Client characteristics related critical success factors for public-private partnerships in South Africa

Nuseeb, Mohammad, Koussa, Mohammad, Matshidze, Lindelani, Umeokafor, Nnedinma and Windapo, Abimbola (2021) Client characteristics related critical success factors for public-private partnerships in South Africa. International Journal of Construction Supply Chain Management, 11(1), pp. 49-68. ISSN (online) 1179-0776


The implementation of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects in South Africa has grown steadily since the late 1990s. However, these partnerships do not realise their potential with a decline in PPP transactions over the past decade. The drivers of success for PPP projects have become a subject of investigation to understand the downward trend. This study evaluates the different critical success factors pertinent to client characteristics that influence PPP projects in South Africa. The study followed a qualitative research inquiry that employs a grounded theory (GT) approach involving semi-structured interviews with nine professionals involved in PPP projects selected using a snowball sampling technique. Interviews were conducted on video conferencing and through phone calls. Seven responses were considered relevant to the research, and two were considered irrelevant and were disregarded. An in-depth analysis of the data gathered was conducted through a selective coding process using NVivo. The analysis revealed the research's emergent themes: client experience and in-house technical capabilities; client risk attitude; client willingness to be involved and trust in the private sector, available financial markets, and political support and stability. By applying the framework established, the chances of success and decline in the use of PPP projects can be considerably improved in South Africa through greater engagement between the public and private sectors in infrastructure investment and delivery. The study's main limitation is the smallness of the sample size and the use of the snowball sampling technique in which the initial respondents are likely to refer to other respondents who share similar points of view and beliefs. To counter this limitation, the researchers ensured that the convenient sample of initial subjects comprised professionals from different backgrounds.

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