Although the ongoing spate of invasion of construction sites by the so-called “Federation for Radical Economic Transformation” is receiving serious government attention, it is important for our members to be prepared for such an event and to be clear on their rights and how to deal with such a situation. This self-proclaimed “Federation” has to date stopped billions of rands worth of projects to get participation and has been dubbed “the construction mafia”.
Recently, President Cyril Ramaphosa called for the arrest of these business forum members, saying: “This is not radical economic transformation – this is radical economic robbery.”
At the MBA North Main Contractors Committee this topic was debated at length and the following points summarise the background to this scenario, and guidelines for our members in dealing with such a situation.
Background: in 2015 government stated that “30% of appropriate categories of State Procurement would be set aside for purchasing from SMMEs, co-operatives as well as township rural enterprises”. And in 2017 the Preferential Procurement Regulations confirmed that this 30% only applied to Organs of State – i.e. NOT to private sector projects.
The Main Contractor is therefore under no obligation in private works to allocate 30% of the works to subcontractors from the local area, unless the client has specifically included this in the contract.
In addition, CIDB registration is not a requirement for private works.
What to do if your construction site is threatened by the “construction mafia”
- Report the matter to your local police commander without delay, particularly if there have been threats of violence.
- Record in writing details of all parties involved i.e. Business Forum names and names and ID numbers of the persons representing these forums.
- Take photographs and videos of these persons and their actions. If possible ensure that the images and footage are date stamped.
- Keep your client informed of the situation at all times in order to avoid possible penalties.
- Take detailed notes throughout the incident – which may be protracted.
- One can apply for an urgent court interdict – although this can be a costly exercise.
Throughout the process do also keep MBA North Legal Division abreast of developments who in turn may deem it necessary to escalate the matter via Master Builders South Africa and National Government.