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Developing an enabling environment to maximise e-procurement adoption in the South African construction industry

Laryea, Samuel and Ibem, Eziyi O. (2014) Developing an enabling environment to maximise e-procurement adoption in the South African construction industry. In: Proceedings of the DII-2014 Conference on Infrastructure Investments in Africa, 25-26 September 2014, Livingstone, Zambia.

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Abstract

The aim of this paper was to explore how the current environment of electronic procurement in South African construction industry can be improved to help in maximizing the diffusion and adoption of electronic procurement when it comes to the acquisition of construction works and services. Electronic procurement refers to the use of electronic communication systems and applications to buy services, goods and works or conduct tendering for construction works. While there is growing evidence of application and benefits of e-procurement in some countries, the use of e-procurement in South Africa has been limited and patchy, implying that the benefits are currently not being maximised to support economic growth and industry development. We explore some of the ways in which this problem can be addressed. The paper is organised into four parts. In the first part, we discuss general factors that enable e-procurement adoption based on evidence reported in the literature. These are the regulatory framework and policies guiding procurement; ICT infrastructure; and technology uptake by people. Second, a discussion of the three factors within the context of South Africa is presented. Third, an online survey was conducted in which 23 respondents gave an indication of the extent of their awareness and adoption of e-procurement in the South African construction industry. While 70% of respondents were aware of electronic procurement, only 33% of them had actually used e-procurement. Fourth, we conclude by discussing some of the ways in which the use of e-procurement can be diffused and maximized in the procurement of construction work in South Africa. Of the three main enablers of e-procurement, two are found to be quite sufficient i.e. the country’s market and regulatory framework in supporting ICT uptake; and there is also a good ICT infrastructure environment. The main area of concern relates to technology uptake by people in the construction industry. This requires major cultural and organisational changes that can be brought about by targeted initiatives championed by, for example, CIDB, CBE and major procurers; investment in technology by firms; and clear roadmap for transitioning to e-procurement in appropriate areas of construction procurement.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TH Building construction
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering, Science and Mathematics > School of Civil Engineering and the Environment
Depositing User: Dr. Eziyi O. Ibem
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2015 09:36
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2015 09:36
URI: http://eprints.covenantuniversity.edu.ng/id/eprint/4814

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