PPC says that its outlook on township economic development is anchored in the business's ongoing efforts to empower the community to experience a better quality of life.

"We understand that South Africa's highly concentrated core economy may seem far removed from the challenges of confronting township entrepreneurs," says PPC. "As detailed in the National Treasury's Cities Support Programme: the wider economy frames the competitive context in that township entrepreneurs operate as it has a direct consequence for the nature of opportunities within township operations."

"The production of bricks and cement products no longer needs to seem like the sole task of corporates. As an African operation, PPC has seen a positive impact on small enterprises in the rest of Africa, thereby reducing the transportation and overall costs of products manufactured / provided to the townships," adds PC.

"For this reason, we maintain that improved access to raw materials and education on the right product for purpose to brick makers has strengthened the township economy," the company says.

"We understand that the challenge for local entrepreneurs is to understand this competitive context and to find ways to differentiate their products, to add value in some way — including from convenience — and to identify niche opportunities not already taken," adds PPC.

According to the company, in practice, this is where the successful action in townships can be found; the thriving brick makers in Venda are one example, with consumers willing to pay for building materials from a hardware store like SB Hardware, Mathacs Civils and Munzhedzi Brickyard.

"Our people understand what they can do with their hands to achieve their home development goals. Skills such as brick making and roofing are passed down from generation to generation, giving them confidence in their ability to sustain their families," says PPC.

"To live up to our brand ethos of 'Strength Beyond', PPC's brick-making workshops have vastly improved the skills of local brick-makers, enabling them to understand the science of accurate mixing of all the necessary materials to produce great quality bricks, thus running their brick-making business efficiently and profitably," PPC concludes.

For more information, visit www.ppc.africa