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Wed July 17 2019

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Violent protests force Strabag to quit South African bridge project

6 Feb A joint venture of Strabag and South African contractor Aveng has terminated its contract to build a 1.1km bridge.

Avery Strabag JV (ASJV) was appointed in September by the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) to build the Mtentu Bridge in South Africa.

ASJV said that it has been unable to execute any works on site since 22 October 2018 because of threats of violence and levels of community unrest and protest action related to demands made against Sanral.

The contractor said that Sanral has expressed the view that although the demands of the community have yet to be fully resolved, its engagement process has reached a stage where works can continue safely. “The ASJV does not agree with Sanral 's view and related events do not support Sanral 's view,” it said in a statement. “The ability to execute works safely and in accordance with international best practice is ASJV's primary concern. Aveng and Strabag, on the strength of their combined local and international experience and track-record in complex bridge projects, have come to the reasoned conclusion that the ASJV cannot resume the execution of the works given the risk to the safety and wellbeing of its personnel and has therefore elected to terminate the Mtentu Contract following consultation with external legal advice.”

The ASJV has provided two bonds to Sanral in connection with the contract.

It said that it is mindful of the impact the termination of the Contract may have and has made itself available for further discussions with Sanral to work collaboratively with Sanral to finding pragmatic outcomes to the unwinding of the contract.  

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