Deputy Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Bernice Swarts has assured parliament that they are cracking down on the construction Mafia after they stalled a number of projects in the country.
Swarts said they have implemented serious measures to prevent the disruption of projects by the construction Mafia.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said recently that some of the kingpins in the construction Mafia are in jail.
Swarts, who was briefing the portfolio committee on public works on Thursday, said they will leave no stone unturned in addressing this problem, which costs the economy more than R68 billion.
“We should indeed have a guideline and strict measures in place that, before any project starts, we would have done a lot in terms of avoiding the construction Mafia’s interference,” said Swarts.
CEO of the Construction Industry Development Board, Bongani Dladla, told the committee that they are also working with law enforcement agencies to crack down on the construction Mafia.
He said Minister of Public Works Sihle Zikalala and his deputy Bernice Swarts have also raised the issue in public.
The construction Mafia was causing huge damage to the economy when they disrupted projects.
Dladla said some of the people have also lost their lives due to this.
“In terms of the impact of the construction Mafia on site, Minister Zikalala and Deputy Minister Swarts have also indicated the significant impact of that in terms of delayed execution of projects and also projects becoming more expensive to execute.
“In some instances, there has been loss of life when sites are disrupted. But there is work being done on the preventative aspect and also on the punitive aspect. On the criminal aspect, we are working with law enforcement agencies to deal with that particular issue,” said Dladla.
In his State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke out against the construction Mafia and said they will establish a specialised unit in the South African Police Service to clamp down on the construction Mafia.
He said the country cannot afford to have major projects stalled because of people who want to disrupt the economy.
He said the construction Mafia was involved in criminal activities.