Cheetah cement quality under spotlight

03 August 2018 Author   Eliaser Ndeyanale

Cement produced by new kid on the block, Whale Rock Cement, under the Cheetah Cement brand, is still to be certified by the Namibia Standards Institution (NSI) or any other international accredited certification body, potentially putting many projects at risk of collapse. Cement produced by new kid on the block, Whale Rock Cement, under the Cheetah Cement brand, is still to be certified by the Namibia Standards Institution (NSI) or any other international accredited certification body, potentially putting many projects at risk of collapse. 

Production at the new US$350 million cement plant, a joint venture between Chinese and Namibian partners, started in April.
At full capacity, Whale Rock Cement will produce 1.2 million tonnes per annum bringing the country’s cement production capacity to 2.2 million tonnes per annum.
Spokesperson Manfred /Uxamb admitted in an interview with the Windhoek Observer that the company’s cement has not been certified.
He justified the decision to sell cement without certification by saying that even Ohorongo Cement also initially started trading without being certified.
“We are in the process of getting certification from NSI, we are discussing with them. Even Ohorongo cement, they started like that and got their certification later,” /Uxamb said.
Ohorongo cement spokesperson, Esther Mbathera, however denied that her company started operations without being certified. 
“We acquired an international certificate and received NSI certification at a later stage,” she said.
Ohorongo cement has been certified by SABS, NSI and VDZ an international scientific and technical service provider for the cement and building materials industry.
Construction Industries Federation of Namibia (CIF) warned industry players against using cement products that have not been certified. 
CIF said if adherence to specification is not sufficiently monitored, it could lead to increased maintenance cost or future collapse of a structure resulting in financial losses, possible injury or deaths.
“This can have legal implications and it is important for all contractors to take note that although Namibia has no local standard and regulations for all products, contractors are still bound by the requirements of any standards specified in the agreement for a building or construction project,” CIF said.
NSI spokesperson, Joanette Eises, told the Windhoek Observer that all cement produced or sold locally is required to meet the requirements as stipulated in NAMS/EN 197-1 through a certification process, attesting to product conformance.
She, however, noted that currently there is no law in place that regulates cement factories.
“This means that Cheetah Cement can still manufacture cement and do business until that law has been put in place,” Eises said. 
The Namibian Standard Act of 2005 states that the certification must  be  done  in  accordance with  the  relevant  Namibian  standard, or the  relevant international  standard  or  guide  issued  by  the International Organisation for   Standardization or the International Electro technical  Commission.

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