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Perception on limitations of mentorship programme for emerging contractors against its effective implementation in the Western Cape
Lufele, Sikhumbuzo Christian
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This study evaluates both the Contractor Development Programme (CDP) mentorship programme and the emerging contractors’ personal limitations in achieving a successful programme implementation. The objectives of the study were as follows: (i) to ascertain whether the perception of limitations of the mentorship programme differs in accordance with contractor’s profile; (ii) to ascertain whether there is any statistically significant difference between the profiles of contractors with regard to the perception on mentorship programme limitations; (iii) to ascertain whether the perception of limitations of the contractors’ personal limitations differs in accordance with contractor’s profile; (iv) to ascertain whether there is any statistically significant difference between the profiles of emerging contractors with regard to the perception on personal limitations. The study adopted a quantitative research method which was preceded by an exploratory study. The study targeted emerging contractors in the Western Cape. The exploratory study was undertaken at the initial stage of the study to gain more insight in terms of the impact of limited contracting opportunities for emerging contractors on the Western Cape CDP mentorship programme. The data was collected by means of conducting semi-structured interviews to purposely selected emerging contractors, and was subsequently transcribed and analysed using content analysis. With regard to the main study, the questionnaire survey with closed-ended questions was distributed to the population of 16 emerging contractors with CIDB grade 3 and 5. The descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the main study. The study has uncovered a number of gaps in terms of the implementation processes of CDP mentorship programme. In regard to the mentorship programme limitations: The findings have revealed the use of ineffective recruitment and selection methods, the lack of training projects for contractors to tender, the lack of MOUs between the banks and the Western Cape CDP to ease access to credit, the lack of continuity in terms of mentoring services, the failure to evaluate contractors when they enter the mentorship programme, failure to monitor contractors’ development during mentorship, the failure to evaluate contractors when they exit the mentorship programme. In regard to the emerging contractors’ personal limitations: The findings have discovered the lack of tendering skills among contractors, lack of skills in interpreting construction drawings, the lack of planning for construction projects, the lack of estimation, and the lack of negotiation skills with material and plant suppliers. The research concludes by recommending that the Department of Transport and Public Works should review the entire mentorship programme. This will be achieved by appointing a business development practitioner to re-design and re-structure the entire mentorship programme so that it can be able to attract and select suitable contractors while meeting the governments’ objective of developing and promoting of emerging contractors in the construction industry.