Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering
On-line version ISSN 2309-8775
Print version ISSN 1021-2019
A study was conducted to identify the causes of delay in completing road construction projects in Malawi. A literature review was done which yielded 72 typical causes of delay, and a questionnaire was sent to client, contractor and consultant representatives in Malawi. The results were analysed using the Relative Importance Index (RII) and Spearman's Rank Correlation Coefficients, which indicated that the top ten causes of delay in Malawi are: shortage of fuel, insufficient contractor cash-flow, shortage of foreign currency for importation of materials and equipment, slow payment procedures adopted by the client in making progress payments, insufficient equipment, delay in relocating utilities, shortage of construction materials, delay in paying compensation to land owners, shortage of technical personnel, and delay in site mobilisation. The causes of delay are significant and should be given attention by client organisations, consultants and contractors to enable the timely completion of projects in future. It should also be noted that most of the causes of delay are not unique to Malawi, and have been observed in other southern African countries such as South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland. Recommendations are made to prevent similar causes of delay in future.
Keywords : road construction delay; Relative Importance Index; delay causes; fuel shortage; inadequate cash-flow.