More South African contractors face prosecution over World Cup tenders

Four more South African construction firms have been accused of collusion in the run-up to the 2010 football World Cup.

The country’s Competition Commission claims that the four acted in concert when bidding for contracts to build stadiums for the tournament and has referred them to the Competition Tribunal. 

The four firms are WBHO, Group Five, Stefanutti and Basil Read. The referrals open the the way to prosecution. 

The four have denied involvement in collusion. 

The commission issued a statement that said: "These firms colluded when bidding for tenders by, among others things, allocating tenders among themselves and agreeing on profit margins to be achieved from these tenders."

Some of the firms have already paid fines for collusive behaviour relating to the World Cup.These latest allegations are concerned with other tenders. 

Commission spokesperson Mava Scott said: "There were projects that were disclosed in the process and for which companies settled. But there were those that were not disclosed and certain companies were implicated by others."

The investigation into collusive behaviour has been continuing for several years. 

In June 2013 antitrust authorities fined 15 builders, including Murray & Roberts Holdings Ltd. and Aveng Ltd., a total of 1.5 billion rand ($141m) after a probe found that they had colluded to drive up prices.

Ebrahim Patel, the minister for economic development, said at the time that regulators had identified 300 cases of illegal or irregular behaviour by companies that won contracts worth $4.3bn.

South Africa spent $2bn on building and refurbishing 10 stadiums for the World Cup Finals.

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