In a bold strike against construction Mafias, the National Priority Committee on Extortion and Violence at Economic Sites, led by the SAPS alongside the Integrated Building and Construction Forum (IBACF), has been on a mission to clamp down on criminal activities in the construction sector.
The lead-up to 2022 saw the cancellation or delay of projects totalling R63 billion, dealing a severe blow to national development initiatives.
Now this collaborative effort has signalled a turning point in the fight against extortion tactics, restoring hope for the revival of critical projects, the Special Investigating Unit reported.
A major breakthrough in this battle came with the arrest of an alleged 28s gang boss, Ralph Stanfield, and his wife, Nicole Johnson.
The arrests followed a series of alleged acts of intimidation and violence in Cape Town, leading several construction contractors to abandon government housing construction sites.
In a surprising turn of events, the Western Cape Government’s Human Settlements Department awarded the contracts to Glomix House Brokers, Johnson’s company, to complete the abandoned projects.
To ensure transparency and community involvement, the IBACF has called for more proactive engagement with residents.
IBACF urged communities to stay informed about ongoing projects in their areas, identify opportunities for legitimate subcontractors and workers, and report any criminal actions, including threats of violence or extortion, through various channels.
This included reporting criminal actions to local SAPS stations, dialling the toll-free National Anti-Corruption Hotline at 080-070-1701, contacting the Presidential Hotline at 17737, or via email at president@ po.gov.za.
Communities can also use the SIU Hotline at 080-003-7774.
As SAPS continues to report back on arrests and convictions, the SIU issued a stern warning to those engaging in illegal activities within the construction sector.
“Consequences await those who jeopardise the progress of legitimate projects and work opportunities. The IBACF thanks the whistle-blowers and law enforcement agencies for their bravery and tremendous efforts in tackling these criminal matters,” the SIU said.