KaiKai is a Richtersveld project from which the community
History of property development elsewhere in South Africa
has shown that communities do not benefit automatically. A
project like KaiKai must plan and design the benefit to local
We have formulated rules to create benefit. One of the rules
is that only natural stone procured in the Richtersveld region
may be used in KaiKai. Natural stone imported from India,
Italy or outside our region will not be acceptable.
Lifestone is a stone quarry close to Steinkopf, 90 kilometres
from Port Nolloth. It is a company kick-started by funding
from the Northern Cape Government and is currently endeavouring
to place its product in the broader South African market,
with the intention to eventually export.
Its most important product is an attractive quartzite tile
manufactured from quartzite slabs mined on the Steinkopf Plateau.
Quartzite is a durable mineral found in layered formations
of varied thickness. The quartzite is usually decorated by
Mother Nature with fossil-like patterns and is locally known
as “picture stone.”
Lifestone cuts these quartzite slabs into square tiles. KaiKai
and Lifestone have now developed a product called KaiKai Quartzite,
which is a by-product of the production of these tiles.
Only KaiKai Quartzite will be used on the exterior walls
of KaiKai homes.
During November and December 2005 we experimented with the
KaiKai Quartzite by building a sample wall attached to the
KaiKai sales office. We also had an area of approximately
40 square meters tiled with Lifestone quartzite tiles.
Our purpose was to judge the aesthetics of the quartzite
on an appropriate scale and to gauge the market’s reaction
The reaction was overwhelmingly positive leading to quite
a few immediate property sales. We are now designing a show
house which will incorporate the KaiKai Quartzite.
In the meantime KaiKai and Lifestone are in the process of
developing a range of products to be used on the interior
walls and floors of houses. More about this in the future.
Hand-packed KaiKai Quartzite
Late afternoon view of wall specimen to be introduced into
KaiKai architecture with quartzite tiles in the foreground.
Shawn Carstens (right), MD of Lifestone and Percy Paulsen
(left), sales manager
KaiKai sales office in the early morning fog
close-up of KaiKai wall