AS 2009 Volume 16 Issue 1

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 12 of 12
  • ItemOpen Access
    The calculation of acceleration costs on construction projects
    (University of the Free State, 2009) Maritz, Tinus; Schutte, Andries
    English: A lack of understanding often exists between contractors, client organisations and consultants as to what may, and what may not, be included in acceleration claims on construction projects. The aim of this article is to create a better understanding of the complexity of acceleration claims. It should also lead to new insights into claim procedures and the substantiation of acceleration costs. The impacts and delays which may result in acceleration claims on a project were analysed as they form the basis for establishing liability in terms of a particular contract. Matters of principle that are applicable to acceleration claims, regardless of the form of contract recommended for use in the South African construction industry, were also examined. The findings indicate that there are significant differences on a number of aspects regarding the calculation of acceleration costs on construction projects between contractors, consultants and employers/developers. The majority of the respondents, however, were of the opinion that of the various methods used for calculating acceleration costs, the time impact analysis is most frequently applied, but that the modified total cost approach is the method most suitable on projects where there is a significant increase in the scope of work, something that occurs regularly on construction projects.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Education, training and mentorship in pursuit of maturity in quantity surveying
    (University of the Free State, 2009) Verster, Basie; Hauptfleisch, Dries
    English: The aim of this article is to determine whether professional quantity surveying firms are ready to meet the challenges facing them in respect of their responsibility towards the changing professional environment in terms of standards, education, professional development and training. Analysing the maturity of firms may assist the quantity surveying profession to establish its position and strategies. Results on project management maturity in South Africa, based on a research project conducted by the University of the Free State, in conjunction with the Wirtschafts Universität in Vienna in 2006 forms the basis of the article as well as the development of an education, training, mentorship and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) model to promote quantity surveying professional maturity. Training in the quantity surveying profession in pursuit of maturity and excellence should focus on core functions of the quantity surveyor; competence required for registration; the expected services or outcomes that the profession believes it should be able to offer the market, and narrowing the gap between academic and experiential learning components by encouraging professionals to enhance their skills through CPD. Generating standards, following the accreditation policy of the South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession (SACQSP) and research facilitation were found to be important aspects for education in the quantity surveying profession in pursuit of maturity and excellence. A structured mentorship programme that addresses proactive development towards maturity should be introduced for the profession. The Education, Training, Mentorship and CPD model to achieve quantity surveying professional maturity, developed by one of the authors, may assist in bridging the gap between the providers of formal education and the providers of quantity surveying service to clients towards professional maturity.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Towards inclusion: a critical appraisal of legislation and the South African Standard, Part S
    (University of the Free State, 2009) Karusseit, Catherine; Gibberd, Amanda
    English: Since the demise of apartheid in 1994 South Africa has undergone tremendous transformation, both political and societal. Evidence of this is the constitution, which was adopted in 1996 and is considered to be one of the most progressive in the world. Its essence is rooted in the qualities of equality and diversity. Yet, despite the inclusive nature of changes made to the constitution and related legislation, the South African Standard (SABS 0400), in particular Part S ‘Facilities for disabled persons’, remains a discouragingly exclusive document. This article documents the inclusive nature of South Africa’s new constitution and related legislation against which context Part S of SABS 0400 is critically appraised. Research is conducted by means of a literature review, an interview with the South African National Standard (SANS) technical advisor and questionnaires; thereafter, the pertinent documentation is critically analysed. Finally, recommendations are made in an endeavour to achieve a built environment that is rightly inclusive.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Knowledge management as a performance enhancing tool in construction project management in South Africa
    (University of the Free State, 2009) Talukhaba, Alfred; Taiwo, Adekunle
    English: Knowledge management is concerned with the development and exploitation of the knowledge assets of an organisation, with a view to furthering the organisation’s objectives. The vital role that knowledge management processes play in the performance of business organisations has been the basis of several studies - a number of companies operating in various other industries have proven the need for, and performance enhancing benefits of, adopting knowledge management processes in one form or another. Taking these accounts into consideration, this article attempted to test the hypothesis that effective knowledge management use would constitute a performance enhancing tool in construction project management enterprise in South Africa. The research survey was thus carried out among registered professional construction project managers in South Africa. The levels of awareness and use of knowledge management systems among construction project management professionals in South Africa was analysed. This revealed a mostly ‘medium to high’ level of awareness and use. However, the Project Efficiency Review (PER) approach to performance measurement showed limited correlation between knowledge management use and enhanced performance in construction project performance. Other performance measurement approaches such as Metrics, Economic and Market Value also showed limited correlation. Two causative factors for this situation are construction project scope changes and schedule delays, which are seemingly pervasive in contemporary South Africa. As such, further research is recommended to establish more appropriate ‘objective’ performance measurement approaches that would be able to accommodate these complexities. This would facilitate the making of a business case for knowledge management use in construction project management.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Residential property development and financial ratio analysis: a South African perspective
    (University of the Free State, 2009) Le Roux, Felix; Lowies, Braam
    English: Financial statements are read, analysed and interpreted by a diverse group of interested parties, among whom are owners, directors and managers who read financial statements to utilise the information for planning and control purposes. It is imperative that they uncover underlying or evolving trends and/or other salient features in order to assess the business’ progress towards achieving its strategic goals (as determined through its planned objectives). Financial ratio analysis promises to be a simple but effective way of analysing financial statements for interpretation. It is, however, not a ‘complete’ method of analysis as it is directed at measuring financial objectives only. The ‘traditional’ method of analysis and interpretation of financial statements evolved over a period of approximately a century (mainly due to major developments in management concepts). Thereafter industrious researchers explored the possibility of effecting changes to these existing methods, formulae and uses of financial ratios to explore their predictive abilities. It was assumed to be an inherent attribute of ratio analysis. Although there is no real consensus, the conclusion is that failure-or-success-prediction-models suffer from poor predictive abilities. Therefore this study was directed at the principles of applying the ‘traditional’ approach to financial ratio analysis. The references to the ‘modern’ models, techniques and their applications are made for contextual purposes only. The aim of this study is twofold. The first aim is to determine whether residential property developers apply financial ratio analysis in analysing the financial information contained in their financial statements. Developers indicated that they do use ratio analysis for this purpose. The second aim is to illustrate how important the acquisition of knowledge and understanding of the basic principles and techniques of financial ratio analysis is to non-accountants (such as the average property developers and built environment professionals) in applying financial ratio analysis in their decision-making. Section 8 in this study serves as guideline to practitioners, based on results and conclusions of the empirical study of the article. There is no internationally accepted theoretical framework or standard for applying and using financial ratio analysis to assist managers in the assessment of business performance. This should not create the perception that ratios are merely an accumulation of tools and techniques. Each ratio is an integral link in a chain of financial ratios. Managers in the built environment should be encouraged to gain knowledge and apply financial management tools and techniques to enhance their financial management expertise. Non-financial managers and directors can no longer avoid financial management responsibilities by deferring these to the financial professionals. Rather, managers and directors need to adopt an attitude of the buck stops here.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The potential role of value management in environmental impact assessment: a Maseru case study
    (University of the Free State, 2009) Bowen, Paul; Hill, Richard; Mabote, Relebohile; Keith, Cattell; Edwards, Peter
    English: Environmental impact assessment (EIA) studies are undertaken to assess the anticipated environmental impacts of proposed projects. Such studies typically address biophysical and socio-economic issues. Using a case study approach, the effectiveness of the EIA process adopted for a landfill project in Maseru, Lesotho, is reviewed. It was found that the Maseru environmental impact statement (EIS) was not fit for the purpose as it did not facilitate effective decision-making. This failure was to a large extent due to inadequate briefing by the client and ineffective study implementation and review procedures. It is proposed that value management (VM), a value-adding technique mainly applied in the manufacturing and construction industries, could improve the effectiveness of EIA.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Client attitude to health and safety – a report on contractor’s perceptions
    (University of the Free State, 2009) Musonda, Innocent; Haupt, Theo; Smallwood, John
    English: The purpose of this article is to present findings of a preliminary survey on contractors’ perceptions of clients’ attitude relative to health and safety (H&S) implementation in the construction industry of Botswana and Southern Africa. A questionnaire survey was conducted on construction projects to establish clients’ attitude towards H&S. Interviews were also held with contractors’ representatives on selected construction sites in and around Gaborone, Botswana. Findings from the survey include: clients do not perceive H&S to be very important on construction projects; the majority of clients do not address H&S adequately in contract documentation, and H&S is rarely a major item on the agenda of progress meetings. Findings also included that clients are not fully committed to H&S implementation. The client sets the tone for H&S culture. Client attitude is therefore very important for H&S performance improvement as all stakeholders are compelled to act in line with the client’s values. Various researchers have recognised the importance of the client to H&S performance improvement. The extent to which clients are involved in H&S implementation has, however, not been researched extensively, especially in Southern Africa. This article therefore provides an insight into the clients’ attitude towards H&S and explains the reason for the current state of H&S in Botswana’s construction industry.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Why do South African women choose careers in construction?
    (University of the Free State, 2009) Haupt, Theo; Madikizela, Kolosa
    English: This article analyses the factors influencing the choices of careers in construction by South African women. Literature was reviewed on challenges facing women in construction which contribute to their choices of careers in a traditionally male-dominated industry such as construction. Questionnaires were conducted with multiple samples that included construction organisations, construction students and professional women working in construction. The study found that women had a role to play in the construction industry and that they could build successful careers within the sector. However, this was not easy given the various barriers to entry such as gender-based discrimination against them, the harsh work environment of the construction, the lack of sufficient knowledge about the industry itself, and the lack of successful women in construction as role models. There was evidence of discrimination and sexual harassment. All these factors impacted negatively on the choices of careers in construction by South African women. The study stimulates debate about how the low representation of women in construction can be addressed and how construction careers for women can be promoted and encouraged. This article makes a contribution to understanding the factors that have marginalised women in a male-dominated industry and provides some indication of approaches to attract more women into the sector. Consequently, the resource pool will be enlarged given the prevalent acute skills shortage in the industry
  • ItemOpen Access
    The perceived economic impact of the City of Johannesburg’s storm water attenuation policy on private property developers
    (University of the Free State, 2009) Buys, Fanie; Aldous, Mike
    English: Over recent years storm water attenuation policy has become a contentious issue for the property development community, both locally and internationally. Increased urbanisation has forced municipal authorities to reconsider the role of storm water management in an evolving urban landscape. It is within this context that the legislative support and municipal policy for storm water management in the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) has been considered, with direct regard to the perceived economic impact of storm water policy on private property developers. Factors considered included the cost, risk, and time factors of policy compliance within the development process. Research of international policy implementation issues in countries with welldeveloped storm water management frameworks formed the basis for the design of a questionnaire to evaluate the response of local private property developers to the relevant issues. Results of the research indicated that developers had a below average level of knowledge with regard to the storm water management policy of the CoJ, as well as of the underlying supporting legislation. The results of the survey further indicated that developers were strongly opposed to the loss of developable area, but indicated a limited financial impact of the current storm water attenuation policy. The risk element inherent in incorporating attenuation facilities within a development was identified as being low, with little perceived impact, while indications highlighted the inclusion of attenuation facilities as a significant contributing factor in the delay of approval and acceptance of new developments. The additional maintenance costs associated with attenuation facility inclusion were indicated to be of a low level of importance to developers.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Kommunikasie-volwassenheidsmodel vir die meting van bourekenkundige kommunikasie en kommunikasie-instrumente
    (University of the Free State, 2009) Berry, Frank; Verster, Basie; Zulch, Benita
    English: Although quantity surveyors lay their claim to the construction industry for over a century there still exists a need for further scientific analyses with reference to the quantity surveyor’s communication capabilities and communication instruments as presented in the industry. This article aims to establish the determinants of a communication maturity model with respect to the communication capabilities of the quantity surveyor. The proposed most important determinants used were disclosed through research on maturity models and project management undertaken by the University of the Free State in collaboration with the Wirtschafts University in Vienna, Austria in 2005/6; the final results were issued in 2008. The results of the provisional survey with regards to the determinants of communication maturity show that respondents were positive with respect to the quantity surveyor’s communication in general. This can therefore have a positive influence on the construction industry with continuous advantages for the property development environment. The survey results also indicate that the verbal, written and contractual communication capabilities of the quantity surveyor are experienced positively. ‘Contractual validity’ as an element of the contractual communication capability of the quantity surveyor was indicated as the most positive element. The respondents indicated that the instruments of ‘estimation’ and ‘final accounting’ are the most important communication instruments. Furthermore, the respondents’ assessments regarding clarity and understandability of the instruments ‘final accounts’ and ‘payment advices’ were rated the highest. A model with the most important determinants identified for effective communication has been proposed. The model can be used by quantity surveyors to measure the maturity of quantity surveying communication and communication instruments in the construction industry.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The impact of storm water on Langenhoven Park: an integrated approach can make a difference
    (University of the Free State, 2009) Steenkamp, Dienie
    English: Langenhoven Park is a suburb situated north-west of Bloemfontein, Mangaung. It started as a garden suburb but is increasingly characterised by town house developments. The increase in impervious surfaces contributes to the amount and speed of storm water runoff. The storm water runoff negatively affects the groundwater levels. As an arid country, South Africa cannot afford to lose water, albeit on the surface or as groundwater. Recent literature regards the treatment of storm water at source as the best solution. This article examines the role of legislation in dealing with storm water and how to treat storm water as an asset, and not as a problem. Storm water in Langenhoven Park needs special attention with regard to all the hard surfaces in recent residential developments.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Managing risks associated with the JBCC (principal building agreement) from the South African contractor’s perspective
    (University of the Free State, 2009) Othman, Ayman; Harinarain, Nishani
    English: Construction is a complex and risky business. It is a time-consuming process involving a multitude of organisations with different objectives and skills. In addition, increasing client expectations coupled with the technological development of materials and equipment made the construction industry subject to more risks than any other industry. Contracts are essential tools for organising the relationship between involved parties and managing associated risk. For years the South African construction industry had a very poor reputation in managing construction risks. In order to improve the image of the South African construction industry and to assist contractors to develop their proper risk management strategy, this article aims to manage the risks associated with the Joint Building Contracts Committees (JBCC) Principal Building Agreement (PBA). A research methodology, consisting of literature review, questionnaires and interviews, is designed to achieve four objectives. First, to review the topics of contacts and risks in construction projects and the JBCC (PBA). Secondly, to develop an innovative framework to enable contractors to identify, quantify and classify risks associated with the JBCC (PBA). Thirdly, to evaluate the developed framework from industry’s feedback in order to improve its performance. Finally, to create a correlation matrix of contractor’s risk sources.