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Cape Town - FOUR months after the Competition Commission exposed major construction firms for tender collusion and price fixing, the city, UCT and the Construction Industry Development Board have yet to take action against the companies concerned.
In June the commission concluded a two-year process in which construction firms were invited to disclose corrupt activities which flouted competition law in exchange for leniency.
The commission fined 15 companies including Group Five, Aveng and WBHO a total of R1.5 billion.
Among other things, the companies admitted that a cartel of seven firms – Grinaker LTA, WBHO, Murray & Roberts, Group Five, Concor, Basil Read and Stefanutti – had agreed in 2006 to allocate tenders for World Cup stadium projects.
WBHO admitted to making an agreement with Group Five in 2006 over the R4.5bn Cape Town Stadium contract which was awarded to WBHO in a joint venture with Murray & Roberts.
The City of Cape Town has said it will lodge a civil claim against the companies and has spent R4 million appointing a law firm and construction industry experts to calculate how much the city was overcharged in the construction of the stadium.
Last week deputy city manager Mike Marsden said the city’s legal team and construction industry experts were still in the process of quantifying the damages. He said it was a “very complex task”.
“The process has to be thorough as the findings have to stand up in a court of law.”
The University of Cape Town may also lodge a damages claim against Group Five over the R87m Graça Machel women’s residence contract.
Stefanutti Stocks has admitted to helping Group Five win the contract and has said Group Five also paid other firms a losing fee of R500 000.
UCT spokeswoman Riana Geldenhuys said the university was waiting for the Competition Commission to complete its investigation into four projects in which Group Five disputed wrongdoing.
Meanwhile the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), which is compelled to investigate the construction companies, has not yet started.
If the CIDB investigation finds the companies guilty of prohibited practices, the board may fine the companies, deregister them or disqualify them from state tenders for a certain period.
Spokeswoman Kotli Molise said the board was still studying the consent agreements the commission had reached with the 15 companies involved.