Custodianship of operations that produce sand and aggregates, key components of concrete, is critical to the development of South Africa’s construction industry.
Fortunately, small-scale surface mines lacking some of the resources needed to ensure day-to-day compliance with legislation and other statutory conditions are turning towards industry association, ASPASA, to fill the voids.
While ASPASA is strongly focused on the mining industry, its association with other professional bodies, such as The Concrete Institute (TCI) and others, can add as much value and is the reason why ASPASA is a long-time associate member of the institute.
The association’s work, in collaboration with all levels of government, private construction sector and labour over the past 30 years, has earned the respect of the industry as well as recognition from all quarters including its overseas peers. It has also led to a great deal of interest from other surface miners, which led to the change of its constitution to admit mines other than just the sand and aggregate quarries it was founded to represent.
ASPASA’s membership includes mines in the salt, dimension stone, diamond, clay and other sectors. The association also provides services aligned with affiliated onsite plants such as readymix and processing plants. When necessary, the association protects and lobbies on behalf of the surface mining industry and provides appropriate training and literature to its members through its various committees.
Some of the key services that contribute to the ever-growing popularity of the association and that assist its members to provide the highest levels of service to the concrete industry include:
Membership of ASPASA requires operations to undergo two compulsory audits in health and safety, as well as environment to ensure compliance with legislation and statutory requirements. These measure the mine’s compliance and provides professional feedback to improve its performance where required. ASPASA also provides additional audits to measure compliance with standards and legal requirements relating to blasting and quality management among others.
Workshops provide an important interface between the association and its members in order to update and upskill the industry to respond to changing market requirements. The workshops also serve to provide explanations of best practices that improve members’ business practices and profitability. Legal updates and interpretations are also provided in the form of workshops and are an important tool to ensure compliance. Legal liability training is also provided.
Chaired and attended by specialists in various fields, the committees investigate, debate and interact with stakeholders and the industry to gain knowledge and disseminate information about topics as diverse as explosives risk assessment, trackless mobile machinery legislation, road construction and others.
In terms of global competitiveness, ASPASA is a long-established member of the Global Aggregates Information Network (GAIN), which represents surface mining industry associations across the globe from China to the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. It provides a valuable platform for the sharing of information, emerging trends and best practices.
These services make membership of ASPASA a necessity to ensure mining operations are compliant with all relevant legislation, operate on a level playing field, while also being able to access and implement best practices from around the world as they become available.