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Competition Policy News

Commission unearths power-cable collusion, refers case to tribunal

By: Terence Creamer     19th March 2014 A Competition Commission investigation, initiated in 2010 into power cables companies, has unearthed cartel conduct by four firms and its findings have been referred to Competition Tribunal for adjudication. The probe, which included a May 6, 2010, search-and-seizure operation, concluded that... 

50% termination rates cut seen lowering retail prices 

By: Schalk Burger     21st February 2014 The 50% reduction in the mobile termination rates between telecommunications firms to 20c a minute will promote increased competition in the rest of the industry, which could help to lower retail prices and increase access to services, says Internet services firm Internet Solutions cloud and... 

Commission approves R1bn sale of Modderfontein property to Chinese investor

By: Natalie Greve     28th January 2014 The Competition Commission has, with conditions, approved the sale of explosives and chemicals company AECI’s vacant land in Modderfontein to Chinese diversified property development company Shanghai Zendai Property. The transaction involved the acquisition of about 1 600 ha of land and the... 

Commission approves R1bn sale of Modderfontein property to Chinese investor

Competition Commission ushers in new execs

By: Natalie Greve     13th January 2014 The Competition Commission has appointed Liberty Mncube chief economist and manager of the policy and research division, Junior Khumalo divisional manager of enforcement and exemptions and Thomas Kgokolo CFO, effective January 1, it announced on Monday. Most recently a principal investigator in... 

Competition Commission ushers in new execs
Incoming Competition Commission chief economist Liberty Mncube

Tribunal to consider Nestlé, Aspen deal

By: Natalie Greve     5th December 2013 The Competition Tribunal is next week set to hear a case relating to the proposed acquisition of Pfizer Nutrition’s baby milk range of products by Aspen Nutritionals and will hear testimony from 17 witnesses, as well as a representative of the Competition Commission, on the possible impact of... 

Tribunal to consider Nestlé, Aspen deal

Health inquiry terms of reference gazetted

By: Sapa     29th November 2013 The Competition Commission has gazetted the terms of reference for the market inquiry into private healthcare, it said on Friday. This was in accordance with the provisions of the Competition Act, which state that an inquiry can start 20 business days after gazetting. 

Health inquiry terms of reference gazetted

Discrepancies in tendering process putting construction industry at risk

By: Zandile Mavuso     15th November 2013 The current emphasis on the procurement of consulting engineering services, based on the lowest price offered by the competing firms, has put the sustainability of the consulting engineering industry at risk, says international consulting engineering firm WSP Consulting. 

Discrepancies in tendering process putting construction industry at risk
QUALITY INFRASTRUCTURE WSP Consulting’s involvement with the Green Buildings Council, provides the firm with the opportunity to shape the industry in terms of setting benchmarks for good practice

Transformation in industry reliant on credible data

By: Zandile Mavuso     15th November 2013 The Construction Sector Charter Council (CSCC) believes that, to transform the construction sector, reliable data is necessary to assess the progress of and identify the barriers to transformation and to determine strategies to resolve these. 

PICC plan could yield long-term investments for public and private sectors

By: Zandile Mavuso     15th November 2013 The mandate of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC) to develop a 20-year pipeline of infrastructure and construction projects allows for long-term planning and investment by public- and private-sector companies. 

Competition Tribunal looking beyond fines to deal with transgressors

By: Terence Creamer     11th November 2013 South Africa’s Competition Tribunal reports that it will increasingly explore “creative remedies” for contraventions of the Competition Act in an effort to demonstrate more immediate and tangible market benefits as a result of determinations, or settlement agreements. Hitherto, remedies have... 

Competition Tribunal looking beyond fines to deal with transgressors
Competition Tribunal chairperson Norman Manoim

Patel appoints acting competition commissioner

By: Sapa     21st October 2013 Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel appointed Thembinkosi Bonakele as the new acting competition commissioner on Sunday, the department said. Spokesperson Manelisi Wolela said Bonakele was appointed with effect from October 21, for a period of six month. 

Competition Tribunal dismisses claims of anticompetitive, racist conduct

By: Natalie Greve     19th September 2013 The Competition Tribunal on Tursday dismissed an application by Advocate Simba Chitando for relief against what he called racist and anticompetitive briefing patterns by fellow advocates and law firms operating in the area of shipping law. The tribunal found that Chitando had not satisfied the... 

Competition Tribunal dismisses claims of anticompetitive, racist conduct

SA’s antimonopoly effectiveness ranking encouraging – CompComm

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th September 2013 The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2013/14’s top-ten ranking for the effectiveness of South Africa’s antimonopoly policy, was encouraging, the Competition Commission said on Tuesday. South Africa had ranked at number eight, out of 148 countries, ahead of Puerto Rico,... 

SA’s antimonopoly effectiveness ranking encouraging – CompComm

Protection of Personal Information Bill may have data-management spin-offs

By: Schalk Burger     23rd August 2013 The pending Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Bill will enable more trade and information flows with other countries that have privacy laws, as well as provide businesses with opportunities to reduce the costs of storing unnecessary data, says advisory firm Deloitte legal director Dean... 

Stefanutti to buy First Strut subsidiary Energotec

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th August 2013 Construction firm Stefanutti Stocks has received Competition Tribunal approval, in a record four hours, for the acquisition of one of beleaguered First Strut’s subsidiaries. Engineering firm Energotec would be merged into Stefanutti, saving over 660 jobs and ensuring the “continuous supply of... 

Stefanutti to buy First Strut subsidiary Energotec

Tribunal to hear more construction collusion cases this week

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th August 2013 The Competition Tribunal was expected to hear the settlement cases of JSE-listed construction firms Stefanutti Stocks and Hochtief Construction this week after the parties admitted to collusive behaviour and agreed to further penalties. Stefanutti was, in June, given a R306.89-million fine after... 

Tribunal to hear more construction collusion cases this week

Global antigraft bodies increasingly sharing information on firms operating in multiple jurisdictions 

By: Schalk Burger     9th August 2013 Anticorruption agencies in the US, the UK, the European Union (EU) and South Africa increasingly share information to scrutinise the business ethics and anticorruption practices of companies operating in multiple jurisdictions, says law firm Norton Rose Fulbright Washington D.C. regulatory and... 

Global antigraft bodies increasingly sharing information on firms operating in multiple jurisdictions
Norton Rose Fullbright business ethics specialists Richard Smith, Sam Eastwood and Andre Vos Discuss business ethics and anticurruption legislation in the US, the UK and South Africa. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Shane Williams.

Stefanutti to pay additional R54m Competition Commission penalty

By: Natasha Odendaal     31st July 2013 JSE-listed construction firm Stefanutti Stocks this week agreed to pay a further R55.8-million penalty to the Competition Commission. The latest fine was for contracts that had fallen outside the Construction Fast-Track Settlement Process, which was initiated by the Competition Commission in 2011... 

Cesa moves on first graft case as it sharpens corruption-busting tools 

By: Terence Creamer     30th July 2013 Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa), which represents more than 450 member firms, is moving ahead with its first anticorruption case, having established a so-called ‘war chest’ in 2012 to enable it to take legal action in instances where corruption is suspected. The organisation is not yet... 

Cesa moves on first graft case as it sharpens corruption-busting tools
Newly appointed Cesa CEO Lefadi Makibinyane on the role the organisation is playing in fighting corruption and collusion. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Shane Williams. Recorded: 30.7.2013.

Tribunal confirms Aveng, Guiricich settlements

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     23rd July 2013 The Competition Tribunal on Wednesday confirmed the last of the settlement agreements between the Competition Commission and 15 major construction firms which had admitted to collusive tendering in contravention of the Competition Act. This came as the tribunal confirmed the R306.58-million... 

Tribunal confirms 13 construction settlement agreements

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     22nd July 2013 The Competition Tribunal on Monday confirmed all but two of the construction settlement agreements between the Competition Comission and 15 major construction firms. Last week, the tribunal heard the settlement agreements between the commission and the construction firms, which, in June, agreed... 

Tribunal confirms 13 construction settlement agreements

Tribunal to resume hearing into CompCom’s complaint against SAB

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     19th July 2013 The Competition Tribunal would on Monday resume its hearing into a complaint, brought by the Competition Commission against South African Breweries (SAB), in December 2007, regarding the company’s distribution system and claims that it abused its market dominance. The hearing would run from July... 

Cheap imports put strain on industry

By: Zandile Mavuso     19th July 2013 Importing cheaper mechanical-power-transmission products is not only becoming popular on the South African market but is also contributing to the current flatline state of the mechanical transmission industry, states transmission company Bibby Turboflex. 

Competition Tribunal to hear Telkom, construction cases this week

15th July 2013 The Competition Tribunal will, this week, hold hearings related to the Competition Commission’s R1.46-billion settlement with 15 construction firms found guilty of collusive tendering, as well as the commission’s R200-million settlement with telecoms group Telkom over charges of abusing its... 

Business calls for answers from fined construction companies

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th June 2013 Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) has called on the companies penalised by the Competition Commission for anticompetitive behaviour to reveal what action had been taken against those involved and what provisions were in place to prevent future collusion. Earlier this week, the Competition... 

Business calls for answers from fined construction companies

Construction companies fined R1.46bn for collusion 

By: Natalie Greve     24th June 2013 The Competition Commission has fined 15 major construction firms a collective R1.46-billion for “rampant” collusive tendering related to projects concluded between 2006 and 2011, it revealed on Monday. These penalties were the result of the Construction Fast-Track Settlement Process, initiated by... 

Construction companies fined R1.46bn for collusion

Well-designed special economic zones hold jobs and investment potential

By: Nomvelo Buthelezi     21st June 2013 South Africa is moving to include special economic zones (SEZs) into its industrial and economic development toolbox in the hope that they will help stimulate fixed investment, partiularly investment that can contribute to the country’s reindustrialisation thrust.  

Well-designed special economic zones hold jobs and investment potential

ACSA to reissue taxi tender, forced to stimulate competition

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th June 2013 A Competition Tribunal-approved amended settlement agreement between the Competition Commission and Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) would see the airport operator issue a new tender for taxi services from the OR Tambo International Airport and initiate more competition between taxi... 

Competition aims to stimulate innovative entrepreneurial concepts

By: Schalk Burger     7th June 2013 The Step-Up Technology Innovation Competition aims to secure several innovative ideas, processes, technologies and products, which will then be incubated and developed for commercial application, and will run until the end of September this year, says development support organisation Technology... 

Aveng subsidiary awaits penalty as Competition Commission mulls amount

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd June 2013 JSE-listed Aveng on Monday said its Aveng Africa subsidiary was awaiting the disclosure by the Competition Commission of the penalty to be levied against it, after it had entered into a settlement agreement with the commission. This followed the launch of a broad investigation in 2009 by the... 

Pharmaceuticals patents benefit R&D of medication

By: Anine Kilian     24th May 2013 Pharmaceutical companies in South Africa are granted patents, and thus a monopoly on the local market, to incentivise research and development (R&D) within the pharmaceutical field, and not to hike prices, as many people believe, says patent law firm Spoor & Fisher. Spoor & Fisher patent attorney... 

Africa must develop own programmers to reverse digital poverty 

By: Schalk Burger     24th May 2013 Software development and knowledge will be critical to the success of engineering, manufacturing, business and other key areas of economic competitiveness of countries. Africa must focus strongly on developing young software programmers and coders to enable its own development, says agile... 

Cartel projects valued at almost R50bn – Patel

By: Sapa     7th May 2013 The total value of rigged construction industry projects being investigated by the Competition Commission is much higher than expected at R47 billion, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Tuesday. Speaking in the National Assembly during debate on his budget vote, Patel said 300... 

Competition Commission to start private healthcare market inquiry

By: Sapa     7th May 2013 The Competition Commission (CC) will start a long-awaited market inquiry into pricing in the private healthcare sector in September, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel announced on Tuesday. Speaking during debate on his budget vote in the National Assembly, Patel told MPs it would be a... 

Construction cartels could learn fate in June

By: Sapa     23rd April 2013 Construction cartels could learn their fate as early as June, the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) told MPs on Tuesday. Briefing Parliament's public works committee, CIDB chairman Bafana Ndendwa said he was updated by the Competition Commission last week on a probe into the major... 

Aspen acquires Nestlé SA infant nutrition division for $215m 

By: Natalie Greve     18th April 2013 Aspen Group has acquired Nestlé South Africa’s infant nutrition businesses, which distribute a portfolio of infant nutrition products in Australia and certain Southern African territories, for $215-million. This came shortly after the Competition Tribunal earlier this year approved, with... 

Competition Tribunal gearing up for May polypropylene excessive-pricing hearing 

By: Terence Creamer     12th April 2013 The Competition Tribunal will begin hearings on May 13 into an excessive-pricing referral made by the Competition Commission in 2010 against Sasol regarding the sale of propylene and polypropylene to domestic plastic converters between 2004 and the end of 2007. It is understood that four weeks... 

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