Small local businesses that benefit from government building contracts continue to fall victim to extortion at construction sites despite warnings by industry bodies in 2019 already about the rise of a “construction mafia” in South Africa.
In Eldorado Park, south of Johannesburg, a three-month-long Mail & Guardian investigation into massive public infrastructure projects currently underway has revealed how business owners are intimidated into allegedly paying exorbitant amounts to a “business forum”, according to sources. They say the Sisonke Eldorado Park Business Forum then takes a cut of the 30% of contracts that are reserved for local small and medium enterprises (SMEs), according to legislated government tender provisions.
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