South Africa’s Competition Commission has implicated five of the country’s major construction companies in anti-competitive behaviour during its probe into 65 bid-rigging cases involving more than 70 projects valued at 29 billion rand (about US$4 billion).
Some of the biggest projects involved included the construction of some of the stadiums used for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Deputy Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele confirmed that Aveng, Group Five, Murray & Roberts, Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon and Basil Read are under investigation.
Earlier this week, the commission offered the companies reduced penalties if they confessed about their involvement in bid-rigging.
Competition Commissioner Shan Ramburuth said the investigation had uncovered widespread anti-competitive conduct.
The commission alleges large construction companies held meetings to allocate tenders and “police each other’s behaviour”.
The City of Cape Town, which saw the projected costs of its World Cup stadium soar, will be compelled to take legal action against the construction companies should there be proof of bid-rigging.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the city should pursue the companies to the “fullest extent”.
Similarly, in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize has vowed to pursue legal action against any company found guilty of bid-rigging in the construction of the multi-billion rand Moses Mabhida Stadium, which hosted a World Cup semi-final.