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Monitoring Labour Creation : Monitoring Labour content of items in labour intensive construction projects

Brandsma, J. and Groefsema, J.W. (2007) Monitoring Labour Creation : Monitoring Labour content of items in labour intensive construction projects.

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Abstract:This research developed an easy to implement and to use method, which will enable the Expanded Public Works Program to capture the correct labour content figure of labour intensive marked items in the Bill of Quantities of a labour intensive construction project. The method was designed with the use of practical information from the Gundo Lashu project, Limpopo province and with the help of design conditions derived from international literature about monitoring & evaluation systems and labour intensive construction practices. The goal of this research is dual. “To design a system by which LC of random LI projects can be planned, steered and evaluated in different phases of the construction.” And, “To give recommendations on how to implement this M&E system in an effective, efficient, reliable and consistent way.” Firstly, a literature study was conducted to find design criteria in order to correctly measure and adjust the labour content for individual items. Secondly, international literature on productivity measurements and calculation methods for labour content were analysed. Thirdly, a fieldtrip was conducted to find the productivities and labour content for items in the Gundo Lashu projects. At the same time the organisation around and the relationships within the Gundo Lashu projects were analysed with the use of a stakeholders’ analysis. Fourthly, the information about productivities, design conditions and organisation of the Gundo Lashu project was used to create a method that is able to measure the labour content of a labour intensive marked item. Conclusions The calculation of general labour content for a labour intensive marked item proved undoable due to variations in project conditions, available resources, restrictions in time & costs and the project organisation. The Gundo Lashu projects did not provide any productivity rates other than the ILO standards. No database was kept to improve productivities or to document agreed productivities. This shows the need for an incentive to keep track of these numbers. Therefore it can be concluded that each project needs to be able to design its own labour content goals. It is clear that the use of tenders has to be integrated in this method as it is an official planning document for the labour intensive project and because it includes all agreements between the contractor and the client. Several methods were developed but the method to have the contractor fill in a minimum labour content proved superior to the other designed methods. This method gives incentives to the contractor to improve his labour content, which is important to the goals of the Expanded Public Works Program. It has the advantages that it is integrated in the construction processes, it can be implemented easily, it can initiate an industry of labour content techniques and acts as planning and steering mechanism for clients. Its disadvantages are that it needs a competitive market and competent contractors. Recommendations The method has to be implemented together with preliminary targets. These targets will provide shadow labour figures that can help clients to evaluate their tenders. This has to be developed further in order to create feedback loops between practice and the calculation outcome of the consultant. More research has to be done on the reward system used and on the best tender system for labour content. Also a system should be researched that can measure labour content quickly and correctly with the minimum possibility of fraud. A first step in this direction has already been taken, but needs to be developed further. When the recommendations are taken into account this method can work in practice. It provides EPWP with correct information about the labour creation in labour intensive construction projects.
Item Type:Internship Report (Master)
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
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