Time Management in the KZN Department of Education Infrastructure Projects.
Mabaso, Siphesihle Ntokozo.
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Social infrastructure has the capacity to escalate the growth of the economy and improves the lives of the residents in a social context and certifies that the fundamental infrastructure is well exploited. Growth in the economy and improvements in the social standing of the community may be pivotal in dealing with the factors in the South African economy that pose a great challenge, which may include among others, unemployment and human capital shortages in infrastructure delivery. Literature has shown that governments around the world as well as locally invest in infrastructure delivery and this helps to provide the people with access to all the tools to meet their needs and to promote social welfare. The challenges faced by South Africa with regards to infrastructure delivery are not mainly because there is no funding available, at times it is because the sector departments do not have adequately skilled personnel and other resources to deliver infrastructure. The main provincial infrastructure departments include health, education, public works, and roads and transport. In accordance with the medium-term strategic framework and the National Development Plan, the South African government has prioritised expenditure on social and economic infrastructure. There is also a continuing drive to fund programmes and policies aimed at improving the standard at which the money allocated for infrastructure is spent and the capability of government to design and deliver major infrastructure developments. It is therefore imperative to research ways in which existing social infrastructure can be developed without wasting financial resources, because substantial financial investment has gone into the development of social infrastructure, hence the focus on project time management. This study purposes to examine the effectiveness of time management tools and techniques used by the KZN Department of Education on school construction projects and to make recommendations of how these can be enhanced to support projects towards completing on time. Explanatory sequential mixed method was used, and it involved collecting quantitative data from the Infrastructure Reporting Model (IRM) as well as the project and programme management team so that an in-depth analysis of the data can be done. A desktop study of 20 projects completed in 2016 and 2017, which are new schools and upgrades and additions projects were utilised to determine the effectiveness of time management tools and techniques. A questionnaire was also compiled, circulated to the project and programme management team, and analysed using quantitative methods. A total of 100 questionnaires were distributed and 69 were received back and could be used for the study. Therefore the response rate is at 69% This was followed by 5 qualitative interviews directed at programme managers and project managers within the KZN Department of Education and the Implementing Agents. The time frames of completed projects were analysed and possible improvements to the existing tools and technique highlighted. It is important to investigate the effectiveness of time management tools because the construction of schools is social infrastructure and the South African Government has invested substantial financial resources in order to provide quality education facilities. Data was obtained from the KZN Department of Education, because it is one of the departments that reports project information on the IRM and it is one of the departments with the largest infrastructure budget allocations in the province. The study found that there are a number of time management tools and techniques that are available in the construction industry, which the department could make use of in the implementation of their construction projects. These tools and techniques are detailed in the literature review. The study further found that 95% of the projects in the desk top study sample suffer from time delays and do not complete on time. The findings of the questionnaire analysis further confirmed that a majority of projects suffered from time delays by way of a 100% agreement by the respondents to the fact. It was further found that there are time management tools and techniques implemented in the department however there is room for improvement in the implementation in order to ensure that the projects complete on time. This is substantiated by 72 % of respondents who agreed that time management tools and techniques were implemented in the department. Interviews with members of the professional team also found evidence that time management tools and techniques although they were in place, they were not adequately implemented. Other findings from the interviews were that there were no incentives in place for contractors or implementing agents when they completed projects early or on time. KEYWORDS: Time management, Social infrastructure,Infrastructure spending, Time overruns