The Rocla Thuthukisa Sanitation Initiative (TSI) has launched its Community Cast system, which sets out to empower local communities, entrepreneurs, contractors and SMMEs to become innovative manufacturers and suppliers of quality concrete toilet structures.
André Labuschagne, Product Development Manager, Rocla said “The communities that urgently require toilet units are often found in the rural and outlying areas. Access by delivery vehicles carrying traditionally-manufactured precast toilet units is extremely difficult. Added to this is the high cost and lack of concentrated volumes that affect the viability of establishing traditional manufacturing facilities.
“Most of these areas also have no infrastructure or access to electricity, so we have developed the TSI in order to overcome these obstacles while at the same time creating community empowerment.
“Thuthukisa means ‘to share’ and it is with this philosophy in mind that we developed the Community Cast toilet unit that can be simply manufactured by local community entrepreneurs or SMMEs and be ready for use within two weeks. The resulting waste material can be recycled into practical items for everyday use.”
Experimentation with a concept called ‘pancake casting’ led Rocla to offer a real on-site manufacturing capability that requires only a small piece of land with no infrastructure needed.
The process involves casting one item on top of another in frameless single-use moulds of a similar size in a planar form. The end product requires stiffening on the edges by forming an angle or adding a stiffening rib.
The panels are continuously cast one on top of another until typically full stacks of four toilets or twelve pit covers are reached. The product is left to cure for two weeks, but new castings can continue to be made during the curing process at other locations using the same tools.
The company’s patented textile sandwich concrete is utilised in the planar panels, giving the lightweight panels a hard-wearing strength and finish.
The stiffening columns, which also serve as vent columns or service conduits, are tied together using Rocla’s G Lock system which utilises proprietary shoulder head screws that fit into specially made receiving sliders.
Vertical jointing is achieved using the Rocla H-strips which allow the attachment of various bathroom-related items. The final toilet structure can accommodate a zinculum or polyethylene door, fitted with Rocla’s heavy duty lock system.
The simple process enables community members or SMMEs to manufacture concrete toilet units exactly where they are needed. They are lightweight enough to be easily transported to their final site or can be manufactured right there where they will be erected.
The Community Cast project was recently demonstrated in Qumbu, the OR Tambo District Municipality (DM), Jane Furse in Sekhukhune DM, Thornhill in Chris Hani DM and at Mooiplaas in the Amathole DM.
“In all cases the communities were surprised and then elated when they realised that with this system, once training has taken place, the community would be truly empowered to independently manufacture their own high-quality toilet units.”