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79 schools in only three months


24 February 2012 - The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) in South Africa has had significant backlogs in schools facilities.

Despite many attempts to address the backlog, the available funding allocations and the lack of provincial delivery capabilities were seriously hindering progress in eradicating these backlogs – stressing the need for viable solutions for this basic service.

The Gauteng Schools Programme

With this in mind, the GDE partnered with the Gauteng Funding Agency (GFA), in collaboration with the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA), to launch the Gauteng Schools Programme in March 2011.

Running over four years, the programme aims to address the GDE’s immediate need for 91 new schools (including the upgrade and refurbishment of 12 Phase 1 schools) and the refurbishment of 273 existing schools.

Aurecon, in association with BTKM Quantity Surveyors, Indigo Kulani Architects and Risk Insight, was appointed to execute a large section of this enormous undertaking.

Taking up the challenge

“As part of this pressing and complex project, our challenge was to deliver business plans for 79 schools over a three month period,” says Jean Bouwer, Aurecon, Senior Project Manager for the GDE project.

Conventional consulting practices inform that one business plan would normally take approximately three months at a cost of 2.05% of the capital value of the school. This means that executing the new schools section of the development should have taken a single project team approximately 20 years to complete at a total cost of R58,5 million.

“However, a dedicated, collaborative and pre-emptive mass production methodology ensured that the assignment was completed within three months at a cost of merely R4,91 million,” explains Bouwer.

This involved a unique model in which Aurecon and its partners could rapidly asses the expected needs for new schools. This model could be used by a wide range of teams, and provided a set of standard data that could be used to optimise the use of limited funds. What’s more, control methods were streamlined via mass information sharing, which included tight monitoring of process flow and led to reduced consulting costs of just 12% of the norm.

Paving the way for seamless project implementation

The business plans for the schools include concept designs, site layouts, full condition surveys and elemental cost estimates. In addition, a proposed implementation plan and project schedule for the establishment of every new school has also been developed.

“Aurecon’s innovation solutions now pave the way for the seamless implementation of the Gauteng Schools Programme which will enhance educational infrastructure on behalf of the citizens of Gauteng,” concludes Bouwer.

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