Defects on municipal roads in North West province of South Africa: internal stakeholders’ view on the common types, causes and preventive measures

Mukondeleli, Dovhani Ronald
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Purpose: Premised on the overall condition of road pavements in South Africa and its resultant fatality rate and impacts on economic activities, the purpose of this study is to establish the nature of the defects on municipal roads in the North West province of South Africa. The nature is being explicated in terms of the common types, causative factors, and preventive measures for the defects. This information is necessary for the development and implementation of strategies to improve safe connectivity for national and regional activities. Design/methodology/approach: A cross-sectional survey design was adopted. A structured questionnaire was administered to a sample using face-to-face approach. A stratified sample was drawn from a target population of internal stakeholders of road/ highway construction projects in the North West province of South Africa. This was complemented with a purposive sample of participants who have completed the defects liability period of a municipal road project within the five years prior to 2018. The 49 respondents include 11 implementation officers, 20 consulting civil and structural engineers and 18 contractors. The resultant data were analyzed using repeat measures ANOVA. Findings: Related to the Northwest province of South Africa, the most common types of road defect on municipal roads are potholes and crocodile cracking with bleeding/flushing being the least common (p>.05). The main cause of the defects was planning and coordination of on-site activities while, paradoxically, design changes during road construction was found to be the least cause (p<.05). This paradox can be attributed to the contractor group’s significant disagreement on planning and coordination of on-site activities as a main cause. Lastly, the top three important preventive measures were contractors to ensure adherence to standards, defining acceptable quality from inception, and training for all on road construction standards. Research limitations/implications: The results cannot be readily generalized for South Africa because they have been derived from the North West Province. However, they have implications for the necessary intervention for good quality and safe road infrastructure. Originality/value- Being based on the views of the three main groups of highway construction project internal stakeholders, this report presents a valuable holistic view as South Africa is committed to delivering its transport sectors’ Millennium Development Goals.
A research report submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the M.Sc. in Building Degree at the School of Construction Economics and Management, University of the Witwatersrand