The infamous Gupta family have struck once again, this time crippling a Gauteng business that supplied the family with much-needed equipment to continue operations at their controversially acquired Shiva Uranium mine in Klerksdorp.
Quarry Master, situated in Springs, Ekurhuleni was contacted in 2015 by Varun Gupta who sought to utilize the company’s expertise to repair a rock crushing machine.
Quarry Master took up the job but indicated that repairing the machine would be of no use and that a replacement unit should be installed.
Varun Gupta insisted that the company do the repair job, despite being informed the repair would carry no warranty. Quarry Master repaired the machine and sent a technical team onsite to monitor the system for a period of 12 hours, as per the request of Varun Gupta.
Suspiciously, when these 12 hours were up, the machine “broke” and Varun refused to pay for the work carried out – including other goods that were purchased from Quarry Master.
When Quarry Master sought legal recourse, Varun Gupta indicated that they would counter sue. R500 000 out of pocket, and with suppliers breathing down their necks, Quarry Master was not in a position to take the matter further.
Subsequent to this event, the company has had to down-scale its work force and its reputation with its suppliers has been badly tarnished.
This is yet another example of how cronyism and corruption are killing small businesses in South Africa. Without the political will to tackle this scourge head-on, more jobs will be lost in an ever shrinking economy.
Where the DA governs, we have instituted measures to root out corruption, focus upon supporting micro and small businesses and come 2019, there will be no corner available to individuals like the Guptas to spin their webs of corruption, or to bully small businesses.