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Competition Policy News

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

Specialist on course despite pressures

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st February 2020 Despite the local manufacturing sector being under pressure, mouldered product specialist DEMS’ rubber manufacturing division – which operates within a very niche and specialised market – has not been affected negatively, says DEMS MD Mark Baptie. 

Specialist on course despite pressures
ALWAYS ON EDGE DEMS is always investigating and looking for opportunities to remain competitive and continue to have an edge in the market

Bleak outlook for rubber SMMEs in 2020

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st February 2020 With the industrial market aspect of its rubber business having declined in 2019 by 25%, rubber compounding specialist National Rubber Matmin (NRM) MD Mike Stuart says 2020 is “not looking much better”. 

Bleak outlook for rubber SMMEs in 2020
MIKE STUART National Rubber Matmin has had success in supplying products to the Australian mining sector

Sale of Nampak's Glass business one step closer to finalisation

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th February 2020 Packaging products manufacturer Nampak on Tuesday said the Competition Commission had granted its approval, subject to certain conditions, for the sale of Nampak's Glass business to Isanti Glass 1. Nampak in September last year announced that it would sell the Glass business to Isanti Glass 1, a... 

Mpact agrees to pay R7m penalty

By: Simone Liedtke     13th February 2020 The Competition Commission has referred to the Competition Tribunal for confirmation a consent agreement with corrugated box packaging company Mpact in respect of alleged acts of collusion and prior implementation of merger acquisitions in contravention of the Competition Act. In terms of the... 

Commission recommends approval of PepsiCo’s acquisition of Pioneer Foods

By: African News Agency      12th February 2020 South Africa's Competition Commission has recommended that the Competition Tribunal conditionally approve the acquisition of Pioneer Foods by a wholly-owned subsidiary of United States multinational food and beverage company PepsiCo. Simba gave notice last July of its intention to acquire the... 

More companies fighting back against the Competition Commission 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th February 2020 The Competition Commission has lost three cartel cases before the Competition Tribunal in the last two months. These cases involved alleged price-fixing and collusion against Natal Portland Cement Cimpor (NPC), eleven furniture removal truck companies including Stuttaford Van Laines and... 

Tribunal dismisses alleged e-toll levy price fixing case

By: Simone Liedtke     9th January 2020 The Competition Tribunal has dismissed a case of alleged e-toll levy price fixing against several furniture removal companies.   The case involved 11 furniture removal companies and the association to which they belong. In its order, the tribunal concluded that “although the respondents may well... 

Commission reiterates measures to lower school uniform costs

By: Simone Liedtke     8th January 2020 The Competition Commission is intensifying efforts to ensure the cost of school uniforms become “reasonable and affordable” for parents through an extensive advocacy targeted at parents, school governing bodies, retailers and schools. In February last year, the commission signed agreements with... 

Government reaffirms support for rural, township economies

By: Mamaili Mamaila     13th December 2019 To improve access to information and bring economic infrastructure support closer to township and rural-based enterprises, government is expanding incubators and digital hubs to townships and rural areas, says President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

Government reaffirms support for rural, township economies
Photo by SA Investment Conference
VIBRANT THINKING South Africa's small, medium-sized and microenterprises are demonstrating out-of-the-box thinking in business skills

Tribunal approves Exxaro's buyout of Cennergi

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th December 2019 The Competition Tribunal has unconditionally approved diversified miner Exxaro Resources' proposed buyout of the remaining 50% interest in the Cennergi joint venture (JV). Exxaro in September announced the proposed R1.55-billion transaction to buy out Khopoli Investments' share in the JV, which... 

Competition Commission's final report confirms South Africa's high data costs  

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd December 2019 The Competition Commission on Monday published its much-anticipated final report on its Data Services Market Inquiry, confirming revelations that South Africa’s cost of data services, particularly mobile prepaid data pricing, is high when benchmarked against the country’s peers. The Competition... 

Competition Commission's final report confirms South Africa's high data costs
Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel and Competition Commission commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele

No need for supermarket chains to have exclusive lease agreements – commission 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th November 2019 The Competition Commission on Monday released the final findings of its Grocery Retail Sector Market Inquiry, finding that national supermarket chains have by and large limited small and competitor retailers’ activity in the sector over the last few years.   The market inquiry was launched on... 

Tribunal to review alleged cartel conduct by wood-based panel manufacturers

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th November 2019 The Competition Tribunal has been tasked to review a cartel conduct matter between wood-based panel companies KAP Diversified Industrial and Sonae Arauco South Africa, together with Steinhoff International Holdings. KAP Diversified, previously PG Bison, and Sonae allegedly agreed to increase... 

Cesa shines on international stage

By: Mamaili Mamaila     15th November 2019 Voluntary association Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) was one of the big winners at the 2019 International Federation of Consulting Engineers (Fidic) Member Association (MA) Excellence Awards. 

Cesa shines on international stage
CHRISTOPHER CAMPBELL Consulting Engineers South Africa's aspirations are in sync with those of the country's National Development Plan

Competition Commission appoints M&A manager

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th November 2019 The Competition Commission has appointed Tamara Paremoer divisional manager of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), effective November 1. She was acting divisional manager from July.  

Monopoly, legislation hinder Italian SME growth and competition

By: Cameron Mackay     11th October 2019 The tendency of certain local markets to become monopolised and dominated by single entities presents challenges for Italian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) aiming to establish themselves in the South African market, says Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries trade... 

Market inquiry suggests supply side regulator, tariff setting needed in health sector 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th September 2019 The Competition Commission on Monday released the long-awaited findings and recommendations report, following a Health Market Inquiry that was launched in 2013, highlighting the need to establish a supply-side regulator and a multilateral negotiating forum to set tariffs. In handing over the... 

Tribunal approves settlement between commission, wire cartel

By: Simone Liedtke     20th September 2019 The Competition Tribunal has approved separate settlement agreements between the Competition Commission and two wire products manufacturers who were accused of cartel conduct.   Wireforce Steelbar and Hendok admitted to being part of a cartel that fixed the prices of nails, wire and wire related... 

Competition Commission refers fire protection collusion matter to tribunal

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th September 2019 The Competition Commission has referred a case of alleged collusion against 18 fire protection companies to the Competition Tribunal. The companies allegedly implicated are Automatic Sprinkler Inspection Bureau, Belfa Solutions, Bhubesi Fire Projects, Centa KZN Sprinklers, National Security,... 

Competition Commission must grapple with exclusion, digitalisation – Bonakele

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th August 2019 Twenty-five years after the advent of democracy, South Africa's economy is still not inclusive or dynamic enough to meet the aspirations of all South Africans, says Competition Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele. Speaking at the Commission’s thirteenth annual Competition Law, Economics and Policy... 

Competition Commission considers future priorities as it celebrates its successes

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th August 2019 As its celebrates it twentieth year, the Competition Commission – which itself has undergone internal transformation – has engendered much support in pursuing the transformation of the country’s economy; however, there is still much work to be done. This was revealed during the commission’s... 

Competition Commission considers future priorities as it celebrates its successes
Photo by Creamer Media
Competition Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele

Grinaker-LTA acquirer looks to build tier-one, black-owned contractor 

By: Terence Creamer     26th August 2019 The Laula Consortium, which is acquiring construction group Grinaker-LTA from Aveng for R100-million, reports that its goal is to transform the struggling contractor into a profitable tier-one, black-owned group, while preserving the technical and human competence developed within the company... 

Grinaker-LTA acquirer looks to build tier-one, black-owned contractor
Oteo Investment Holdings CEO Mlu Manci

South Africa does not need domestic EV market to produce EVs, says Patel 

By: Irma Venter     22nd August 2019 There is an opportunity to bring battery electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle production to South Africa, without first developing a domestic market and charging infrastructure for these vehicles, says Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel. Addressing the National Association... 

South Africa does not need domestic EV market to produce EVs, says Patel
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel

British American Tobacco's takeover of Twisp wins South African approval

By: Reuters     14th August 2019 British American Tobacco's (BAT) proposed takeover of e-cigarette maker Twisp won approval from South Africa's Competition Tribunal on Tuesday after the UK-based group agreed to a series of conditions. The local unit of BAT, the world's second-largest tobacco company by sales, announced the deal... 

Competition Tribunal has a new chairperson

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd August 2019 The Competition Tribunal on Friday welcomed the appointment of its new chairperson, Mondo Mazwai, who has served as a tribunal member for more than six years. Mazwai, who is the tribunal’s first black female chairperson, is succeeding Norman Manoim, who has completed two terms as chairperson and... 

Pick n Pay to engage competition regulator over report on market dominance

By: African News Agency      30th July 2019 Supermarket chain store Pick n Pay said on Tuesday that it would continue to engage South African competition regulators to address its concerns about the retailers market dominance in shopping malls. This is after the Competition Commission in May said that it wants Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Spar... 

Improving SA’s Doing Business ranking requires acceleration of reforms

By: Nadine James     28th June 2019 During his State of the Nation Address in February, President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that “the World Bank’s annual Doing Business Report (DBR) currently ranks South Africa 82 out of 190 countries . . . we have set ourselves the target of being among the top 50 global performers within the next... 

Improving SA’s Doing Business ranking requires acceleration of reforms

GVK to pay R6m fine in settlement with competition authorities

By: Simone Liedtke     21st June 2019 The Competition Tribunal has ordered local construction firm GVK Siyazama Building to pay an administrative penalty of just over R6-million after the firm admitted to collusive tendering in three construction projects in the Western Cape. The firm’s admission and its agreement to pay the fine,... 

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