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Competition Policy News

Tribunal confirms three more consent agreements related to excessive pricing

By: Simone Liedtke     10th July 2020 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed three more consent agreements relating to Covid-19 excessive pricing complaints. The Competition Commission had concluded the consent agreements with the three firms after receiving and investigating complaints from the public. 

Cleaning company fined R250 000 following 2016 Sassa tender collusion

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2020 The Competition Tribunal has, after requesting and receiving further submissions from involved parties, confirmed a consent agreement whereby corporate cleaning company Quintax Cleaning Services has admitted to collusion in 2016 with regard to a South African Social Security Agency (Sassa)... 

Automation reduces costs, increases productivity

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 With companies that invest in technology and automation showing signs of being more adaptable and strategically well positioned to take advantage of an inevitable upswing in the economy, local manufacturer and supplier of cutting and welding equipment consumables as well as distributor of steel... 

Automation reduces costs,  increases productivity
ANDREW POOLE Companies which take the risk and invest are more agile, more productive and better positioned to diversify and access new markets

Caprichem agrees to pay R600 000 for alleged excessive pricing

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd June 2020 The Competition Commission has applied to the Competition Tribunal for confirmation as an order a settlement agreement with Cape Town-based company Caprichem, which has agreed to pay a settlement amount, comprising of an administrative penalty and contribution to the Solidarity Fund totalling... 

Welding range offers value for power tools wholesaler

By: Mamaili Mamaila     19th June 2020 Power tools and hardware wholesaler Matus South Africa’s MatWeld range continues to be a big part of the company’s business, says Matus welding category manager Warren Pedlar. 

Welding range offers value for power tools wholesaler
DIY PERSONIFIED Matus South Africa’s high-quality welding and plasma-cutting industrial and do-it-yourself machines all carry a two-year warranty

CDH says Comp Act focusing on SMEs, but says that larger firms also struggling 

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd June 2020 The onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to complicate matters for various business, especially with the South African Competition Act now seemingly focusing on protecting smaller firms and customers who may be subject to price hikes during these difficult times. With the world finding... 

CDH says Comp Act focusing on SMEs, but says that larger firms also struggling
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr's (CDH's) Andries le Grange and Jerome Brink gives viewers some insight into the Competition Act, as well as what Covid-19 tax relief measures firms can consider. Video: CDH. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Construction sector survival requires fresh approach

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 The survival of the construction industry will depend on the willingness and ability of individuals and organisations to adapt to a new way of working, as well government’s commitment to address the threats highlighted by the sector, University of Pretoria (UP) Graduate School of Technology... 

Construction sector survival requires fresh approach
DECISIVE ACTION For the construction industry to thrive, opportunism will need to be dealt with immediately and decisively

Pandemic, economic challenges to shape industry direction

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Industry trends are likely to take a new direction because of the global Covid-19 pandemic and a severely constrained local economy, says steel and value-added steel products merchandiser and distributor Macsteel. 

Pandemic, economic challenges to shape industry direction
MIKE BENFIELD The construction and steel sectors – including the larger manufacturing industry – are “hand-in-glove”

Pandemic heightens existing construction sector woes

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Challenges in the construction sector will continue to prevail if construction sites remain closed, owing to South Africa’s national lockdown, says Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) president Christelle Bown. 

Pandemic heightens existing construction sector woes
CHRISTELLE BOWN It is important to address the difficulties caused by the onerous conditions prescribed when tendering for professional services

Competition Commission issues Price Discrimination and Buyer Power Guidelines

By: Simone Liedtke     18th May 2020 The Competition Commission has issued the Price Discrimination and Buyer Power Guidelines, which are aimed at achieving more fairness for emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses. The objective of the buyer power provisions is to enhance the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises... 

Tribunal approves four more consent agreements

By: Donna Slater     15th May 2020 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed four more consent agreements relating to Covid-19 excessive pricing complaints, that were concluded between the Competition Commission and various companies. Consent agreements offer parties to alleged anti-competitive conduct the opportunity to settle the... 

Local procurement lags in public, private sectors

By: Mamaili Mamaila     15th May 2020 A prevailing issue facing the valves sector is the “poor attitude” to local procurement in the public and private sectors, says valves manufacturer RGR Technologies commercial director Ross Hunter. 

Local procurement lags  in public, private sectors
MAPPING THE WAY FORWARD RGR Technologies looks forward to slowly introducing three-dimensional printing into its processes to assist with the manufacture of valve parts

Pandemic prompts supplier’s tech aspirations

By: Mamaili Mamaila     15th May 2020 Industrial valves supplier Process and Allied Contracting Equipment (Pace Valves) plans to embrace the technological developments that will be prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa to sustain its supply growth. 

Pandemic prompts supplier’s tech aspirations
IN TOUCH WITH THE TRENDS Pace Valves is no stranger to developments in valve automation

Commission refers face mask pricing cases to Tribunal for prosecution

By: Donna Slater     13th May 2020 The Competition Commission has referred cases against two major protective face mask suppliers to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution.   Sicuro Safety and Hennox Supplies are said to have allegedly charged excessive prices for face masks, with the commission saying prices had increased... 

Commission warns retailers they'll have to substantiate reasons for cost increases 

By: Simone Liedtke     8th May 2020 Firms and retailers that are found to increase prices during the Covid-19 pandemic will need to substantiate why this is the case when approached by the Competition Commission, according to the commission’s chief economist James Hodge. While various factors are taken into account – such as... 

Commission warns retailers they'll have to substantiate reasons for cost increases
The Competition Commission’s James Hodge gives insight into how the organisation approaches the price regulation and excessive pricing situation in South Africa in its time of crisis. Video & Editing: Creamer Media’s Darlene Creamer.

Commission welcomes R11m agreement for face mask price inflation 

By: Simone Liedtke     6th May 2020 The Competition Commission has welcomed the Competition Tribunal’s decision to confirm, as an order, an R11-million consent agreement with a distributor of face masks and personal protection gear. The ruling follows after the commission referred the agreement to the tribunal after it found the... 

Incentives needed to aid local energy tech

By: Mamaili Mamaila     1st May 2020 While there is an increased focus on local content across several South African industries, government could do more in terms of incentivising local manufacturing, says energy solutions company i-G3n co-founder and director Sydney Phakathi. 

Incentives needed  to aid local energy tech
NO FUSS WHATSOEVER i-G3n offers standard solutions that it can also tailor to suit the specific needs of every client

PPE supplier agrees to pay R6m fine, R5m Solidarity Fund contribution

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th April 2020 The Competition Tribunal is reviewing a consent agreement referred to it by the Competition Commission against a distributor of face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) that it said had implemented excessive price inflation. In terms of the consent agreement, Matus agreed to pay an... 

Hardware store ordered to refund buyers after excessive mark-up on gloves

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th April 2020 The Competition Tribunal has ordered a Gauteng hardware store to refund customers following an overcharge of surgical gloves during the Covid-19 lockdown period. The store, Main Hardware, must also reduce its mark-up on surgical gloves to 10% during the remainder of the pandemic period and six... 

Pharmacy receives R25 000 excessive pricing penalty

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th April 2020 Boksburg-based Centrum Pharmacy, in Gauteng, has been ordered by the Competition Tribunal to donate hand sanitisers, surgical gloves and face masks to the value of R25 000 to two old aged homes in the area. This follows after the commission investigated the firm and found it to be charging... 

Commission refers first essential goods excessive pricing case to tribunal

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th April 2020 The Competition Commission has referred its first case of alleged inflated pricing of essential goods to the Competition Tribunal. The case was filed by complainants on March 24 and the tribunal intends to hear the matter on April 24.  

Tribunal to conduct excessive pricing hearings through audio, video conferencing

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th April 2020 Since Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel last month issued regulations prohibiting firms from charging an excessive prices for specified foods and services necessary to minimise the spread of Covid-19, more excessive pricing regulations have been issued. The additional... 

Commission investigating over 300 excessive pricing cases since virus outbreak

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st March 2020 Since Cyril Ramaphosa declared a State of National Disaster on March 15, the Competition Commission has been flooded with complaints of retailers charging excessive prices for certain goods. This is despite regulations having been put in place by Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel to... 

Commission investigating over 300 excessive pricing cases since virus outbreak

Covid-19 may exacerbate the abuse of power – Corruption Watch  

By: Sane Dhlamini     31st March 2020 Not-for-profit organisation Corruption Watch on Tuesday released its yearly corruption report with executive director David Lewis  saying South Africans should not expect corruption to lessen during the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s report is themed “The Writing is on the Wall” and shows... 

Covid-19 may exacerbate the abuse of power – Corruption Watch
Corruption Watch executive director, David Lewis

Draft Public Procurement Bill comment period extended

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th March 2020 The National Treasury has extended the deadline for public comment on the Draft Public Procurement Bill by a month to June 30, as a result of the 21-day lockdown implemented in South Africa. One of the main objectives of the Bill is to do away with the current fragmentation of public procurement... 

KZN MEC says dept has adopted zero tolerance on price hiking amid lockdown

By: Sane Dhlamini     27th March 2020 KwaZulu-Natal economic development, tourism and environmental affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube says her department  is in communication with the management of Spar KZN with the view of terminating contracts of franchise owners who are involved in price hiking. This follows consumer complaints that... 

KZN MEC says dept has adopted zero tolerance on price hiking amid lockdown
KZN MEC for EDTEA Nomusa Dube-Ncube

African automotive industrialisation requires political will, ecosystem

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2020 Increasing the motorisation rate in Africa from about 42 vehicles per 1000 people to at least the world average of 180 vehicles per 1000 people provide an opportunity for industrialisation, economic growth, balance of payments and job creation in Africa, says industry body African Association of... 

African automotive industrialisation requires political will, ecosystem
DAVE COFFEY Regional cooperation is important to ensure sustainable automotive industrialisation that benefits of all participating countries

Policy certainty to support automotive manufacturing growth

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2020 The broad support for the Automotive Masterplan 2035 by companies across the value chain and the certainty that it creates supports local vehicle-manufacturing growth and, consequently, for the automotive components industry to increase supply, says Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Sumitomo Dunlop)... 

Policy certainty to support automotive manufacturing growth
PRODUCTIVE CAPACITY Sumitomo Dunlop has grown its local tyre production and capacity on the certainty created by original equipment manufacturers’ plans

DTI effects regulations for healthcare sector, retailers in light of Covid-19

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th March 2020 Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel, after consultation with the Competition Commission, and in terms of the Competition Act, has published regulations for Covid-19 exemption for the healthcare sector. The regulations will come into effect on the date of publication in the Government Gazette. 

Coca Cola Beverages South Africa applies to tribunal for urgent interim relief

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th March 2020 The Competition Tribunal on Friday heard an urgent interim relief application by beverage manufacturer Coca Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA), which claims that conditions of the merger, whereby the Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) bought brewing and beverage company SABMiller shares held in Coca Cola... 

DTIC reaches agreement with PepsiCo

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th March 2020 An agreement between the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and PepsiCo has been reached, and the buyout of Pioneer Foods by PepsiCo is currently with the Competition Tribunal for approval, Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel informed during the Black Business Council's yearly... 

Tribunal approves Timrite, Tufbag consent agreement

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th February 2020 The Competition Tribunal has approved a consent agreement between the Competition Commission and two underground mine support bag suppliers that the commission had said contravened the Competition Act. The commission had said in its referral of the matter to the tribunal that the companies,... 

Market feels project pinch

By: Mamaili Mamaila     28th February 2020 The lack of significant public infrastructure spend to boost steel consumption and construction activity are some of the challenges that the local steel tube market has to deal with, says steel industry association the Association of Steel Pipe Manufacturers (ASTPM). 

Market feels project pinch
KEITUMETSE MOUMAKOE The influx of cheap small-bore steel tube imports has not aided the industry

Stainless steel growth unlikely in 2020

By: Mamaili Mamaila     28th February 2020 The level of activity in the local stainless steel sector’s value chain has dwindled in the past decade, mainly owing to international competition, low steel prices and the slow growth of the local economy. 

Stainless steel growth unlikely in 2020
FULL OF VIGOR Stainless steel is one of the youngest industrial materials globally, managing to positively change people’s lives

Local steel industry still holds much potential 

By: Mamaili Mamaila     28th February 2020 The current capacity and capabilities of the local steel industry are still largely understated, says export trade promotion agency the International Steel Fabricators (ISF). 

Local steel industry  still holds much potential
International Steel Fabricators CEO Neels van Niekerk discusses the South African steel sector. Camerawork: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 30.01.2020

Volatile steel prices to continue in 2020

By: Mamaili Mamaila     28th February 2020 The volatile prices of domestic steel producers and domestic steel merchants are likely to continue in 2020, says national employer federation Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) chief economist Dr Michael Ade. 

Volatile steel prices  to continue in 2020
MICHAEL ADE 2020 is still going to be a difficult year for the metals and engineering sector, with ongoing pressure on margins

LED company aims to benefit from trade agreement at Indaba

By: Cameron Mackay     21st February 2020 This year’s Africa Energy Indaba will provide light-emitting-diode (LED) technology provider Grandstage Trading with opportunities to explore how it will achieve its objectives through the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which will be a significant topic... 

LED company aims to benefit from trade agreement at Indaba
CHRISTINE MASAITI An important factor of the discussions at the indaba which could be of great benefit is encouraging the public to move to LED lighting technology
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