ANC Statement on the conclusion of the Competition Commission case in the Construction Industry
Today, 24th June 2013, the Competition Commission announced that it had reached settlement with 15 Construction companies accused of collusion in the Construction Industry. Penalties of R1.46 billion were levied against the companies affected. The ANC is aware that the matter is still to be filed with the Competition Tribunal and we trust that process will confirm an order with a settlement consumerate to the acts committed.
While the African National Congress welcomes this ruling, the ANC calls upon the Competition Commission to initiate a process similar to the Settlement Process of the Construction Industry to include other industries so as to fully assess the extent of the problem of bid-rigging and collusion. It is unfortunate that these companies were only prepared to make full disclosure as a result of a plea bargain that saw them get fined lesser fines than they would have been if prosecuted. Those companies that defined themselves outside of the process must now face the full might of the law.
The private sector must be provided an opportunity to come forward and make disclosure of any activities of collusion they may be involved in and those who fail to do so must be brought to book to deal with this scourge that is robbing the poorest of the poor in our society. This practise of collusion diverts money from, in particular the public purse, which is the biggest single spender, to the complicit pockets of big business and the private sector in general.
Our people continue to suffer under the burden of high prices and our economy fails to adequately ensure equitable and broad based access to economic opportunities as a result of this anti-competitive and unscrupulous behaviour in the private sector.
Briefing the media this morning, the President of the African National Congress indicated that in South Africa, all types of crimes, except for white-collar crime, had decreased in South Africa during the past 19 years. Indeed the genesis of the corruption that has become so endemic in our society is in the private sector and presents itself in many forms including anti-competitive behaviour and collusion. For every act of corruption, there is a shady business person lurking in the corner to grease the palm of a greedy public servant.
The ANC welcomes the ruling of the Competition Commission and calls upon all progressive and patriotic businesspersons to disassociate themselves from acts of anti-competitive behaviour, collusion and corruption in pursuit of inclusive economic growth that benefits South Africans as a whole.
Statement issued by Jackson Mthembu, ANC national spokesperson, June 24 2013
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