Construction Mafia Infiltrates Cape Town

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  • The construction mafia has emerged in Cape Town since the start of the year.
  • They are targeting construction projects awarded by the City Council plus others
  • The organise crime syndicates are deadly.
  • A city official, Wendy Kloppers, was shot and killed last month at a housing site in Delft.
  • The City has put up a R1 million reward for information that would lead to the prosecution of the gunmen. Read more

Last month, three contractors were shot at the City’s R500-million Delft Symphony Way housing project. “The motive for the attack is possibly extortion. Delft police are investigating three counts of attempted murder,” said Western Cape police spokesperson, Captain FC van Wyk

The problem was highlighted by a report authored by Jenni Irish-Qhobosheane for the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime entitled ‘Extortion or Transformation? The construction mafia in South Africa’.The report, released last year, reveals how the construction mafia operate, their involvement in systemic extortion, and the long-term implications for the construction industry in South Africa.

Dubbed the ‘construction mafia’ in the media, these people have organized themselves into groups known as ‘local business forums’ and invaded construction sites across the country, demanding money or a stake in development projects in what can arguably be described as systemic extortion. These activities have been fuelled by the weak response from the state, allowing them to expand their activities. In 2019, at least 183 infrastructure and construction projects worth more than R63 billion had been affected by these disruptions across the country. Since then, invasions have continued at construction sites across South Africa. 

Disrupting the construction extortion economy, particularly in areas where it has taken root, will not be an easy task. However, not addressing it will affect the construction sector and the country, and failure to deal with this type of extortion is also likely to spread such practices to other sectors of the economy.

This report provides government, businesses, and communities with recommendations on building a comprehensive strategy for dealing with systemic extortion and strengthening partnerships between private sector organizations, local communities, civil society organizations, local government, and state actors.

Link to the full report HERE 

Author: Bryan Groenendaal



  1. Yasmin Deedat on

    What u allow will continue.
    Another weak link show the incompetence of government
    Which have negative impact on our struggling economy

  2. An interesting article.This is scary. Where are law enforcement officers, and where is the Minister of police to deal with such kinds of criminality.We cannot live in a country where everyone does they way he/she likes

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