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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2021

Fredrick Simpeh, Emmanuel Bamfo-Agyei and Christopher Amoah

The new normal introduced by COVID-19 has ushered in new safety regulations that are required to be implemented by all organisations, including the construction industry…

Abstract

Purpose

The new normal introduced by COVID-19 has ushered in new safety regulations that are required to be implemented by all organisations, including the construction industry. The implementation of the COVID-19 regulations, like any health and safety regulation, is not without hindrances. Consequently, this study aims to explore factors hindering the implementation of COVID-19 safety regulations at construction sites in Ghana.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a qualitative research method using an open-ended questionnaire as a data collection instrument. The set of questionnaires were distributed by means of purposive and snowball sampling methods. The collected data were analysed by means of the thematic analysis technique.

Findings

It became evident that several factors militate against implementing COVID-19 safety regulations at construction sites. Cost of implementing COVID-19 safety measures, lack of compliance and ignorance were identified as the most hindering factors, whereas superstition, lack of personal protective equipment supply and theft of COVID-19 materials were reported by fewer respondents.

Research limitations/implications

The set of questionnaires were limited to small construction firms who were operating on site within the Central, Western and Greater Accra regions of Ghana during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the findings may be applicable to firms outside these regions because most of the small construction firms in the country share similar characteristics.

Practical implications

The recommendations proffered could help construction organisations devise strategies to overcome the barriers that hamper the implementation of COVID-19 safety regulations on site. Moreover, the findings could inform policymakers on what is required to enforce compliance on site.

Originality/value

COVID 19 is still new, and as a result, the body of knowledge is at the infancy stage. This article contributes to advancing the body of knowledge in the area of COVID-19 implementation challenges on construction sites.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 July 2021

Christopher Amoah, Emmanuel Bamfo-Agyei and Fredrick Simpeh

COVID-19 came as a surprise to the global economy and devastated many sectors worldwide, including the construction sector. Small construction firms are believed to be an…

Abstract

Purpose

COVID-19 came as a surprise to the global economy and devastated many sectors worldwide, including the construction sector. Small construction firms are believed to be an engine of growth in many developing countries, including Ghana; thus, their survival cannot be trivialized. This study explored the impact of the COVID-19 on the businesses of the small confirms in Ghana.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research approach was adopted for this study. Open-ended interview questions were distributed via email to 45 small construction firms (D3K3 and D4K4) purposefully selected. Thematic contents analysis was used to analyze 30 interview questions received.

Findings

This study has revealed that the COVID-19 has severely affected small construction firms in Ghana. Small construction firms are struggling in their finances; their cash flow/payments for work done are severely affected; they cannot secure contracts and management site efficiently. Their worker's productivity level has dwindled, which has subsequently escalated their project cost and completion time. These effects identified are significantly affecting the survival of these small construction firms.

Research limitations/implications

The study included small construction operating in the Central, Western and Greater Accra regions of Ghana during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the findings may be applicable to construction sites outside these regions.

Practical implications

The implication is the COVID-19 pandemic hugely impacts the small construction firm's business operations. Therefore, they must be mindful of the new norm (COVID-19) and institute strategies to help them overcome the challenges and sustain their businesses.

Originality/value

The study gives insight into the effects of the COVID-19 on the businesses of small construction firms in Ghana and proposes strategies that they must implement to overcome their challenges and sustain their businesses.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Christopher Amoah and Linda Bikitsha

Emerging construction companies often liquidate due to their inability to institute strategies to handle their business risks. This study investigated the skills and…

Abstract

Purpose

Emerging construction companies often liquidate due to their inability to institute strategies to handle their business risks. This study investigated the skills and strategies adopted by emerging contractors to overcome business risk factors to make their businesses sustainable.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research approach was adopted for the study. Semi-structured interview questions were used to solicit information from emerging contractors within the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Grade one (1) to four (4) in the Gauteng Province of South Africa. The data gathered were analysed using qualitative content analysis to identify the main themes.

Findings

The study's findings indicate that emerging contractors face business risk factors that impact their project execution hugely. Thus to overcome these risk factors, they implement various strategies to curtail the risk they encounter in their businesses. These strategies include; human resource management (employing experienced and skilled labour and training of staff); communication management (with other employees about set goals); financial management (effective pricing of tender documents); procurement management (ensuring materials are available as and when necessary in their projects) and quality management (ensuring effective work supervision); among others.

Research limitations/implications

Although the study concentrated on the emerging construction firms in the Gauteng Province of South Africa, the findings may be applicable in other provinces and beyond South Africa.

Practical implications

In order for emerging contractors to prevent the collapse of their businesses, there is the need to be educated on effective project risk management to identify potential business risk, the mirage associated with the notion of the construction business profitability, effective tender pricing and strategic business partnership. These strategies, if well thought, will help sustain their businesses and growth in the construction industry.

Originality/value

The study has identified the management strategies used by emerging contractors to sustain their businesses in the construction industry. Thus, the finding will guide both emerging contractors who are already in the construction business and those planning to enter the construction market.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 September 2021

Odwa Mazele and Christopher Amoah

Infrastructure development and management form the central part of the government's commitment and responsibility to deliver essential services to the communities…

Abstract

Purpose

Infrastructure development and management form the central part of the government's commitment and responsibility to deliver essential services to the communities. However, much focus has been placed on the development aspect, with very little focus on the management and maintenance aspects, causing service delivery problems. This study explores the causes of poor management of immovable municipal infrastructure in South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach was adopted; thus, a sample of 15 participants consisting of senior municipal workers, local organizations and forums in Ngqushwa Municipality in Eastern Cape were identified and interviewed. The interview data were analyzed using thematic content analysis to determine the common themes and the frequencies.

Findings

The study's findings indicate numerous causes of poor municipal infrastructure management, including lack of funding, lack of capacity, poor planning and oversight, lack of By-laws, grant dependency and corruption. The municipality's failure to address these issues has resulted in increased service protests, destruction of public property, interruption of services and loss of confidence in municipal administrations.

Research limitations/implications

Although the study concentrated on one municipality, the findings may be applicable to other South African municipalities.

Practical implications

To provide efficient services for the inhabitants to curtail aggravated service delivery protests, there is an urgent need for the municipalities to institute effective measures to manage and maintain the infrastructure that serves the communities.

Originality/value

The study has identified the factors underpinning ineffective management of the municipalities' facilities and the resultant's effects. Thus, the findings will guide the government and the authorities on the infrastructural management strategies for effective service delivery.

Details

Property Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

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Article
Publication date: 22 August 2020

Christopher Amoah, Kahilu Kajimo-Shakantu and Tanya van Schalkwyk

The concept of government reconstruction development programme (RDP) social housing in South Africa was rolled out in 1994 after the African National Congress Government…

Abstract

Purpose

The concept of government reconstruction development programme (RDP) social housing in South Africa was rolled out in 1994 after the African National Congress Government came to power when the apartheid rule was abolished. The main aim of the government was to enhance the lifestyles of the poor in society through the provision of houses that they could not afford in the open market. However, many concerns have been reported about the social housing project in terms of poor project implementation and the delivery of deliverables that do not befit the need of the end-users. This study aims to assess the flaws in the application of project management (PM) principles in the construction of these social houses.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative approach was adopted for the study by making use of closed- and open-ended questionnaires to collect data from 1,893 social housing inhabitants in Bloemfontein, Free State. Descriptive statistics and R programming language software were used to analyse the data collected.

Findings

The findings reveal that there was a profound failure in the application of PM principles in the construction of the social houses leading to the provision of deliverables that do not meet the needs of the beneficiaries. There are also poor project deliverables and lack of consultations that could have probably been prevented had proper PM systems been put in place by the government throughout the project lifecycle. This lack of proper PM philosophies has generated dissatisfaction among the beneficiaries leading to numerous complaints about the social housing programme.

Research limitations/implications

The survey was done in only RDP housing communities in Bloemfontein in the Free State Province of South Africa; however, the result may be applicable in other RDP housing programmes.

Practical implications

The empirical results indicate that the government has been providing houses with disregard to project objectives by not instituting an appropriate PM systems; hence, the main objective of providing befitting houses to the less privileged to enhance their living conditions has woefully failed, as the inhabitants do not see any improvement of their social standings after receiving the houses. This means the government might have wasted resources as a result of ineffective PM throughout the project implementation.

Originality/value

This study has identified PM flaws in the construction of the RDP houses, which have led to poor project deliverables. This study thus gives recommendations with regard to proper PM strategies for the implementation of the same or similar project in the future to achieve project objectives.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management , vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 June 2021

Christopher Amoah and Nwabisa Tyekela

The Government of South Africa, in 1997, embarked on the land redistribution programme in some communities to address the land ownership injustices suffered by indigenous…

Abstract

Purpose

The Government of South Africa, in 1997, embarked on the land redistribution programme in some communities to address the land ownership injustices suffered by indigenous during the apartheid regime. The objective of this study is to assess the socio-economic experiences of communities that have benefitted from the government's land redistribution programme in the Greater Kokstad Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employed a qualitative research methodology. The population of interest comprised two communities (Franklin and Makhoba) located within the Greater Kokstad Municipality. A purposefully selected sampling technique was used to select the relevant land beneficiaries to form part of the study's sample. An interview guide made up of both closed-ended and open-ended questions was used to solicit information from the participants.

Findings

The findings revealed that the key social-economic variables, such as the living standards of the beneficiaries, have not yet experienced much improvement. Moreover, it became evident that some socio-economic aspects such as food security, low-cost housing, basic services, wealth (land), transport, infrastructure and training had improved somewhat; although other similar aspects such as total household incomes, unemployment, general community safety and corruption had not improved.

Practical implications

It can, therefore, be concluded that all socio-economic aspects of beneficiaries' lives had not improved/changed entirely; thus, the experiences of the land redistribution beneficiaries of the Greater Kokstad Municipality represent a mixed bag of major failures and minor successes. The study recommends some policy improvement on the land redistribution programme such as an increase in the combined budgets of the land redistribution and tenure reform programmes and the revision of the proceeds paid to landowners from market value to production value, which if adopted by the government, will help address the deficiencies in socio-economic benefit of the programme to the beneficiaries in the communities.

Originality/value

The findings give an insight into the effectiveness of the government's land redistribution programme to the beneficiaries' socio-economic lives and areas where the government needs to improve to make the project a success. The paper also adds to the literature in terms of knowledge and may serve as a reference for future studies in this area.

Details

Property Management, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2021

Christopher Amoah, Tanya Van Schalkwyk and Kahilu Kajimo-Shakantu

South Africa has a large social housing scheme to provide primary housing for less privileged citizens who obtain an average monthly income of less than R 3,500.00. The…

Abstract

Purpose

South Africa has a large social housing scheme to provide primary housing for less privileged citizens who obtain an average monthly income of less than R 3,500.00. The government seeks to promote an integrated society by developing sustainable human settlements and quality housing within a subsidy system for different income groups. This study aims to examine whether quality management is applied to the reconstruction and development programme (RDP) housing programme during construction.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative survey approach was selected for this study. This involved using a close-ended questionnaire to collect data amongst 1,893 households who are currently residing in government housing units in the city of Bloemfontein, in the Free State province. The questionnaires were self-administered amongst randomly selected respondents based on their availability at the time of the visit to the above area. However, only the occupants of a household were included in the study. The data gathered were analysed by making use of R-programming software.

Findings

The findings revealed that a low level of quality is evident in the already constructed RDP housing units. Most of the inspected units were built with low-quality building materials or were not well-constructed, with derelict structural frames and finishes being evident in most houses. Respondents also indicated that they were not satisfied with the quality of some aspects of the units, such as the plaster and paint finishes, door frames built into walls and uneven floors and floor finishes. These complaints indicate that little to no quality management was applied at the time of construction or even afterwards during the latent defects period.

Research limitations/implications

The survey was limited to responses amongst randomly selected government RDP housing occupants in seven communities in Bloemfontein’s periphery, in the Free State Province of South Africa.

Practical implications

The empirical results from the findings indicate that the South African Government should ensure that quality management is applied during the housing units’ construction. This may mean that a new strategy for verifying the units’ quality will need to be developed, considering the respondents’ concerns by improving the quality of the construction materials and methods used to erect these units. The government should also consider improving contractors’ tender selection criteria to ensure higher quality construction methods, materials and management.

Originality/value

The study has identified quality challenges in constructing the social housing and stated recommendations that will address the identified issues if implemented by the programme implementers. This will help achieve the programme's objective, which is to improve the living conditions of previously disadvantaged individuals through social housing scheme.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2021

Fredrick Simpeh and Christopher Amoah

COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new norm of operation and has further presented new health and safety challenges in all sectors, including the construction sector…

Abstract

Purpose

COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new norm of operation and has further presented new health and safety challenges in all sectors, including the construction sector. Consequently, several guidelines have been developed and instituted by various countries to prevent the spread of the disease among the citizenry. This paper aims to explore the COVID-19 guidelines incorporated in the health and safety management policies of construction firms in South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach was adopted for the study. Data was collected from construction companies by means of an open-ended questionnaire. The open-ended questionnaire was distributed by using the purposive sampling technique. The collected data was analysed with thematic content analysis.

Findings

The findings show that most construction companies have incorporated aspects of COVID-19 guidelines into the site health and safety policies, whereas the majority of the companies had incorporated guidelines such as site access, handling of COVID-19 cases, induction, screening and social distancing; only a few had incorporated guidelines such as compliance, sanitisation, sick leave, wearing of personal protective equipment, audit and risk assessment, lunchtime rules and grouping of workers into the health and safety policies on site.

Research limitations/implications

Data was collected from higher grade firms; therefore, the research findings may not be applied to smaller construction firms. A study that focuses on lower grades is recommended.

Practical implications

Construction companies could use the recommendations provided to improve upon the policies developed/adopted to curb the spread of CVID-19 on-site.

Originality/value

Research on COVID-19 construction site health and safety measures are still being developed. Thus, this study contributes to advancing the body of knowledge in this evolving field.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 December 2020

Christopher Amoah and Fredrick Simpeh

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed safety measures in every industry, including the construction industry. Thus, the construction companies have instituted safety…

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Abstract

Purpose

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed safety measures in every industry, including the construction industry. Thus, the construction companies have instituted safety measures at the construction sites to curve the disease’s spread among the workforce. This paper aims to examine the challenges encountered by construction firms in implementing COVID-19 safety measures at construction sites.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research approach was adopted for this study using open-ended interview questions to solicit data from 19 construction professionals currently working on a construction project in South Africa. Content analysis with the assistance of an Excel spreadsheet was used to analyse the data collected.

Findings

The findings indicate that there are numerous challenges such as ignorance of COVID-19, the supply of poor personal protective equipment (PPEs) by contractors, lack of compliance, sanitising construction materials, difficulty in sharing tools and equipment, public transport usage by workers, superstition (COVID-19 is for a particular group of people), complying with social distancing rules, among others in the implementation of the COVID-19 safety measure at the construction site to curb the spread of the disease among the workers. These challenges have, therefore, hampered their effort to strictly adhere to the safety measures in accordance with the COVID-19 safety protocol at the project sites currently under construction.

Research limitations/implications

The interviewees were construction professionals working in the South African construction industry during the COVID-19 period.

Practical implications

The implication is that, due to the challenges faced in implementing the COVID-19 safety measures, workers on the construction site are not adequately protected from contracting COVID-19. The workers may thus contract the disease at the project sites and transmit it to their families and vice versa, which may have further implications on the spread of the disease within the communities and society.

Originality/value

The study has identified implementation challenges of the COVID-19 safety measures at construction sites of which the construction stakeholders must institute measures to overcome since COVID-19 has become part of our daily life. The study also recommends some preventive measures to the owners of construction companies to help overcome or minimise these COVID-19 safety implementation hurdles to minimise the spread of the disease among the construction site workers.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management , vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

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Article
Publication date: 31 March 2020

Christopher Amoah, Kahilu Kajimo-Shakantu and Tanya van Schalkwyk

The majority of South Africans were deprived of participation in the socio-economic activities in decades of the apartheid rule. The ANC government after coming to power…

Abstract

Purpose

The majority of South Africans were deprived of participation in the socio-economic activities in decades of the apartheid rule. The ANC government after coming to power in 1994 thus promised to improve the livelihood of people deprived of social intervention benefits by the apartheid regime through the provision of social housing. This research, therefore, sought to investigate if the expectations of the beneficiaries of the social housing scheme have been met by the government.

Design/methodology/approach

The research approach adopted for this study is a quantitative survey. Questionnaires made up of closed-ended and open-ended questions were used to solicit data from 1893 randomly selected government social housing inhabitants in Bloemfontein. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data collected.

Findings

The results indicate that the government has been able to meet the expectation of the social housing recipients in some aspects such as improved living conditions as compared to the shack structures, good sanitary surroundings and a comfortable environment. However, the inhabitant's expectations such as a safe environment, houses with good finishes and fittings, good roads network and adequate houses to accommodate the family sizes have not been met. More so, where respondents acknowledged expectation achievement, they were benchmarking the conditions to the informal settlement (shack) environments rather than being actually happy with what they currently have. Thus, meeting the expectations of the social housing recipients by the government is currently a myth rather than a reality.

Research limitations/implications

The survey was limited to only government social houses inhabitants in communities around the periphery of Bloemfontein, the capital city of the Free State Province of South Africa.

Practical implications

The implication from these findings is that the government has been providing social houses that do not meet the expectation of the recipients since 1994. The government should, therefore, appraise the social housing scheme thoroughly and reconstitute the delivery strategy in order to supply houses that meet the need and expectations of the beneficiaries and thereby fulfilling the goal of improving the living standards of previously disadvantaged individuals through the social housing scheme.

Originality/value

The study has come up with recommendations that if followed by the government supply houses that meet the need and expectations of the beneficiaries and thereby fulfilling the goal of improving the living standards of previously disadvantaged individuals through the social housing scheme and make the programme sustainable.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

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