n Journal of Public Administration - Project management tools as a strategy to successfully implement local economic development initiatives : road construction projects in eThekwini Municipality

Volume 54 Number 4-1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767


Delays and disruptions in the completion of large road construction projects in South Africa have been a trend in recent times. These delays have impacted negatively on Local Economic Development initiatives directed at reducing poverty and the ever-escalating levels of unemployment. This article examines the causes of such disruptions in Local Economic Development (LED) projects through the lens of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide in order to determine whether project management tools, skills and techniques are effectively utilised in ensuring an increased level of success in the completion of LED-related projects. Road construction projects under scrutiny took place in the eThekwini Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal. This study used a qualitative approach in which a total of eight participants comprising contractors, consultants and project managers from SANRAL were purposively sampled. A content analysis approach was then utilised to identify themes that emerged from the data. Some of the major themes that emerged as causes of delays were labour unrest and community disruptions, lack of skilled personnel, time allocated for executing projects, appointing the lowest tenderer, risk management and change in scope during construction period. This research found that project management tools, skills and techniques were not effectively applied in the implementation of these LED projects, thus leading to disruptions by community members and labourers. This research recommends that the government, through municipalities, should inculcate the culture of effective project management practices in implementing LED projects, whether it is as per PMBOK Guide or other project management frameworks that are available as an effort to improve the success rate in the completion of projects without much delays.

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