The recycled plastic road paving trial was successfully completed in Cliffdale, KwaZulu Natal.

SA company paves the way with plastic road

In a ground-breaking, market-leading initiative, Shisalanga Construction – a majority owned subsidiary of Raubex Group Limited – has paved a South African road using a locally recycled plastic compound as part of the formula ingredient in the asphalt.

During August, the South African recycled plastic road paving trial was successfully completed in Cliffdale, KwaZulu-Natal, in the presence of representatives from SANRAL (The South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd.), the Department of Transport and eThekwini Municipality, who witnessed this watershed occasion.

Two critical challenges exist in our country, one being an abundance of plastic waste and the other, damaged roads.

“Shisalanga has combined these two challenges to produce the maiden recycled plastic paved road in Africa,” says managing director Deane Koekemoer.

“We have been working on this project for some years now and while the technology is in use in India, parts of Europe and in the United States of America, no one has successfully applied the solution in our country, until now.

“This process is not an easy one,” continues Koekemoer. “I am incredibly proud of our team on achieving this milestone with limited international support. We are proudly South African and part of one of the largest road construction companies in the country – Raubex. The successful completion of this trial is a forerunner of great things to come from Shisalanga and we expect to extend this product throughout the country.”

Shisalanga’s technical manager, Wynand Nortje, confirms: “Shisalanga is the first South African company to successfully complete an application of recycled plastic road by using a binding agent that has unique properties and through this, creating a usable and durable solution for the road construction industry.”

The type and quality of the recycled HDPE plastic is critical in ensuring that the binding process is successful. The recycled plastic is readily available from South African recyclers and provides an appropriate use in this road construction application.