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Competition Policy News

Tribunal confirms settlement agreement between PPC, commission

By: Simone Liedtke     11th November 2020 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a settlement agreement between Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) and the Competition Commission which, in effect, grants PPC final immunity from prosecution in the cement cartel case. PPC has also been granted immunity from an administrative penalty. 

Govt's focus on online marketplaces is misplaced, says SBI

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th November 2020 The Small Business Institute (SBI) has asked the Competition Commission to exercise caution around online marketplace dominance. This follows after commissioner Tenbinkosi Bonakele told delegates at a conference this week about online marketplace Takealot and other major players becoming a... 

Covid-19 exacerbates competition challenges, but there is opportunity for improvement

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd November 2020 Although the Competition Commission has come a long way since 1998 in terms of investigating restrictive business practices, outgoing Competition Appeal Court judge Professor Dennis Davis and other commission members say there are still barriers to entry, increasing concentration and an economy... 

Commission grants short-term exemption to SASA and its members

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th October 2020 The Competition Commission has granted the South African Sugar Association (SASA) and its members an exemption until June 31, 2021. The exemption has been granted subject to conditions to ensure that the information SASA and its members share is limited to that which is necessary to give effect... 

Phola communities allowed to intervene in Thabong, South32 coal merger; SAEF's application dismissed

By: Simone Liedtke     21st October 2020 The Competition Tribunal has dismissed the South African Energy Forum’s (SAEF’s) application to intervene in proceedings regarding the proposed large merger between Thabong Coal and South32 South Africa Coal Holdings (South African Energy Coal or SAEC). 

Aberdare reaffirms commitment to competitive behaviour

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st October 2020 Aberdare Cables has reaffirmed its stance against anticompetitive behaviour in the manufacturing industry, including power cable manufacturing, saying it is an inhibitor to growth and needs to be addressed assertively by all stakeholders. The cable manufacturer views collusive tendering, price... 

Aberdare reaffirms commitment to competitive behaviour

Tribunal confirms agreement between commission, industrial solvents distributor

By: Donna Slater     9th October 2020 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed, as an order, a consent agreement concluded between Durban-based distributor of industrial solvents Swift Chemicals and the Competition Commission in relation to an investigation into alleged excessive pricing in the context of Covid-19. In April, the... 

Tribunal confirms consent agreement between commission, sprinkler system installer

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th October 2020 The Competition Tribunal has approved a consent agreement between the Competition Commission and sprinkler system installer Eagle Fire Control, which admits that the company was involved in collusive tendering conduct. Eagle Fire has agreed to pay an administrative penalty of R120 000, refrain... 

Competition Tribunal dismisses case against I&J

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th September 2020 The Competition Tribunal has dismissed a case of alleged cartel conduct against processed frozen foods company Irvin & Johnson (I&J) owing to a lack of evidence. The Competition Commission had accused I&J and beef processing company Karan Beef of allegedly dividing markets in the supply of... 

Japanese firm agrees to pay R3.8m penalty

By: Donna Slater     25th August 2020 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed, as an order, a consent agreement between the Competition Commission and Yazaki Corporation, incorporated under the company laws of Japan, in which Yazaki will pay an administrative penalty of R3.8-million. This follows after the commission accused Yazaki... 

Commission welcomes tribunal's approval of settlement with panel beating company

By: Simone Liedtke     14th August 2020 The Competition Commission has welcomed the Competition Tribunal's decision to confirm a settlement agreement between the commission and a Gauteng-based panel beating company, Eldan Auto Body, for fixing prices, dividing market and collusive tendering. The tribunal's decision was made on August 12. 

More German experts coming to help reactivate South African industry

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th August 2020 The German embassy in South Africa expects further technical experts from that country to arrive in South Africa, subject to the approval of the South African government. The first contingent of these experts, sent to help reactivate and upgrade German-owned factories and service companies in... 

Commission asks for maximum penalty against hygienic goods maker

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd July 2020 The Competition Commission has referred to the Competition Tribunal, for prosecution, Johannesburg-based wholesale distributor and manufacturer of medical productions, LevTrade International, trading as Burnshield, for alleged excessive pricing. The commission says its investigation has found... 

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
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