By Bahle Gama
Over 10 construction companies have been nabbed for attempting to secure jobs using fake certificates.
This is according to Construction Industry Council (CIC) Acting CEO Maqhawe Mnisi who stated that whilst thoroughly putting their house in order, they made this discovery which will result in legal steps being taken by the entity.
“Yes, we have uncovered some of these companies and are since doing internal investigations which will result in the matters being taken to court, we just need to follow the appropriate procedure for now,” Mnisi.
He emphasized that the only route to be taken by the CIC in such an event is to take that particular company found to be using a forged certificate to court.
He stated that to curb an increase in the falsifying of certificates, new ones with Quick Response (QR) bar codes are being produced to ensure that companies giving tenders will scan and verify the authenticity of any certificates that will be submitted to them.
Mnisi elaborated that the QR code is a two-dimensional matrix barcode that can be easily scanned using smartphones or other compatible devices. This code will be securely embedded on each CIC certificate, containing encrypted information that is unique to the recipient and the certification.
“As CIC, part of our responsibility is to ensure that we assess contractors on whether they are eligible and capable of doing that job. This includes also checking their financials to see if they are capable. We also look at previous work done for reference, which will determine that they will succeed in doing the job seamlessly” Mnisi said.
Mnisi stated that in the event a contractor has used a forged certificate, it puts the procuring entity at a loss and a risk to the investor because they will assume that with the certificate received, they are eligible and capable when such is not the case.
“Therefore, the introduction of QR codes on these certificates will hopefully curb this illegal activity and further encourage contractors to abide by the law and register and acquire these certificates the right way,” he said.