Author Interview: Itumeleng Gladwell Motlhatlhedi

Author Interview: Itumeleng Gladwell Motlhatlhedi

Who are you, in a few lines?

I am an enthusiastic and dynamic young professional, who hails from Morago Trust in Thaba Nchu, in the Free State province in South Africa. I am an Electrical Technologist and a Project Management Professional, with over 8 years working experience.

A perfect day starts with...? And ends with...?

I believe success in the morning begins with the plan one made the night before. A successful day begins with a purposeful morning, so I knock out my most difficult work first thing in the morning. I would normally close my day by talking to someone I love, it is a great way for me to remember what is really important.

Could you tell us how you started writing?

Initially, I just wanted to do my dissertation, get it over and done with. However, once I started working on it, realising its complexity and the amount of effort required, then I felt that this is one of the things that I needed to do right in my life and with utmost dedication. That is how I started doing thorough research on the topic, due diligence and reaching out to everything and everyone with the relevant and credible information that would help my course.

Do you think that the writer has a special role in our society?

Yes, absolutely, because a writer needs to influence how the society is looking and doing things, by revealing new information, making things that were hidden or unpopular known. I personally think that the writer must interpret his society, reflect on his world, provide challenge, guidance and inspiration to the society.

Your latest book is "Investigation of Project Delays in Construction Projects in the South African Rail Industry". What is the message you want to convey to the readers?

Almost all my career, I have been working on construction projects, be it as a designer, project engineer or project manager. With this book, I wanted to share with South Africans and the world that, the construction sector is one of the largest contributing sectors towards the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of many countries globally, including South Africa. Through my experiences, I witnessed that the construction projects in South Africa and globally, are marred with extensive delays and that was found to be a persisting enduring challenge.

What are the main remedial actions that will diminish project delays?

I would say the main ones would be:

  • Promotion of good engineering ethics and accountability
  • Ensuring availability of sufficient funding before the commencement of construction.
  • Ensure that the engineering and construction teams have previously worked on a similar project with the one being undertaken, if not ensure proper guidance is provided.
  • Sound engagements between the designers, contractors and clients to minimise design changes during construction
  • Run independent activities in parallel to expedite the progress.
  • Do not appoint contractors based on the lowest bid price only.
  • Practice proactive planning and timeous identification of potential delay risks.
  • Ensuring that the project team understand the laws, rules and regulations that has a potential of hindering project progress.
  • Preparation of a detailed construction plan and keeping to the set milestones.
Does the construction industry of South Africa plays an important role for the socio-economic development of the country?

Absolutely, according to the South African’s government long term development plan, known as the National Development Plan (NDP) that was tabled in parliament in 2012, construction industry is one major contributors to the country’s economic development growth, In addition, the construction sector produce structures that add to productivity and quality of life.

How was the publishing experience like? Describe Generis Publishing in a few words.

It was a marvel to work with Generis Publishing, particularly Mrs Anna Rothman for her soft-spoken character and diligence. I would like to pass my gratitude to the company for affording me this opportunity to collaborate and partner with them, it has been a great pleasure for me.