Collusion Racket: Fined companies to know fate

NUMSA wants CEOs and directors implicated in collusion to be fired and prosecuted.

FILE: Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel delivers the keynote address at the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants conference at Kyalami Business Park in Johannesburg, Wednesday, 18 July 2012. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - The fate of 15 construction companies fined for bid rigging of nearly R50 billion is expected to be discussed this week at the Competition Commission Tribunal.

The commission has fined the firms, including WBHO, Murray and Roberts and Aveng, a collective fine of R1.4 billion after a three year fast track settlement process to rid the industry of price fixing and collusion.

The initiative was led by Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, but no criminal charges have been instituted against the companies despite them admitting to collusion.

Patel says the Competition Commission has met the relevant authorities to discuss the bid rigging and action may well be taken.

"The NPA has had meetings with the Competition Commission to consider what their role should be in this matter. It may not be the end of it."

At the same time, metal union NUMSA has called for CEOs and directors implicated in collusion to be sacked and prosecuted.

Spokesperson Castro Ngobese says it's the perfect time for government to cut its dependence on these big firms.

"Our government has to consider establishing a state owned building company."

The commission will scrutinize its report in the findings and a decision on criminal action could be taken.