. The team is currently busy constructing the walls of the agricultural underpass. The Hopefield team is lead by Nur Minkie and Keith Hunter.
  • N7 Leliefontein – Abbotsdale: The scope of the project includes five bridges, four agricultural underpasses and four in-situ culverts. The team lead by Jean-Pierre Fourie and Robbie van Zyl set off at a flying pace in May 2017, with the structures available to them.
  • Libode II: The team is currently ahead of the structures programme. The site comprises:

1 overpass 62 m length

1 overpass 84 m length

1 river bridge 80 m length

1 pedestrian bridge 51 m length and ramp and staircase

10 underpasses

490 t of rebar and 4 000 m3 of concrete is the makeup of these structures

The team is well ahead of the underpasses programme, managing to have completed half the underpasses in nine months with some 17 months remaining to complete the remaining half. The team is also on target with the bridges programme.

The Western Cape-based contractor has made a name for itself for its expertise in projects of significant size and complexity over the years; spanning areas of road construction, road rehabilitation, infrastructure, mining and building construction. And while the business’s core focus in South Africa and the neighbouring region revolves around national and provincial arterial roads and urban highways, H&I’s flexibility across building construction projects facilitate urban infrastructure and select institutional, industrial, commercial, residential and other building projects.

Report by Dale Kelly, and photographs, unless otherwise credited, courtesy the Haw & Inglis newsletter, The Benchmark.

Contact Modern Quarrying

Title: Editor
Name: Munesu Shoko
Phone: (011) 622-4770

Title: Advertising Manager
Name: Bennie Venter
Phone: (011) 622-4770
Fax: (011) 615-6108


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