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Quality assurance in low-cost housing construction projects in the metropole
In 1994, the South African government introduced low-cost housing construction through Reconstruction and Development Programme. The programme was intended to improve the quality of lives of the country's citizens. Many communities across the country benefited from the programme. However, concerns regarding the quality of low-cost housing produced through this programme have been raised. The programme has produced low-cost housing with many structural defects such as gaping wall cracks, roof leaks, unstable roof, water penetration and seepage. To protect the beneficiaries of low-cost housing against the inferior workmanship, unsuitable material and inappropriate construction methods, building standards and regulations have been introduced. The low-cost housing inspectors have been given power to enforce and ensure that the building standards and regulations are followed and met by low-cost housing contractors. Regardless of the measures, the programme still produces low-cost housing built with many structural problems. Hence, the researcher has conducted a research to assess the effectiveness and adequateness that inspection process contributes to quality assurance in low-cost housing construction projects in the Metropole. The findings of the research provided an overall low-cost housing inspectors' experience in the construction industry, education, training, knowledge, roles and responsibilities and the perception of the low-cost housing inspectors on the current housing inspection. The primary conclusion of this research suggest that the low-cost housing inspectors lack training in housing inspection, are not aware of their roles and responsibilities and lack knowledge in building standards and regulations. This resulted to failure to enforce and ensure that the contractors comply with building standards and regulations during the low-cost housing construction projects in the Metropole. The primary recommendations are to establish a standard continuous training and education for low-cost housing inspectors. Provide courses and training to improve the level of knowledge of building standards and regulations by low-cost housing inspectors and review the roles and responsibilities of low-cost housing inspectors and establish awareness of them among the affected parties.