Struggling construction group Aveng’s woes may pile up if the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) claims damages for unfinished work on what was set to be one of the world’s highest bridges. The agency hinted on Tuesday that it might well pursue a claim against Aveng and its Austrian partner Strabag, which stopped work on the proposed R1.65bn Mtentu Bridge on the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast. While the companies cited community opposition and violent protests for the stoppage of work on the 220m high bridge, the road agency said that it suspected this might be an excuse, and the real reason might have been Aveng’s dire finances. "The contractor is not being transparent about its true reasons for abandoning site, but Sanral suspects that the publicly known financial challenges of Aveng may have contributed to the decision." Sanral said the national and provincial governments had taken the necessary steps to ensure worker safety. A hefty fine for unfinished work will be a blow to the strug...

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