Picture: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters

Johannesburg - Listed WBHO has concluded agreements with three emerging contractors to mentor and significantly develop them.

This follows the agreement reached between the government and seven listed construction companies last month that settled their exposure to potential damages claims from public entities for collusion and bid-rigging offences.

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WBHO said yesterday that it had concluded agreements with Fikile Construction, Motheo Construction and Edwin Construction in terms of the development initiative in the settlement agreement.

The company said these three emerging contractors now became WBHO’s “development contractors” whose turnover in seven years should represent more than 25 percent of WBHO’s South African turnover in civil and building and roads and earthworks.

The settlement agreement followed negotiations between the SA Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors and the government after 15 construction firms concluded settlement agreements with the Competition Commission in 2013 to pay penalties totalling R1.46 billion for collusion and bid-rigging.

The listed companies who were signatories to the settlement agreement were WBHO, Aveng, Group Five, Basil Read, Raubex, Stefanutti Stocks and Murray & Roberts.

Aveng Grinaker-LTA reported last month that it had in terms of a major empowerment deal agreed to sell an initial 45 percent economic interest in the firm to black woman-owned investment group Kutana Construction for a maximum of R756 million effective from about February 1.

The agreements announced by WBHO and Aveng were prompted by the commitment by all the firms that signed the settlement agreement with government to each undertake transformation initiatives in addition to their enterprise development programmes.

In terms of the agreement, the companies also agreed to collectively contribute R1.25bn over the next 12 years to a fund to be established for socio-economic development.

This amounted to collective annual payments of R125m into the fund, which was to be constituted as a trust and administered by the Treasury.