Claims SA Government silent on allegations of construction collusion incorrect

Pretoria – Government says recent claims asserting that it has not responded to allegations of construction collusion with regard to road improvements done ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, are incorrect.

In a statement issued by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), government said the matter had been handled by the Competition Tribunal – a statutory body – and the findings have been made public.

“The Competition Tribunal last year fined 15 construction companies a combined R1.46 billion after the investigation into collusion. This money has already been paid to government.

“Government is also aware of and supports the position taken by SANRAL to lay criminal charges, in addition to pursuing civil claims, against the companies that were found guilty of collusion by the Tribunal,” said the GCIS.

Government said it remained committed to punitive and restorative justice in the matter and that it will ensure the recovery of public money from those companies and individuals who were involved in the collusion.

“Collusion on pricing in public tenders is an injustice to ordinary South Africans whose taxes are unfairly exploited by commercial conspirators,” said GCIS.

It added that it was regrettable that the Opposition to Urban Toll (OUTA) was “persisting with baseless claims, without any proof or evidence, and without being verified or challenged by media who frequently treat these claims as gospel”.

“In this instance, the matter was dealt with by the Competition Tribunal even though OUTA might differ with the quantum of the fines that were imposed.

“It is not for government to tell the Tribunal what fines to impose though it is within the right of government and the affected institutions to pursue other avenues to ensure justice is done. In fact, the Tribunal said as much,” said the GCIS.