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Hawks investigate construction kickback racket

The Hawks are investigating several construction companies implicated in a price-fixing cartel.

Cape Town Stadium. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Hawks are now spearheading the investigation into several construction companies implicated in a price-fixing cartel.

The probe is separate from the one being conducted by the Competition Commission, into more than 300 projects and tenders.

An investigation by the Competition Commission unveiled what has been called "endemic" corruption in which top construction groups fixed prices while bidding for state and private contracts worth billions of rands.

Affidavits showed a decade-long formal kickback and price-fixing racket that allegedly involved prominent names in the industry.

Prices are alleged to have been fixed for projects including several soccer World Cup stadiums and the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.

Some of the country's biggest construction companies have been implicated and about 20 firms have admitted their organisations took part in the contract rigging.

Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramaloko on Sunday said he could not say much about the criminal investigation because it is still in its initial stages.

"We will be guided by the outcomes of our preliminary investigation."