Facilitation of construction project management through building contracts: A South African perspective on the locally developed suites of contracts

Keywords: General Conditions of Contract for Construction Work (GCC), Joint Building Contracts Committee (JBCC), Principal Building Agreement (PBA), project life cycle; construction project management


This article reviews the depth to which the South African suites of contracts may facilitate the effective implementation of construction project management practices. The hypothesis states that the standard South African forms of contract for building work have evolved to promote control through construction project management processes. The South African suites of contracts are reviewed against the project management office’s (PMO) main focus areas for best practices. This endeavours to establish the conduciveness to facilitate good project management functions on building projects. The main clauses of each contract are compared to the construction project management knowledge areas. Two contracts are reviewed, and it is established that both contracts (General Conditions of Contract for Construction Work 2015 and the Joint Building Contracts Committee’s (JBCC) Principal Building Agreement Edition 6.2) provide the employer’s agent (EA) the necessary authority to manage the project for its intended purpose. It became apparent that the contracts may allow certain project management functions to be implemented by placing different emphases on different aspects of the contract. Due to the complexity and uniqueness of each project, the number of standard contract conditions governing a contract are limited. A strong project management function must take place during the planning phases. The contract used influences the way in which the project management functions are applied during the project life cycle (PLC). Thus, the project manager must have an intimate knowledge of the content of the contract in order to implement the desired construction project management functions, as required during each of the PLC stages. 


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