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HIV/AIDS in the South African construction industry: understanding the HIV/AIDS discourse for a sector-specific response


  • Ingrid Meintjes
  • Paul Bowen
  • David Root


HIV/AIDS is a pandemic with serious implications for South Africa in general, and the South African construction industry in particular. It is the single largest cause of death in South Africa. Against a backdrop of an acute shortage of housing and infrastructure provision, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among construction workers is impacting negatively on the delivery capacity of the industry. The construction sector is uniquely vulnerable to the pandemic but there is limited industry-specific research available. Industry-specific interventions are limited to 'awareness' initiatives at project level. Political ambivalence is a major stumbling block. The institutional audit methodology is used to examine the impact of HIV/AIDS on the construction industry as a whole. This examination is conducted within the prevailing political context within which the industry operates. The construction sector urgently needs to develop mechanisms to manage the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic so that anticipated industry growth is not compromised by the economic, systemic and social impacts of the disease. In South Africa, the CIDB should provide more effective leadership; legislation is required to compel the universal adoption of HIV/AIDS programmes; and a change is needed in the mindset of key role players in the construction industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingrid Meintjes & Paul Bowen & David Root, 2007. "HIV/AIDS in the South African construction industry: understanding the HIV/AIDS discourse for a sector-specific response," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(3), pages 255-266.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:conmgt:v:25:y:2007:i:3:p:255-266
    DOI: 10.1080/01446190601071813

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