Anecdotal evidence indicates that there is a backlog in the pre-tertiary school infrastructure in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The purpose of this paper is to assess the adoption of alternative building technologies (ABT) for pre-tertiary educational infrastructure delivery with a view to providing empirical evidence that could guide policy responses towards its wider adoption.
The study adopted a mixed methodology approach. This comprises a triangulation of a questionnaire survey and interviews. In total, 100 participants were randomly selected from 182 built environment professionals namely quantity surveyors, architects and engineers (electrical, mechanical, civil and structural) from the Department of Roads and Public Works (DRPW), who are currently involved in the Eastern Cape School Building Program (ECSBP). The questionnaire survey was supplemented by semi-structured interviews conducted with four top government officials (three from the Department of Education (DoE) and one from DRPW) who were also part of the questionnaire survey. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics and phenomenological interpretation respectively.
The key findings showed that the level of adoption of ABT for pre-tertiary school infrastructure in the Eastern Cape province is primarily influenced and explained by perceptions that ABT offers inferior quality products compared to the conventional method, and limited awareness of its benefits.
The study provides useful insights into the implications of the limited awareness of ABT as a an alternative technology for educational infrastructure delivery and policy responses towards its wider adoption and environmental sustainability.
Empirical evidence from this study indicates that the main motivation for the adoption of ABT is the limited government’s budget to cope with school infrastructural backlog, while environmental sustainability benefit is only secondary. Nonetheless, the realization that the backlogs in the provision of school infrastructure has resulted from sole reliance on the use of the conventional method is an indication of the potential that the adoption of ABT holds for minimizing of the backlog.
Bonisile, N., Kajimo-Shakantu, K. and Opawole, A. (2019), "Assessment of alternative building technologies (ABT) for pre-tertiary school infrastructure delivery in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 30 No. 5, pp. 1152-1170. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-06-2018-0111
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