Chryso Group products for Mndwaka Dam

09 October 2017

The Chryso Southern Africa Group supplied a wide range of products for the construction of the Mndwaka Dam, the highest and largest Rubble Masonry Concrete (RMC) dam yet constructed in southern Africa.

Both Chryso SA and its subsidiary, a.b.e. Construction Chemicals’ products were used to build the new dam on the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast. Mndwaka Dam – which provides water for 63 remote rural villages – was awarded a Commendation in the Concrete Society of Southern Africa’s 2017 Fulton Awards.

AfriSam, which supplied the cement and also formulated the concrete mix for the construction of the dam, incorporated CHRYSO Plast Omega 136 water-reducing plasticiser in the mix the cement producer supplied to the main contractor, Zana Manzi Joint Venture. Chryso SA’s Eastern Cape Area Manager, Patrick Flanagan, says the admixture has in the past often successfully been employed in concrete mixes by AfriSam.

Nick Pike, a.b.e. Construction Chemicals Technical Sales Consultant in East London, says the company supplied the following range of products for the building of the multiple arch-buttress dam: brixeal, duragrout, epidermix 344, durarep FR and epidermix 318.

Mndwaka Dam, which is almost 30 metres high with a 30 000-m3 volume – is situated in a remote location close to the Hole in the Wall, between Elliotdale and Coffee Bay. The dam’s construction in such an isolated setting called for careful planning in terms of design, construction and materials procurement.

Zana Manzi Joint Venture, said construction of the dam provided employment to  residents of villages surrounding the dam and will be a source of water to about 40 000 people living in relative isolation. “The Mndwaka Dam has successfully illustrated the applicability of RMC technology for use in the rural context, and provides a successful precedent for future application in similar circumstances across southern Africa,” the contractors stated.

“RMC dam construction offers advantages in terms of lower cost but it is the high utilisation of labour, with associated skills development, and the insensitivity to floods during construction that make this particular type of dam so attractive in rural southern Africa,” the JV added.

Zana Manzi JV built the dam for the Amathole District Municipality. The principal agents were Sontinga Consulting Engineers in association with ARQ Consulting Engineers.

More information from Elrene Smuts, tel 011 306 9000/

Read the latest issue

Latest Issue