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Building sites in South Africa are hotbeds for organised crime

17 May 2021 7:48 PM
Tags:
Organised crime
Construction
Master Builders South Africa
Criminal Gangs

Contractors are allegedly held to ransom by criminal gangs who demand protection money in order for construction to continue.

Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) says building sites across the country are being taken over by criminal gangs.

MBSA which represents more than 4,000 construction companies, says criminal gangs target significant to large scale construction sites, demanding a cut of the projects earnings, and in some instances forcing the construction companies to sub contract work to certain individuals or businesses.

Roy Mnisi, executive director of Master Builders South Africa says this is happening all over the country.

Since 2016, we've seen a loss of big and small projects affected by this so-called 'local business forums' who use violence to intimidate contractors onsite. It's happening in the Western Cape, it happens in Gauteng, it happens in KZN. Actually it happens everywhere in the country.

Roy Mnisi - Executive director of Master Builders South Africa

The modus operandi is mainly intimidation, extortion, arson, assaults' and in some instances, murder.

Roy Mnisi - Executive director of Master Builders South Africa

Their favourite demand is that of 30 percent of total project costs. So they'll come onsite and say 'we are aware of this project, we are local business forums and we want a share of the total contract amount. In some instances they'll say they want work that is equivalent to 30 percent. In some instances they don't even want to do any work. They just say, pay us a certain amount and we're going tp protect you against other people coming to make demands.

Roy Mnisi - Executive director of Master Builders South Africa

Mnisi says this type of crime should've been dealt with a long time ago when it was first reported to authorities at least five years ago.

Had we been able to deal with it as and when it started, I think we would've been in a position to control it to a certain extent. What is happening now is as if almost everywhere, people are aware that there are those opportunities, more especially criminals and thugs. They can see it happening in other places and they realise there are no repercussions.

Roy Mnisi - Executive director of Master Builders South Africa

Listen to the audio of the interview below




17 May 2021 7:48 PM
Tags:
Organised crime
Construction
Master Builders South Africa
Criminal Gangs

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