SALGA to intervene in construction tribunal

The association representing 9 municipalities affected by bid-rigging hopes to benefit from the tribunal.

FNB Stadium in Soweto, outside Johannesburg, on April 3, 2013. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) says it will intervene in the Competition Commission's tribunal process involving 15 construction companies that have admitted to bid-rigging.

Last month, the Commission fined the 15 companies for collusion dating back to 2006.

The original probe uncovered widespread anti-competitive behaviour in the industry, including tender-rigging in projects worth more than R47 billion. Around R28 billion of that amount came from public funds.

SALGA Chief Operating Officer Lance Joel on Friday said there may be an opportunity for its members to see whether a settlement would be possible.

"Information will possibly become available during the tribunal proceedings that may be to the benefit of our members."

Nine municipalities across the country were affected.

The tribunal will now scrutinise the R1.4 billion settlement reached with the companies and make recommendations.

The Competition Commission's Trudi Makhaya said this phase would also involve public hearings where the settlements would be scrutinised.

She added the body only dealt with companies and not individuals.

"We don't impose criminal sanctions. Other agencies can deal with the individuals where there is corruption, fraud, racketeering etc."

Billions were lost through major projects such as the building of stadiums for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the upgrading of airports, highway improvement projects and the building of hospitals, dams and bridges.

Meanwhile, PPC CEO Ketso Gordhan's has proposed an 'infrastructure Codesa', wherein all parties involved in infrastructure development would come together to find the most efficient means for its implementation.

Some members of the industry have said they would strongly support this.