Discounting of quantity surveying fees in South Africa

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • SDG 11
  • Abstract:

    English: The discounting of professional fees has become a cause for concern among South African Quantity Surveying practitioners. These discounts are often 30% to 40% and, in some cases, substantially below the Tariff of Professional Fees published by the South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession (SACQSP). The firms which offer these excessively high discounts may be pricing their services well below their in-house operational costs which, with the quality of their professional services, eventually become unsustainable. A quantitative approach was used to conduct a research study to determine the effect of discounting of fees on the Quantity Surveying profession. The data was obtained by circulating a structured web-based questionnaire to registered professional Quantity Surveying firms in all nine provinces in South Africa. Results indicated that when Quantity Surveyors discount their fees, this impacts negatively on the quality of their professional services. Respondents further recommended that there should be some form of regulation regarding the discounting of fees, while others suggested that the current SACQSP recommended fee scale be replaced by the re-introduction of a statutory minimum fee scale which was applied prior to 1988. The findings arising from this research could support potential efforts by the SACQSP to resolve issues regarding this practice and serve to raise awareness among Quantity Surveying practitioners of the dangers inherent in, and resulting negative consequences of discounting their fees.