Murray & Roberts fined an additional R64.1m for collusive tendering

Posted On Sunday, 13 December 2015 14:27 Published by
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

Construction firm Murray & Roberts is slapped with another multimillion-rand fine for involvement in collusive tendering in the buildup to the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Henry_Laas_Murray

Construction firm Murray & Roberts has been slapped with another multimillion-rand fine for involvement in collusive tendering in the buildup to the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

The company, which erected the collapsed pedestrian bridge across Johannesburg’s M1 highway, has been fined R64.1m by competition authorities.

This is in addition to the R309m it had to pay in 2013, when the Competition Commission wrapped up its fast-track investigation process into collusion in the construction sector. The commission began the fast-track process in 2011.

The R64.1m must be paid by August next year and came as no surprise to Murray & Roberts, company spokesman Ed Jardim said yesterday. The company had made a provision for the fine following “an in-principle agreement in 2014 with the Competition Commission that was confirmed by the tribunal”.

Sources close to tribunal proceedings said though the fine was hefty, things could have been worse for the company.

“Generally, cases settled outside of the fasttrack process have a higher penalty. Murray & Roberts’ fine was negotiated down as the tribunal took into account their full co-operation in settling other cases,” said the sources, who asked not to be named because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

The company has settled 17 other cases involving itself and subsidiaries.

It was told about the size of the fine during a Competition Tribunal hearing held in Pretoria yesterday. This is for price rigging and contravening certain sections of the Competition Act.

The Competition Commission’s fast-track settlement process resulted in 15 firms, including Murray & Roberts, being collectively fined R1.4bn for involvement in the construction cartel. Yesterday’s fine forms part of the commission’s second-phase probe into construction companies rigging prices.

The second phase includes two legacy cases that preceded the fast-track process and two which emerged during the probe.

In the first case, Concor, a Murray & Roberts subsidiary, and two other firms, including Wilson Bayly Holmes Ovcon (WBHO), are accused of entering into a collusive tendering agreement relating to the upgrade of the Sishen-Saldanha Railway ore-line.

In the second matter, Concor, Group Five, Stefanutti Stocks, Aveng and four other firms are accused of price rigging in connection with the Durban undersea tunnel project.

The third case involves Murray & Roberts Botswana and subsidiary Genrec, which are accused of collusive tendering for civil works at Tati Nickel and the Cape Town Stadium in Green Point.

WBHO has refused to settle for allegedly manipulating prices, with Group Five, for construction work done on the N17 link road between New Canada and Soccer City.

The WBHO and Group Five matter was concluded on October 26.

In its latest update on the M1 bridge collapse, Murray & Roberts said last week that two of its directors also served on the board of Waco International, whose subsidiary FormScaff, had supplied and designed the pedestrian bridge that collapsed in late October.

Asked why it took the company almost two months to disclose this information, it said the directorships of Mahlape Sello and Royden Vice were matters of public record as they were both on Murray & Roberts and Waco’s websites. Mr Sello had since stepped down from Waco’s board.

Investigations into the cause of the bridge collapse were continuing, Murray & Roberts said.

source Business Day

Last modified on Sunday, 13 December 2015 15:26

Most Popular

Anuva Investments launch Section 12J hospitality fund with property partners Flyt Property Investment

Oct 18, 2019
Zane De Decker HR
Investment into Section 12J venture capital vehicles has seen a huge uptake over the last…

Fairvest to become fourth property company to list on A2X

Oct 30, 2019
DARREN WILDER
Fairvest Property Holdings, a real estate investment trust with a market cap of R2…

Property market ready for take-off as bond grants rise

Oct 18, 2019
BetterBonds Mortgage Monitor
Housing demand has continued to gain momentum since the start of the year and in the…

Significant shifts in the Winelands commercial sector

Oct 18, 2019
Caption Somerset West commercial
A decade of corporate semigration and decentralisation fuelled the Winelands commercial…

Equites Property Fund Interim Results

Oct 18, 2019
Andrea Taverna Turisan CEO Equites Property Fund
Equites Property Fund Limited (Equites) today announced distributable earnings for the…

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.