This paper is based on research carried out in order to investigate whether the practice
of mediation in the South African construction industry is consistent with the generally
accepted principles of the mediation process.
<br>Despite debate and differences, as well as the continuous evolution of the mediation
process, the process is underpinned by definite and accepted principles, processes,
practices and objectives. Principles that find resonance throughout the literature are
that mediation is voluntary, non-binding, flexible, informal, confidential and, although the
process involves a third party, it is the parties who remain responsible for the outcome.
The role, functions, skills and techniques employed by the third party, or mediator, are
specific to mediation and require training and practice for success.
<br>The main finding of the research was that the practice of mediation in the South
African construction industry is not consistent with the accepted principles of the
mediation process, as the mediator does not generally assist the parties in determining
their own settlement; instead the mediation activities centre mainly on the collection
of information on the dispute by the mediator and the formulation of a solution by the
mediator. The research also revealed that the mediator's knowledge and utilisation of
specific mediation process skills and techniques were limited.
Extracted from text ... Joernaal van die Suid-Afrikaanse Insituut van Siviele Ingenieurswese ? Volume 47 Nommer 1 2005
EBEN RUST completed his BSc(Eng)
at the University of Pretoria in 1977.
He spent ten years in practice as a
geotechnical consultant before joining
the University of Pretoria as a lecturer.
In 1996 he obtained his PhD from
the University of Surrey. Apart from
lecturing he is involved in research in
the fields of fundamental soil mechanics and in-situ testing.
GERHARD HEYMANN graduated
with a BEng degree from the
University of Pretoria in 1988. After a
short spell in the consulting industry
he returned to the University ..
The basic European standard for design of buildings and other engineering works, EN
1990 'Basis of structural design', provides alternative design procedures and parameters
for which national choice is allowed. One of the most important decisions relates to the
fundamental combinations of actions for persistent and transient design situations. It
appears that the reliability of structural members, designed according to the alternative
combination rules provided in EN 1990, may vary considerably.
<br>In the presented study probabilistic methods of structural reliability are used
to identify characteristic features of alternative combination rules and to propose a
new efficient rule. The reliability performance of the present South African load and
combination factors are compared to the alternative schemes.
<br>It is confirmed that although the minimum level of reliability is achieved for the
alternative load combination schemes, levels of reliability and consistency vary
considerably over a limited but representative range of design situations. It is also shown
that reliability of reinforced concrete members depends on the structural configuration.