Concrete accountability

by Ofentse Sefolo
Concrete accountability

Alarmed by the lack of responsibility and accountability by end users, the Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of Southern Africa (ASPASA), says its members who supply sand and aggregates, as well as readymix concrete to the construction industry, are unnecessarily being held responsible for the condition of their products on site.

Potential disputes
This is leading increasingly to disputes on site where the blame is often incorrectly placed on the shoulders of the material suppliers. They then carry the burden of proving materials were delivered as specified and prescribed. ASPASA director, Nico Pienaar, says, “During recent construction industry-wide discussions, it was evident that those involved throughout the construction supply chain do not want to take responsibility and would prefer it stays with the concrete supplier – despite various onsite factors that can affect the quality of concrete.

“That is why we say there must be a clear cut-off at every stage, where the responsibility changes hands from the supplier to the contractor and the site engineers. A good example of this is where readymix trucks wait for long periods to offload concrete, with potentially significant effects on the quality, consistency and workability of the concrete. In these instances, suppliers should be absolved of liability and it should fall squarely on the shoulders of the engineer in charge.

Mutual agreement
“In order to avoid these and other problems in future, we once again want to advise our members that when a contract is being negotiated, there should be a meeting with the client, the engineer, the contractor and the suppliers to set out the rules and to agree on the various issues. Agreement needs to be reached on specifications, material requirements, testing methods onsite, as well as delivery and timeframes for the placement of the concrete,” says Nico.

Furthermore, the association is taking a proactive approach to preventing disputes with the compilation of a site meeting guideline as well as process documents to be used by members when accepting supply contracts.

For more information, contact:
Tel: +27 11 791 3327
Email: nico@aspasa.co.za
Website: www.aspasa.co.za

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