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Dept probes construction collusion

Public Works Dept launched its own investigation into the bid-rigging scandal.

Construction worker. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Deputy Public Works Minister Jeremy Cronin said on Tuesday there was widespread collusion in the construction industry.

The deputy minister was attending a briefing by the Construction Industry Development Board in Parliament.

The board is preparing to launch its own investigation into a case involving 15 companies who were fined a total of nearly R1,5 billion after reaching a settlement with the Competition Commission.

Cronin said most people think corruption only rears its head in the public sector.

"Often corruption is attributed only to the public sector, forgetting the massive challenges of corruption we have in parts of the private sector."

He said the bid and tender rigging uncovered by the Competition Commission's investigation is just the tip of the iceberg.

"The fines are R1.46 billion, which is the tip of the iceberg of a deep-seated problem."

De-registration is one of the sanctions the board can apply.

Companies that aren't registered with the Construction Industry Development Board may not carry out any work for the government.