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PROJECT: THE CONSTRUCTION MAFIA IN SOUTH AFRICA

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In the intricate landscape of South Africa's construction industry, an ominous presence looms large - the construction mafia.


This clandestine network, comprised of organised groups wielding coercive tactics, intimidation, and sometimes violence has cast a dark cloud ove building projects in the nation.


They employ a range of strategies, from extortion and threats to disrupting labour and engaging in sabotage. These people seek control over construction sites, leaving many companies in a precarious position.


In recent revelations, a former enforcer for the mafia has shed light on the inner workings of this underworld, exposing the challenges faced by construction companies as they navigate the treacherous terrain of resisting extortion and intimidation.


As the industry grapples with this complex issue, the vulnerability of construction projects to the influence of criminal elements comes into sharp focus. It demands a concerted effort to secure the foundations of South Africa's construction sector.

 

TACTICS OF THE CONSTRUCTION MAFIA:


Construction mafias employ a range of tactics to exert control over construction companies and extract money from them. Here are some common tactics:

  • Coercion and Threats: 

  • They often use physical intimidation and threats of violence to force construction companies into compliance.

  • This can include threats against employees, damage to property, or disruption of construction sites.

  • Labour Unrest: 

  • Construction mafias may instigate labour unrest, organising strikes or protests that disrupt construction projects.

  • This creates a chaotic environment and puts pressure on companies to meet their demands to restore order.

  • Sabotage: 

  • They may resort to damaging construction equipment, destroying materials, or other forms of sabotage.

  • This hampers the progress of projects and also adds financial strain on companies.

  • Insider Information: 

  • Some mafias have insiders within construction companies who provide them with information about project timelines, financial details, and vulnerabilities.

  • This information is then used to exploit and manipulate the companies.

  • Forced Partnerships: 

  • Mafias may demand a share of the profits from construction projects in exchange for so-called "protection."

  • They may force companies to enter into partnerships or joint ventures, allowing the mafia to benefit financially from the projects.

 

CHALLENGES FACED BY CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES:


Challenges faced by construction companies in dealing with extortion and intimidation include:

  • Fear of Retaliation: 

  • Companies fear violent reprisals or further disruption if they resist the demands of the construction mafia.

  • Lack of Legal Protection: 

  • In some cases, the legal system may not provide sufficient protection for companies facing these types of threats.

  • Legal processes can be slow, and the risk of retaliation during legal proceedings may discourage companies from seeking help.

  • Corruption: 

  • Construction mafias may have ties to corrupt officials or law enforcement, making it difficult for companies to seek assistance or protection from authorities.

  • Complex Supply Chain: 

  • The construction industry often involves a complex network of subcontractors and suppliers.

  • Mafias exploit vulnerabilities within this supply chain to exert control and extract payments.

  • Limited Industry Cooperation: 

  • Companies may be reluctant to cooperate or share information about their experiences with construction mafias owing to concerns about reputation damage or fear of further reprisals.


 

SAFETY MEASURES:



Protecting a construction site against the construction mafia involves a combination of preventive measures, vigilance, and collaboration.



Here are some strategies:

  • Security Personnel:

  • Hire trained security personnel to monitor the construction site 24/7.

  • Ensure security staff is equipped with communication devices and have a clear protocol for reporting suspicious activities.

  • CCTV Surveillance:

  • Install CCTV cameras at key points on the construction site.

  • Regularly monitor and maintain the CCTV system to ensure it is functioning properly.

  • Access Control:

  • Implement strict access control measures to limit entry to authorised personnel only.

  • Issue identification badges to employees and contractors and regularly update access lists.

  • Comprehensive vetting of all parties involved:

  • Thorough vetting of every worker, employee, sub-contractor, supplier, etc., is essential.

  • Community Engagement:

  • Foster positive relationships with the local community to encourage cooperation and information sharing.

  • Raise awareness about the construction mafia and encourage community members to report suspicious activities.

  • Whistleblower Hotline:

  • Establish a confidential whistleblower hotline where employees and contractors can report extortion or intimidation attempts.

  • Ensure that there is protection in place for those who come forward with information.

  • Legal Support:

  • Work closely with legal experts to understand the legal rights and protection available for your construction company.

  • Report incidents to law enforcement promptly and cooperate fully with investigations.

  • Training and Awareness:

  • Provide training for employees and contractors on recognising and responding to potential threats.

  • Create awareness about tactics employed by construction mafias and the importance of reporting suspicious behaviour.

  • Supply Chain Vetting:

  • Vet subcontractors and suppliers thoroughly before entering into partnerships.

  • Monitor the supply chain for signs of external influence or coercion.

  • Industry Collaboration:

  • Collaborate with other construction companies and industry associations to share information and best practices in dealing with these people.

  • Advocate for industry-wide initiatives to combat organised crime in the construction sector.

  • Government Engagement:

  • Engage with local law enforcement and government authorities to seek support and cooperation.

  • Advocate for stronger legislation and enforcement against construction mafias.

  • Regular Audits:

  • Conduct regular audits of financial transactions to identify any irregularities or unexpected payments.

  • Implement internal controls to minimise the risk of funds being diverted to criminal elements.


 

MORE ISSUES TO CONSIDER WHEN VETTING: 


Vetting all parties involved in a construction site is crucial for ensuring the integrity and security of the project. Here is a general overview of the vetting process:

  • Contractors and Subcontractors:

  • Background Checks: 

  • Conduct thorough background checks on contractors and subcontractors.

  • This includes verifying their legal status, financial stability, and past performance on similar projects.

  • References: 

  • Request and check references from previous clients or partners to assess the reliability and quality of their work.

  • Suppliers:

  • Financial Stability: 

  • Assess the financial stability of suppliers to ensure they can fulfil their commitments.

  • Check for signs of financial distress.

  • Product Quality: 

  • Evaluate the quality of materials provided by suppliers.

  • Ensure that they meet industry standards and specifications.

  • Employees:

  • Background Screening: 

  • Implement background checks for all employees working on the construction site.

  • This includes checking for criminal records, employment history, and qualifications.

  • Training and Certifications: 

  • Verify that employees have the necessary training and certifications required for their roles.

  • Security Personnel:

  • Training and Licensing: 

  • Ensure that security personnel are adequately trained and licensed.

  • Verify their experience in handling construction site security.

  • References: 

  • Check references and past experiences of security personnel to assess their effectiveness.

  • Consultants and Design Professionals:

  • Qualifications: 

  • Verify the qualifications and credentials of consultants and design professionals.

  • Ensure they have the expertise required for the project.

  • Professional Reputation: 

  • Check professional associations and industry networks for any red flags or concerns about their reputation.

  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance:

  • Licenses and Permits: 

  • Verify that all parties have the necessary licenses and permits to operate in the construction industry.

  • Compliance with Regulations: 

  • Ensure that contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers comply with local, state, and national regulations.

  • Financial Transactions:

  • Transaction Audits: 

  • Regularly audit financial transactions to identify irregularities or unexpected payments.

  • This can help detect attempts at extortion or bribery.

  • Community Engagement:

  • Community Feedback: 

  • Consider the reputation of the parties involved in the local community.

  • Positive relationships with the community can be a good indicator of a party's reliability.

  • Ongoing Monitoring:

  • Regular Reviews: 

  • Periodically review and update the vetting information for all parties involved.

  • Communication Channels: 

  • Maintain open communication channels to address any concerns or issues that may arise during the project.

 By diligently vetting all parties involved in a construction site and implementing ongoing monitoring practices, construction companies can mitigate risks and enhance their projects' overall security and success.


 

By taking a comprehensive and proactive approach, construction companies can reduce their vulnerability to construction mafias and create a safer working environment for their projects.

Addressing these challenges requires a coordinated effort from law enforcement, industry stakeholders, and government authorities to create a safer and more secure environment for construction companies.


 

REFERENCES:


 
Specialised Security Services invites the public to the Mike Bolhuis Daily Projects WhatsApp Group. This group is important in delivering insights into the latest crime trends, awareness, warnings and the exposure of criminals.

HOW TO JOIN THE MIKE BOLHUIS DAILY PROJECTS WHATSAPP GROUP:

• Follow the link to our WhatsApp group:

• "JOIN" to ensure you never miss our daily updates.

• You will receive automatic notifications as soon as a new project is posted.

 
CONTACT MR MIKE BOLHUIS FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY MEASURES, PROTECTION, OR AN INVESTIGATION IF NEEDED.

ALL INFORMATION RECEIVED WILL BE TREATED IN THE STRICTEST CONFIDENTIALITY AND EVERY IDENTITY WILL BE PROTECTED.
 

Regards,

Mike Bolhuis

Specialist Investigators into

Serious Violent, Serious Economic Crimes & Serious Cybercrimes

PSIRA Reg. 1590364/421949

Mobile: +27 82 447 6116

Fax: 086 585 4924

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EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: All potential clients need to be aware that owing to the nature of our work as specialist investigators there are people who have been caught on the wrong side of the law - who are trying to discredit me - Mike Bolhuis and my organisation Specialised Security Services - to get themselves off the hook. This retaliation happens on social media and creates doubt about our integrity and ability. Doubt created on social media platforms is both unwarranted and untrue. We strongly recommend that you make up your minds concerning me and our organisation only after considering all the factual information - to the exclusion of hearsay and assumptions. Furthermore, you are welcome to address your concerns directly with me should you still be unsatisfied with your conclusions. While the internet provides a lot of valuable information, it is also a platform that distributes a lot of false information. The distribution of false information, fake news, slander and hate speech constitutes a crime that can be prosecuted by law. Your own research discretion and discernment are imperative when choosing what and what not to believe.


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POPI ACT 4 of 2013 South Africa: Mike Bolhuis' "Specialised Security Services" falls under Section 6 of the act. Read more here:

 
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Mike Bolhuis Specialised Security Services

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