The Competition Commission’s Guidelines for Competition in the South African Automotive Aftermarket have become effective as of July 1.
The final guidelines were issued on January 29 and are available on the commission’s website.
The guidelines were prepared in terms of Section 79(1) of the Competition Act, to provide practical guidance to industry players on the adoption of pro-competitive measures in the automotive aftermarket, and to promote greater participation of small businesses, as well as historically disadvantaged individuals (HDIs), in the market.
The guidelines also place responsibility on all industry players to disclose certain information to consumers, to enable them to make informed choices. They also address consumer safety.
A dispute resolution process and a self-monitoring mechanism by industry stakeholders is also articulated.
Since the publication of the guidelines in January, the commission has embarked on a nationwide campaign with all relevant stakeholders to ensure there is awareness and understanding of the implications of the guidelines.
The commission notes that the publication of the guidelines is a culmination of extensive consultation and advocacy work conducted since 2017, following numerous complaints from various independent players as well as members of the public.
These parties raised concerns about alleged anticompetitive practices that foreclose independent players in the automotive aftermarket.
“These guidelines are in line with the commission's strategy of opening up markets to support growth and transformation. We urge the original-equipment manufacturers and insurers to embrace the guidelines and comply as this asks them to do no more than what they already do in their home countries and other parts of the world.
"For its part, the commission is absolutely committed to ensuring that competitive outcomes are achieved in this sector, in line with the principles in these guidelines,” says Competition Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele.