female owned legacy

Carving out their own path, while honouring a family legacy that spans over four decades, Elgin Rust and Karin Johns (née Rust) are taking over the reins of the retaining wall business conceived 45 years ago by their father, Holger Rust.  

The dynamic duo is not only driving forward the company’s success, but also redefining the role of women in the construction and retaining wall industry. 

Rooted in innovation 

The story of Terraforce is rooted in the vision and entrepreneurial spirit of Holger Rust. In 1979, he began importing gabions, a conventional method of retaining walls, into South Africa. However, he was recognising the need for a more cost-effective, practical and aesthetically pleasing solution. 

female owned legacy

Terraforce founder, Holger Rust, with daughters Karin Johns and Elgin Rust.

Rust pivoted towards developing innovative earth-retaining solutions that would meet the unique demands of the South African landscape. 

Growing up surrounded by the construction business, Rust and Johns found their calling, inheriting their father’s passion for innovation and excellence. 

The future is female 

female owned legacy

Karin Johns and Elgin Rust are redefining the role of women in the construction and retaining wall industry.

As women in a (still) predominantly male-dominated industry, Rust and Johns faced numerous challenges along the way. Yet, their resilience and unwavering commitment to quality allowed them to overcome barriers and earn respect within the construction community. 

Their journey serves as a testament to the vital role that women play in the built environment. 


female owned legacy

In a market where cheaper, less durable replicas are finding their way onto sites, Rust and Johns caution the market to ensure that the product specified, and the one used on site, is indeed a genuine Terraforce product. 

Citing the technical support, research, testing and engineering excellence that the brand is known for, Rust and Johns affirm the commitment of this heritage company to the local construction industry.  

Rust and Johns are dedicated to honouring their father’s legacy, while charting a new course for the company’s future. Their story serves as an inspiration to aspiring female entrepreneurs and professionals, proving that with vision, discipline, determination and a willingness to challenge the status quo, women can thrive in the construction and retaining wall business. 

Heritage brand, Terraforce, celebrates 45 years and new female leadership to catapult it into the future.  

For more information, contact Terraforce: 

Tel: +27 21 465 1907 

Email: info@terraforce.com  

Website: www.terraforce.com 

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