Earlier in 2013, news broke of widespread collusion and bid rigging in the construction industry. The scandal ended with 15 construction firms fined by the Competition Commission for colluding and rigging bids for, among other large projects, 2010 Fifa World Cup infrastructure. The fines totalled R1.46-billion.
One of the firms implicated, Aveng, has punished employees that were involved in crooked activities – some have been dismissed, others have been demoted, several have resigned, and in many cases annual bonuses have been withheld also. For its actions, we cautiously name the company as our hero of the week.
However, the real heroes will be those public and private entities who will take the next steps and claim for damages for the losses incurred as a result.
In a submission to the Competition Tribunal, Corruption Watch called for all those affected by the corruption in the construction industry – including municipalities, provinces and private entities – to institute civil claims for damages suffered. Affected clients include Siemens, Airports Company South Africa, Toyota, Unilever and the National Ports Authority, to name just a few.
Aveng’s chairperson Angus Band said that the collusion scandal had cast “a cloud over the entire industry”.