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SA cement giant PPC was once a blue-chip darling of the JSE — a "must-have" stock in every local investment portfolio. Not too long ago PPC produced roughly one in three bags of cement in the country, while its status as one of the biggest cement-makers in Africa lent it a prestige that superseded its humble origins, as De Eerste Cement Fabrieken Beperkt, back in 1892.

In recent years, however, things have started to go badly awry...

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