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RDP Brick-Making Machine

History Lesson

During the mid-1990's, after the transition in political landscape, South Africa faced several challenges. One of these issues was the question about how to create sufficient housing for all previously disadvantaged citizens. At this point in time, there were many informal settlements around the country with abodes constructed from scrap sheet metal, sign boards and various acquired bindings. 

Around this decade, the factory had opened up a new foundry facility to cast aluminium. Intricate parts were now available for fabrication and were being used for a range of paving brick footplates. Other foundry-made parts also made it impossible to replicate by informal brick machine manufacturers who had begun to copy the successful range of brick-making machinery Doubell offered.

These two scenarios created the rise of the RDP brick machine. "RDP" is the acronym for Reconstruction and Development Programme, which was a frequently-used buzzword in the 1990's. It went back to the Jumbo MK1 roots, favouring a more versatile machine for use by a multitude of groups with housing in high demand.

Unfortunately, whilst the machine itself was a robust brick-maker, the production output made it less desirable than the Jumbo MK2 even despite its ease of manufacturing scalability. The Jumbo MK3 was also gaining momentum as a high-production machine and entrepreneurs found more value to be had there instead of the RDP.

What could have been a real game-changer for South Africa and its housing crisis became a less-desirable product for the individual buyers. This, coupled with the newly implemented BEE focus, made the marketing & mass-sale of the brick machine to government a misfire of good intentions. The RDP had one revision but was taken out of production just two years after its inception in 1996.

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