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Building cartel being probed - report

Feb 03 2013 14:17 Sapa

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Johannesburg - A probe shows top construction companies fixed state and other contracts worth billions of rands, City Press reported on Sunday.

Affidavits detail a decades-long, formal kickback and price-fixing racket that allegedly involved prominent names in the industry.

At least 11 affidavits were made by executives from Stefanutti Stocks to the Hawks serious economic offences investigator and the National Prosecuting Authority, the newspaper reported.

The statements were also handed to the Competition Commission for its probe into construction industry tender-rigging, thought to involve contracts worth at least R30bn.

According to the affidavits the projects "fixed" included the National Stadium (FNB Stadium) in Soweto, the Coega development project in the Eastern Cape, Green Point soccer stadium in Cape Town, the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg, and the Gautrain.

In their statements the executives admit they may be guilty of fraud, corruption and racketeering, and offer to co-operate with police in exchange for immunity from prosecution. So far only one person had received this, according to the report.

Some of the companies allegedly involved in the bid-rigging were: Wilson Bayly Holmes Ovcon, Stocks & Stocks civil engineering, Murray & Roberts, Group Five, Concor, and Aveng.

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Johannesburg has been selected to host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in 2017. "[The congress] will ensure that small business development remains firmly on the national agenda and the radar screen of all stakeholders, the Small Business Development minister said.
 

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