S.Africa firms to pay $6 mn to settle World Cup stadium dispute
Top South African firms accused of contract collusion to build a 2010 World Cup stadium in Cape Town are to pay almost $6 million in an out-of-court settlement, it was announced Wednesday.
“WBHO, Stefanutti Stocks and Aveng Africa have engaged positively with the city of Cape Town and have reached an agreement to settle a dispute which dates back to 2014 and relates to the construction of the Greenpoint Stadium,” said a joint statement released through the city.
The settlement includes a payment of 31.3 million rand ($1.95 million) by each contractor, over the next three years.
After years of legal tussling, “it has been mutually agreed that it is in the best interests of all parties to amicably settle the matter rather than prolong an extended and costly arbitration and court process,” said the statement.
South Africa poured 20 billion rand (nearly $1.2 billion at current rates) into the construction and refurbishment of 10 stadiums that were used for the soccer tournament.
Five of the venues were built from scratch, including the 95,000-seater Soccer City in Soweto, later renamed FNB Stadium, which hosted the opening and final matches.
Twenty-one companies in 2014 admitted wrongdoing and paid settlements totalling 1.4 billion rand ($87 million at today’s rates).
But WBHO, Stefanutti Stocks and Aveng Africa were among those who initially denied any misconduct.
South Africa’s competition watchdog said back then that dozens of firms had “colluded” over the megaprojects, in some instances allocating tenders among themselves and inflating costs.