OUTA is wrong – again. SANRAL is claiming up to R760 million from seven construction companies (and their joint ventures) accused of colluding on infrastructure projects belonging to the national roads agency.
OUTA’s suggestion that the claim should have been for billions is based on nothing other than its usual flight of fancy. This is the same organization that in its so-called research compared the cost of constructing a modern urban highway to that of a rural road and on that basis concluded the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project was overcharged by billions.
Also, OUTA had previously accused SANRAL of colluding with the industry and suggesting the civil action would not happen. “Now that we have shown that its accusations were unfounded, OUTA is raising another argument about the inadequacy of the claim. But we will not be irresponsible and claim for damages based on OUTA’s suspect figures,” Mona said.
The South African National Roads Agency Pty Ltd SOC (SANRAL) based its claim on the submissions to, and findings of the Competition Commission, says its communications manager, Vusi Mona. SANRAL also turned to experts such as economists and quantity surveyors, among others, to work on the quantification.
“In litigation matters one has to be thorough and show the actual damages suffered. The ones OUTA perceives us to have suffered are just that: perceived damages. Besides, when we go to court we would prefer calculations done by experts rather than OUTA,” he said.
“OUTA’s assertions that it demands full transparency on the matter are again preposterous. The court papers have been filed and are now public documents. OUTA can go to court and view them. Also, should the cases proceed to court, OUTA will have the opportunity to be in court and follow the proceedings. The process can’t get more transparent than that,” Mona said.
Mona added that given OUTA’s record with its disregard for court decisions.