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Profiling emerging contractors for effective transformation in the South African construction sector


  • Ludwig Martin
  • David Root


South Africa's construction industry is transforming. Its economy requires a wider base of contracting entities. Much of this growth is expected to be delivered by ‘emerging’ contractors. Yet these companies face significant obstacles. Targeted interventions that foster companies need a better picture of these firms and their core members. A survey of the civil engineering sector, targeting emerging contractors, showed that the owners of these companies lack training and experience, and that there are gender-related differences. Classifications according to company turnover, contract sizes or employee numbers alone do not reflect circumstances. Combining these data with the core members' backgrounds gives a clearer picture. Most companies hover between the ‘Existence’ and ‘Survival’ stages of business development. Development initiatives that assume companies require knowledge must accommodate large cognitive distances between sender and receiver. Initiatives thus need to focus on the owners, considering the status and background of their companies.

Suggested Citation

  • Ludwig Martin & David Root, 2012. "Profiling emerging contractors for effective transformation in the South African construction sector," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 209-223, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:29:y:2012:i:2:p:209-223
    DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2012.675693

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