South Africa: PPC (formerly Pretoria Portland Cement) launched a news and cement services 'online service desk' on 11 June 2013. The digital service follows hot on the heels of a mobile cement calculator app that can help calculate the amount of cement required for a specific job and offers real-time advice on how and when to lay concrete, based on local weather conditions.
PPC's said that it felt 'an obligation' to provide its customers (and those of the South African cement industry in general) with the information after it pulled its financial support from the Cement and Concrete Institute in April 2013. The CCI has since been dissolved. PPC had accused the CCI of being outdated and no longer able to supply the services that it, as a producer, required from an association. PPC's exit was quickly followed by AfriSam and Lafarge.
Aside from its digital services, PPC will also provide financial and technical support to universities to help develop SA's building materials and civil engineering industries. It will also expand its cement and concrete testing services, as the institute closed its testing laboratory years ago.
The CCI has since been re-established as the not-for-profit organisation the Concrete Institute (CI). It is headed by former CCI managing director Bryan Perrie, who stated that the CI is no longer representative of the whole South African industry. It is strongly linked to Sephaku Cement, which itself is majority-owned by Nigeria's dominant producer Dangote Cement.