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I would first like to congratulate Dr. Brohn and Dr. Cowan on their excellent paper and the stimulation it has evidently brought about. Before proceeding to comment I should give some background about the educational institution with which I am connected.
This paper describes three contracts whose brief, in each case, demanded a very rapid completion. Factors influencing the design, design control, some of the detailing, and the manner in which the jobs were organised in order to speed up progress are described. Some general conclusions are drawn. The paper concentrates on those matters related to the design process and the interaction of design with construction. It does not deal with equally important considerations related to the actual construction.
In May we included a letter from Mr. N. Thomas, a South African member, in the continuing discussion about the judgement in the Anns case. He quoted section 23 of South Africa S National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, 1977, which we took to indicate that local authorities there were absolved from responsibility for their duties in situations similar to Anns. We were mistaken. Mr. Thomas now writes to correct us: Thank you for publishing my letter re. our new building law here in the Republic. With regards to your comments/queries I must point out that our section 23 does not exempt a local authority from having to give redress for negligence. Common law still prevails. You asked what sanction is there to ensure that the local authority will carry out its duty with proper care? Here I refer to our section 27 which lays down that the Minister, after consultation with the Council of the South African Bureau of Standards and the Administrator of the Province in question, is enabled to order a local authority to apply any provision of the Act. If the local authority 'without reasonable cause fails to comply within a reasonable time' the Minister (after further consultation) can deprive that local authority of any power . . . conferred upon or entrusted to it by the Act. This deprived power is then conferred to 'any person, including the Administrator', and that person then becomes, for the purposes of such power, the local authority.