The Royal Show Grounds in Pietermaritzburg, site of the annual Royal Agricultural Show, were earmarked to become a KZN quarantine facility for housing suspected COVID-19 patients. As mentioned by Minister Patricia De Lille: “One of the key tasks for the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, has been to identify state-owned buildings which could possibly be used as quarantine sites in all 44 districts and eight metros.” The use of this space in Pietermaritzburg would allow for an estimated availability of 2,141 isolation beds, and an approximate 479 beds for quarantine purposes.  

It has been stated on numerous occasions, by President Cyril Ramaphosa, that the health and safety of South Africans is number one priority. The purpose of this site is to serve as a “stepping-stone” – a space where suspected COVID-19 cases from congested communities can be tested, and if necessary, isolated pending their results.

Four of the existing halls within the show grounds were selected for the project, but they all required a revamp in preparation for the intended use. Sika’s Regional Sales Manager, Mervyn Naidoo, specified Sika products for the project, which were accepted by the KZN Department of Health. So, it was with great pride and pleasure that Sika were able to join forces with the Department of Health, and West Side Trading Contractors, to be involved in such a project. Sika was tasked with the responsibility to provide the relevant products to redo the floors. They had to be flawlessly smooth and in meticulous condition to cater for the beds and specialised health care machinery.  

Contractor West Side Trading’s focus area was the actual revamping of the floors within the halls, using the Sika products. The revamp had to be done within a limited time frame to make the space available soonest. The halls required 4,600 m2 of a 2mm self-levelling epoxy floor coating, and Sikafloor®-263 SL ZA, in light grey, was used. It is a solvent-free, epoxy resin-based floor coating with the intended purpose of self-smoothening floors. Additional floor repair required the application of Sikafloor®-200 Level, a self-levelling cementitious screed with both waterproofing, and a high level of hardness and strength qualities. As the floors were required to be seamless, the expanded joints were covered with the specified Sikagard-720 Epocem. Thereafter, in order to build ramps to level the floor, Sikadur®-43 ZA, a three-component repair and filling mortar was applied.

On conclusion of the project, President Ramaphosa took a ‘walkabout’ at the Royal Show Grounds and was more than satisfied with the results. The KZN MEC shared his sentiments and was furthermore most pleased that said results were achieved in only 12 days. To initiate and develop a project of this magnitude proves that our government cares, and every citizen should too. We need to work together to preserve the lives of our fellow South Africans. It was an honour for Sika to be a part of this project.  Sika definitely cares.