JSE-listed construction companies Stefanutti Stocks, WBHO and Aveng Cape Town City have agreed to settle long-running multi-million-rand civil damages claims against them.
The lawsuit was settled out of court in the wake of the 2010 FIFA World Cup against Green Point Stadium, now called Cape Town Stadium.
Stefanutti Stocks said Wednesday that the parties to the lawsuit – City of Cape Town and WBHO Construction (PTI) Ltd., Aveng Africa (PTI) Ltd. and Stephanutti Stocks – are confident in their respective legal positions and have a mutually agreed and mutually agreed position. It is in everyone’s best interest to settle the matter amicably, rather than prolong the court process. ”
“This will allow for future positive engagement between Cape Town City and contractors,” it says.
Stefanutti says the settlement includes:
Annual payments of R10.5 million by each contractor over the next three years.
WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd and Stefanutti Stocks pledge corporate social investment projects in the Cape Town district.
Cape Town City filed a R429.47 million civil damages lawsuit against the companies in December 2014 as part of the Commission’s construction fast-track settlement process, based on admissions by these companies to a 2013 settlement agreement with the Competition Commission.
In the wake of the fast-track settlement process, 15 construction companies have concluded a consensual agreement where they agreed to pay a total of R1.46 billion in fines for collusion and bid-rigging.
Avenger stakeholder engagement lead Itumeleng Lepere confirmed on Wednesday that a settlement agreement with the city of Cape Town had been signed last week.
Lapere said the issue dates back to several years ago and is related to a business that is no longer owned by Avengers.
This is a reference to Aveng’s former South African construction and engineering business Greencar-LTA, which was sold in 2019 to the black-owned Laula Consortium.
Lepere said Aveng remained in the view that it had no liability.
“However, we have made a business decision to dispose of and avoid ongoing scattering and related legal costs in our core business,” he said.
WBHO Group CEO Wolfgang Nef confirmed on Wednesday that a settlement of R31.3 million had been paid by each contractor over the next three years and that the settlement had been formally made on May 16.
Nef said the reasons WBHO signed the settlement agreement are the same as the reasons listed by Stefanutti Stocks.
He added that the WBHO had made a proposal to the city of Cape Town regarding the promise of a corporate social investment project in the Cape Town district.
“It will meet with the city in due course,” he said.
City of Cape Town
Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis on Wednesday welcomed the settlement of about R135 million between the construction company and the city of Cape Town.
Hill-Lewis insisted that Cape Town City was the only metro that had succeeded in bringing the claim to a settlement point arising out of the FIFA World Cup.
The settlement, he said, would provide Cape Town City with R93 million in cash over a specified period of time, and a minimum R42.5 million social investment for the solar power system, guaranteeing the city its preferred sites.
“This settlement serves to prevent such reconciliation in the future, and concludes that otherwise there could be a long-term arbitration,” he said.
The City of Cape Town’s civil damages lawsuit against the three construction companies was originally scheduled for hearing in the Gauteng North High Court in early 2020, but the parties later agreed to send the matter to arbitration.
The arbitration hearing was held from 27 September 2021 to 5 October 2021 and was then adjourned. It will resume from July this year, it was scheduled to end in seven and a half weeks.
‘The magic of competition’
In a settlement agreement with the Competition Commission confirmed by the Competition Tribunal, WBHO and Stefanutti Stocks acknowledged that they had reached an agreement with Group Five in December 2006 to provide a cover price for the project so that Group Five could not win. Tender
Cover pricing involves creating illusions of competition by some companies that submit non-competitive bids to enable an associate conspirator to win a tender, with the winning bidder paying a ‘loser fee’ to the cover pricing firm.
Stefanutti Stokes acknowledged that it had submitted a non-competitive bid and had received a cover price from WBHO to confirm that WBHO had been tendered.
The tender was awarded to a joint venture between Murray and Roberts (M&R) / WBHO, the project was completed in December 2009.
M&R had previously said the group was not cited in the civil damages claim because it did not co-operate in the project.
Group Five, which went into business rescue and closed its listing on the JSE in June 2020, did not join the civil damages claim or arbitration proceedings.
Aveng’s involvement in the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadiums was acknowledged by Greencar-LTA in its settlement agreement with the commission.
In his agreement, Aveng said: “Around 2006, Greencar-LTA, WBHO, Murray and Roberts, Group Five, Concar and Basil Reid met twice and reached an agreement on the construction of the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadium. , Peter Mokaba, Moses Mabhida, Soccer City, Nelson Mandela Bay and Green Point Stadia agreed to allocate tenders among themselves and exchange cover prices.
“They further agreed that their goal should be to achieve a 17.5% profit margin on the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadium project. Disqualification tenders in violation of Section 4 (1) (b) (iii) of the Code of Conduct. ”