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Africa's first plastic road being realised in Jeffreys Bay

Oct 23, 2019
Africa's first plastic road being realised in Jeffreys Bay

Jeffreys Bay - After months of preparation, the Kouga Local Municipality and its partners on Tuesday started laying Africa's first eco-friendly road incorporating waste plastic at Jeffreys Bay.

Kouga Local Municipality Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, and Gareth Nel, from MacRebur SA, the company that perfected the plastic pellets to be used in the top layer of the road, were on site at Woltemade Street on Tuesday morning to wish the contractor well.

The layering is expected to be completed on Wednesday.


In August, contractors installed new stormwater pipes as the Kouga Municipality prepared to build Africa’s first eco-friendly road.

“What will make the roads different is the top layer, which will include recycled plastic.

“The testing of this product, developed by the Scottish company MacRebur, was recently finalised,” the Mayor said then.

The ground-breaking initiative is a joint project by Kouga Municipality, MacRebur SA and two Port Elizabeth-based civil engineering and construction companies, SP Excel and Scribante Construction.

The partnership was facilitated by Vicky Knoetze, a DA MPL, who first introduced the idea of using waste plastic to solve some of South Africa’s road problems to the East Cape Provincial Legislature in 2017.

Hendricks said that what MacRebur offered, was an enhancement of the asphalt mix traditionally used for the top layer of roads.

"Plastic waste is processed into pellets and used to replace a large component of the bitumen in a conventional asphalt mix.

"It is estimated that up to 1,8 million plastic bags can be used in just one kilometre of road,” he said.

“The result is a road that is stronger, more durable and easier to maintain.”

He said Kouga was looking forward to the potential benefits of the trial.

“Should the trial be successful, we would like to see a factory being built locally to produce the pellets, which had to be imported from Scotland for the trial.

“This would mean work at the factory, as well as a means for communities to make money by collecting and selling plastic waste.”

He said the trial would be done at no cost to the municipality, with the respective partners set to foot the bill.

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