PRETORIA – The Association of South African Quantity Surveyors on Friday added its voice to growing concerns over the so-called construction mafia, calling on the government to intervene to protect projects, investor confidence and the safety of professionals.
The association’s Yunus Bayat warned that the continuing hijacking of billions of rands worth of projects in the sector would undermine confidence and destabilise the industry.
Bayat said construction projects worth more than R25 billion had been violently disrupted and halted by armed groups such as the notorious Delangokubona Business Forum.
“The gangs demanded to be part of the project and burned the properties to the ground. The pictures of the scene look like footage from a war zone,” Bayat said. “Again, police were called, but they only arrived hours later and said that the issue had to be handed over to the Paarl police station. Contractors, female engineers, and other staff had to run for their lives into the veld. The response from the South African police simply isn’t good enough anymore."
The concerns come just days after the SA Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (Safcec) sent an SOS to the government for urgent intervention in halting a series of attacks on projects by AK-47 wielding thugs who are part of the so-called “construction mafia”.