Ballenden & Robb Consulting Engineers
Labour Based Construction
• The project is designed and implemented in such a manner that a small contractor can undertake it using labour-intensive methods.

• Previous experience is not a prerequisite as training is provided.

• Own equipment and financial resources are not essential as most of the equipment and materials are provided.
Labour-based construction is about taking someone off the street, someone who is willing to work and be trained, and giving them the necessary resources to be able to undertake labour-intensive construction work.

Community Based Contractor
• A labour-based contractor is drawn from the community in which the project is undertaken; usually from the previously disenfranchised sections of the community.
This gives the maximum benefit to the specific community in which the project is undertaken.
Historical Perspective
Before going into detail, we need to discuss some background issues in order to put the whole process into perspective. We need to investigate what gave rise to these new concepts and understand them better.

The legacy of past government policies, the recent recession and lack of opportunities, have left us with a community with tremendous problems:

• Unemployment. Levels of unemployment in the townships have reached critical levels. Estimates in excess of 50% are not uncommon.

• Lack of Skills. The general lack of management and technical skills in South Africa is even more acute in the townships.

• Lack of Opportunity. Although somewhat improved, people from the township still lack opportunities to improve their socio-economic situation.
To address the above problems, we as part of the development community are faced with the following challenges:

• Job Creation. How can we provide more jobs?

• Skills Increase. How can we improve technical and managerial skills?

• Provide Opportunities. How can we provide opportunities for members of the community to improve their lot and promote entrepreneurship?

• Financial Empowerment. How can we assist with economic upliftment?
To try and solve the above problems and meet challenges, there are two basic routes to follow:

• Social alternatives. Past attempts at solving unemployment through job creation schemes, have been of no long-term benefit to the community, as they have not met all the set objectives above.

• Free enterprise alternatives. What is needed is a solution that meets all the set objectives above for the long-term benefit of the community and the country in general. We believe that the community-based concept does just that.

DIRECTORS: K. Ntsono, D. Staffen, S. van der Merwe
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