Informal¹ small brickyards in the Free State townships are enhancing local economic development

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 11
  • Abstract:

    English: This article explores the role that small scale informal brickyards can play in providing bricks to the local housing market and in doing so create jobs for the local people. Most of these bricks are burned in kilns. The authors look into the possibility of introducing the manufacturing of raw earth bricks to these existing brickyards. Earth has a long tradition in South Africa (SA) and around the world. Many buildings such as mosques and houses were built with earth. Today an estimated 30% of the world’s population still lives in buildings made of earth. This is also the case in many townships around Bloemfontein. The poorest people live in self made earth houses. The production of raw earth bricks can play an important role in the development of the local economy. Case studies provide examples of the impact that such small and micro enterprises have on development. The impact on the environment and land use factors of the location of the brickyards are discussed. A scenario is sketched in which the economic impact of earth bricks are compared with other bricks like burnt and cement bricks and cement blocks. Some suggestions on how these brickyards can be supported by local government and planning policy to make them sustainable are discussed.