Construction defects - the causes

A “mismatch” between construction tenders and the contractors awarded these projects appears to be at the heart of increasing dissatisfaction by infrastructure clients, the Construction  Industry Development Board (CIDB) said on Monday.

According to findings of the 2014 CIDB report on Construction Industry Indicators (CIIs), infrastructure clients were dissatisfied with about 16% of the work carried out by contractors, while around 18% of projects surveyed had levels of defects that were regarded as “inappropriate”.

“Client dissatisfaction is most often a result of appointing a contractor that is not suitable for the work. The CIDB advocates that functionality should be taken into serious account when evaluating government tenders, taking into consideration the bidder’s technical capacity and ability to execute a contract,” CIDB CEO Mzwandile Sokupa said in a statement.

While around 85% of South Africa’s construction tenders were evaluated on the basis of functionality, according to the CIIs report, the recommendations of government’s Tender Committee were overruled in the award of around 12% of public sector projects – with the overruling of tender recommendations highest in Limpopo.

Moreover, according to the report, contractors themselves were not satisfied with the performance of the client on around 20% of projects surveyed.

This included dissatisfaction with the quality of tender documents and specifications, management of variation orders and delayed payments.

“Of particular concern is that only around 40% of payments to contractors were made in 30 days or [less] after invoicing – which is the typical contractual payment period.

“Delayed payments are one of the biggest challenges facing the contracting sector and, in particular, the small and medium-sized contractors – which often results in the bankruptcy of a contractor,” Sokupa said.

 

Source : Engineering News 18/2/2015

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