‘Construction sector needs transparency’

Former Aveng CEO Roger Jardine has called for transparency in the construction sector.

An investigation by the Competition Tribunal uncovered widespread anti-competitive behaviour in the construction industry. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Former Aveng CEO Roger Jardine has called for more transparency in the construction sector.

This follows an investigation by the Competition Commission of South Africa which uncovered widespread anti-competitive behaviour in the industry, including tender-rigging in projects worth more than R47 billion.

In June, Aveng paid R307 million in fines after admitting to collusion.

Jardine told the Kieno Kammies Show that collusion dominated his tenure at Aveng.

"When I resigned I made it clear that this issue of collusion is something that dominated my tenure over five years. I wanted to stay and finish this investigation. When we signed the final consent order with the tribunal, it was time for me to go. It certainly has been a very exhausting journey."

Jardine said corruption affects both the public and private sector.

"This construction cartel investigation has certainly led to further erosion of public trust in private sector institutions and corruption in the public service. I think South Africans are feeling that it's just getting out of control.

"Are we going to make every activity in the public and private sector a site for accumulation or are we going to start to behave in a manner that is going to make our country more sustainable?"

Jardine said it was difficult to fire those who colluded as they were experience personnel in the sector.

"There were 300 contraventions registered at the Competition Commission across the sector. The majority of the people who colluded are actually in an older demographic which is where the bulk of experience base in our country lies.

"My impulse was to fire everyone but what we did was we introduced a range of measures. We asked those who were involved to come forward and some people resigned before we could put them through a disciplinary process."