Kedibone Refilwe Tsiloane and Kekeletso Pulane Tsiloane from Sasolburg, Free State are bringing something brand new to South Africa - a plastic brick.
The plastic bricks are particularly good at absorbing noise and are thinner and lighter than traditional bricks. The EcoArena blocks are 10% stronger than conventional cement blocks. They are also more cost-effective when it comes to transport and construction.
"The bricks look and feel like conventional cement bricks and they can be cemented and plastered like any other brick," said Kedibone.
EcoArena bricks are manufactured by grounding plastic waste is into small plastic particles that are mixed with a sand and cement mixture to create a durable and water-resistant brick. One of the most significant projects the sisters have worked on is the construction of low-cost housing and the biggest order was delivered to a hardware store in Northern Cape.
Mindful of the extremely high youth unemployment rate in the country, the two sisters are currently employing 15 other young people.
According to Kedibone, one of the challenges that they faced and are still facing, is that sometimes they are not being taken seriously.
“People question whether we would be able to deliver the work.
"We only started with about R5 000, which we used for the prototype. Then the rest of the money came from my pocket since between me and my sister I was the one who was working," she said.
The Department of Trade and Industry has allocated R5 million for people to fund prototypes and Kedibone urges people to do as much research as possible in order for them to gain more knowledge and to understand the industry better.
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