The Competition Tribunal has ordered local construction firm GVK Siyazama Building to pay an administrative penalty of just over R6-million after the firm admitted to collusive tendering in three construction projects in the Western Cape.
The firm’s admission and its agreement to pay the fine, forms part of a consent agreement it had concluded with the Competition Commission.
The agreement was confirmed as an order by the tribunal on Thursday and brings an end to a “protracted legal process of some ten years,” GVK CFO John de Sousa told Engineering News Online in an emailed response on Friday.
In terms of the agreement, GVK admitted that it had colluded on projects involving the construction of a Mediclinic hospital, in Brackenville; alterations to and an extension of the Tygervalley mall; and the construction of a warehouse and office buildings.
In addition to GVK’s admission and its agreement to pay the fine, the firm will implement a competition law compliance programme.
In this respect, De Sousa said stringent processes and disciplinary measures were now in place to ensure that no trading entity in GVK’s portfolio would participate in any pricing strategy that may be deemed to be uncompetitive in future.
“Our business has changed dramatically in the last decade, including a recent change in shareholding and leadership. We are a progressive employer and committed to the future of the construction industry in this country,” he commented, adding that the industry provided employment to thousands of people and had crucial links with other sectors.
“It’s about contributing to society and making a difference in people’s lives, a critical element of nation building and a fundamental component of resurrecting the ailing South African economy,” he said.