A High Court Judge in Pretoria has advised construction company WBHO, which is responsible for several massive new developments in Tshwane, and the National Civic Organisation (Sanco) to settle their differences.
Judge Billy Mothle on Tuesday struck an urgent application by WBHO against Sanco off the urgent roll, saying there was no need for the matter to come to court as it could be settled.
WBHO sought an urgent court interdict to stop Sanco and its members from interfering with the company’s operations and intimidating, assaulting or harassing their employees and sub-contractors.
WBHO director Wolfgang Neff said in court papers Sanco and its members had no affiliation to the construction company, but have over a period of time embarked on a campaign to disrupt their business.
WBHO is presently involved in large construction projects at Menlyn Maine, Loftus Park, Hazelwood and the rehabilitation of an 18km stretch of road between Bronkhorstspruit and Ekangala.
The Menlyn project includes the construction of an office block and residential complex, while a gym, two office blocks and a hotel are being constructed at Loftus Park.
Neff said Sanco members have over the past months committed acts of intimidation and violence against the company aimed at forcing them to give preference to and to employ community members.
They have disrupted activities at several construction sites and managed to shut down the construction of the road at Bronkhorstspruit, which has delayed the project by five months and cost the sub-contractor over R4 million in penalties.
Heff said the police refused to interfere although the mood of aggression had become increasingly more hostile, confrontation and aggressive and he now feared that mass confrontation was likely unless the court granted an interdict.
Sanco has accused WBHO of seeking to undermine the gains of the economic discourse in our country and trying to intimidate the civil movement with legal action.
The organisation said after being convicted of collusion in 2010, WBHO continued to ignore the settlement they reached with the South African government in 2016 which included an undertaking to do business with emerging contractors.
Sanco accused WBHO of arrogance and deliberately ignoring the agreement that they needed to plough back into the community by employing local labourers and businesses.
“We will not allow our democratic rights to demonstrate against the lack of employment we are faced with when opportunities are there,” the organisation said.