AS 2006 Volume 13 Issue 2

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  • ItemOpen Access
    The practice of construction management
    (University of the Free State, 2006) Smallwood, John
    English: International literature indicates that supervision, communication, motivation and leadership are the top ranked skills required for practicing construction management — the discipline of managing a construction business and/or project(s). Whereas operational and middle management require more skills and knowledge in operational programming, labour forecasting and organisation, top management requires more skills and knowledge in competitive tendering, costing and estimating, and analysis of project risk. The research reported on in the article constitutes phase two of the study ‘The practice of construction management’, which follows two previous surveys conducted to determine knowledge areas and skills required, and their frequency of use. The first study determined that all construction managers (CMs) need: to be able to work with people; to integrate the efforts of people, and technical expertise. Other findings include that the top four subject areas are: programming; quality management; productivity, and industrial relations. The second study determined that administration, oral communication, controlling, co-ordinating, decision making and leadership are skills ranked among the top ten for all levels of management. Other findings include that contract administration, contract documentation, cost control, building methods and quality management are subject areas ranked in the top ten positions for all levels of management. The article concludes that the most frequently used subject areas reflect the focus at the respective levels of management: top — the management of the business of construction; middle — the management of a number of projects and operational — the management of specific projects. The article concludes that construction management undergraduate programmes need to focus on management, and more specifically, the management of resources within defined parameters, along with the requisite technical expertise.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The development and assessment of an integrated skills development model for emerging construction contractors
    (University of the Free State, 2006) Lazarus, Spencer; Hauptfleisch, Dries; Verster, Basie
    English: Many strategies for emerging contractor development that are based on instruments such as targeted procurement have generally failed to empower emerging contractors because they are implemented without well-defined skills transfer frameworks. The sector continues to be regarded by construction clients and suppliers as a high commercial risk and this presents further barriers to meaningful development. Related to this is the lack of clear policy targets against which to measure the effectiveness of contractor support programmes. Furthermore, the majority of current support initiatives lack an integrated programme strategy. Interventions tend to be characterised by inadequate preparations, poor needs assessments and an inadequate understanding of the development needs of emerging contractors. This is evident by discontinuances, unstructured training approaches, ad-hoc mentorship, inadequate monitoring and evaluation that promote unsustainable skills transfer. The Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) has put in place a training and mentoring programme that would result in the development of emerging contractors into sustainable business enterprises. The impact of the programme may be measured to determine the overall effectives of the programme in delivering developed and sustainable contractors to the construction industry. The above mentioned factors identified lead to the following problem that is addressed by the research: The problem statement addressed by the study is how to develop a holistic approach towards integrated skills development for emerging construction contractors, leading to a model that can be managed with quantitative and measurable outcomes.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Impact of the South African construction regulations as perceived by project managers
    (University of the Free State, 2006) Smallwood, John; Haupt, Theo
    English: International research indicates that construction clients and built environment consultants such as project managers, designers, and quantity surveyors influence and can contribute to construction health and safety (H&S). This article focuses on the influence and contribution of project managers only. Although they are not required to undertake any specific interventions in terms of the South African Construction Regulations (SACR) promulgated in July 2003, project managers by virtue of their unique contributions in the form of managing design delivery, the integration of design and construction, and their monitoring of construction, need to ensure that many of the requirements of the SACR are met. A perception-based survey conducted among member practices of the Association of Construction Project Managers (ACPM) determined the following: the traditional project parameters in the form of time, cost, and, quality are still perceived to be substantially more important than H&S; the manifestations of the impact of the SACR are wide spread, namely in the form of increased consideration for / reference to H&S by project managers and general contractors, increased H&S awareness, and impact of H&S on various project parameters.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Payment certification problems: who is to blame?
    (University of the Free State, 2006) Buys, Fanie
    English: Problems with payment certificates in the construction industry have always been a popular topic which has attracted wide attention, but especially nowadays with complex and fast-track projects. As these problems often result in expensive disputes between the Employer and Contractor it was necessary to investigate what the problems are and who is to blame for these problems. A survey was done amongst twenty one Contractors and Quantity Surveyors to get their views on these problems and the results showed that there are a fair number of Contractors who inflate their payment claims, that the Employer is not always paying the Contractor within the stipulated time and that Contractors are of the opinion that the Quantity Surveyors valuation is not a true reflection of the work done.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A macro analysis and GIS application of urban public space closures in Cape Town, 1975 - 2004
    (University of the Free State, 2006) Spocter, Manfred
    English: Citizens in Cape Town have been claiming urban public space for private use since the 1970s. This article endeavours to trace the extent, identify patterns and investigate the processes utilised by citizens in the claiming of urban public space in the city. This article aims to add to the growing corpus of knowledge on the erosion of urban public space by focussing on the micro, erf-sized level, by seeking to understand the history of the erosion of urban public space as entrenched in legislation and to highlight the impact that individual citizens, not major real estate developers or large organisations, can have on the shaping of urban public space within the urban landscape.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Community participation — a necessary element of community development projects
    (University of the Free State, 2006) Khan, Zainu; Haupt, Theo
    English: This article presents a number of important findings of a research project evaluating the importance of community participation in infrastructure delivery in the Western Cape. There is an emerging trend in South Africa that recognises that development is much more than the expansion of income and wealth and that economic growth is not enough. The focus is increasingly on human development. Participation in the development process must allow the members of the communities to use their own views and convictions to address specific conditions and problems prevailing in their community. In addition, participation must be acknowledged as a voluntary process that influences the direction and execution of community development projects in contrast to communities merely being consulted or receiving project benefits. The emerging participatory paradigm suggests two perspectives. The first consists of substantively involving local people in the selection, design, planning and implementation of programmes and projects that will affect them. The second is to make more continuous and comprehensive feedback an integral part of development activities. This paper reviews community participation and its importance in the delivery of development projects.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The effectiveness of construction project briefing as an interpersonal communication process
    (University of the Free State, 2006) Bowen, Paul; Cattell, Keith; Michell, Kathy; Kabayadondo, Elby
    Englis: The main purpose of construction project briefing is to effectively transform the needs of the client from an abstract form into a concrete form. Research indicates a clear link between effective briefing and client satisfaction with their resultant buildings. This article documents the findings of a study concerning the effectiveness of construction project briefing as an interpersonal communication process. A case study approach was adopted. The sample included clients, building users, architects, quantity surveyors and project managers. The main finding was that there are no methodical procedures in place in the early stages of briefing. Conceptually, the various project participants were found to have a generic understanding of what ought to be included or excluded from briefing and debriefing, but there appears to be significant gaps between theory and practice.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Construction management experiential learning: views of employers and University of Technology academics
    (University of the Free State, 2006) Fester, Ferdinand; Haupt, Theo
    English: Academic curriculum change in the main is driven by policy, industry or faculty. In South Africa, several policy initiatives are directed at influencing changes to the curriculum. The White Paper on Transformation of Higher Education (Republic of South Africa. Department of Education, 1997) stresses the challenge to redress past inequalities and to “transform the higher education system” to serve a new social order, to meet pressing needs, and to respond to new realities and opportunities. Institutions serving the higher education sector have a major role to play in providing the technological and business capability to underpin modern industrial and services development (Frain, 1992). Construction management education at South African Universities is delivered via either a co-operative learning programme or a full academic programme. This article presents findings of research into the views of employers and academics of value that experiential learning adds to the construction management programmes.