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[FOUNDED 1930]



Cementile Products was founded by Messrs. W H Bucholtz, C S Turnbull and G M Mallet and incorporated as a Company on 13 November 1930 with factory premises in what was formerly an old mill, at 70 Kimberley Road, East London.

These were the entrepreneurs of yesteryear who had confidence in the Border and the motivation and courage to start a new venture at a time when the country was in the throes of great economic depression and vast unemployment.

The first entry in the books at this time records moulds and patterns taken over from Mr C S Turnbull for £300. A tile making press was imported from Italy and Mr Turnbull, the Managing Director concentrated on tile making at the Kimberley Road premises which was to be the Company’s place of manufacture and business for the first forty years of its existence.

Mr Turnbull retired in January 1946 when the company and its business was taken over by the brothers Rudolf and Emil Salzwedel who immediately set out expanding the business with additional products including storm-water pipes and a wide range of Garden Ornaments. The Salzwedel brothers, with the hardworking nature which characterized their German Settler forefathers, ran the business successfully for 23 years until 1969 when they retired and sold out to the present owners.

By this time the company was manufacturing a wide range of precast concrete products for the building and civil engineering industries as well as for Municipalities and Government bodies.

With Mr Emil Salzwedel assisting the new owners in a consultative capacity, the company expanded rapidly until space requirements dictated the move to its present 16 Hectare site at Mdantsane East in the Ciskei where the majority of the company's employees reside. This move took place over two years commencing in January 1971 and, at about the same time, the company acquired additional premises in Frere Road, Vincent to serve as a sales outlet as well as a town depot for the convenience of customers.

In 1990 a new office block and showroom as well as an additional large casting shed was constructed – the old office block being converted to hold consumable stores and to serve as a laboratory and offices for research and development.

The history of Cementile Products thus spans sixty years of service to the Building and Civil Engineering trades and to the community at large in East London and on the Border.

The company is very appreciative of the support it has received over the years from the public, the authorities and the business communities of East London and surrounding areas, Border, Transkei and Ciskei and looks forward to successful participation in the continued growth of the region in the future.


The Company's main objective is to produce a wide range of concrete products with the accent on quality and service.

The constant aim is to conform to the high specifications and standards laid down by Industry as well as those of the Civil Engineering Profession. Products are subject to regular testing on our own testing apparatus and certain items are sent to Civil Engineers or to the Portland Cement Institute for testing purposes where this is necessary.

"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot
make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who
consider price only, are this man's lawful prey."

[John] Ruskin – 19th Century

Ref: Cementile Products Group, sales brochure, 2013.

Copy of brochure provided by Ian Thompson of Cementile Products; submitted by William MARTINSON, September 2013.

Wool warehouse for Boere Saamwerk Bpk, East London, Eastern Cape

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

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Wool warehouse for Boere Saamwerk Bpk: 1955. East London, Eastern Cape - Contractor precast panels