Competition Amendment Bill: proposed amendments

Economic Development

03 October 2018
Chairperson: Mr E Coleman (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee reconvened for a second day to give consideration to the Minister’s responses to the Committee’s proposed amendments to the Competition Bill. The Committee had to adjourn the previous day owing to quorum issues. The meeting started at 09h30 but the Committee had to briefly adjourn as it did not constitute a quorum. An EFF Member had to fly in from Polokwane wherein the Committee resumed its sitting late afternoon. The Minister had suggested further amendments which the Committee may wish to give consideration to as follows:

Clause 5 (4) (d) (Section 8 - Abuse of dominance prohibited)

The Minister had said the Committee may wish to consider whether, for the avoidance of doubt, it is necessary to explicitly provide for this matter to be addressed through regulation. Should this be the approach of Committee, a change would need to be effected to subsection 8(4) (d) as follows:

(d) The Minister must, in terms of section 78, make regulations—

(i) Designating the sectors, and in respect of firms owned or controlled by historically disadvantaged persons, the benchmarks for determining the firms, to which this subsection will apply; and

(ii) Setting out the relevant factors and benchmarks in those sectors for determining whether prices and other trading conditions contemplated in paragraph (a) are unfair.

Clause 6 (Section 9 - Price discrimination by dominant firm prohibited)

The Minister had said the Committee may wish to consider whether, for the avoidance of doubt, it is necessary to explicitly provide for this matter to be addressed through regulation. Should this be the approach of the Committee, a change would need to be effected to subsection 9(4) (a) as follows:

(4) The Minister must make regulations in terms of section 78—

(a) To give effect to this section, including the benchmarks for determining the application of this section to firms owned or controlled by historically disadvantaged persons;

The Minister had further recommended technical amendments on clause 23.

Members were agreeable to the Minister’s responses to Committee’s proposed amendments as well as his recommendations for additional amendments. Legal advisory would work on the Bill to ensure everything was in order in terms of the law.

Lastly, the Parliamentary Legal Advisor took the Committee through the Competition Bill A-List, clause-by-clause, and Members agreed to the amendments on all clauses. The Competition Bill A-List was adopted.

The Chairperson indicated the legal advisors would finalise the Bill for adoption the following week.

Meeting report

The meeting started at 09h30 but the Committee had to briefly adjourn as it did not constitute a quorum.  The Committee resumed its sitting late afternoon.

The Chairperson welcomed everyone and noted the Committee could not consider the Minister’s responses to Committee’s proposed amendments to the Competition Bill on the previous day owing to quorum issues. The Committee thus had to reconvene. She appreciated Ms K Hlonyana’s (EFF) presence who had to fly in from Polokwane in the morning. The Minister had suggested further amendments which the Committee should give consideration to as follows:

Clause 5 (4) (d) (Section 8 - Abuse of dominance prohibited)

The Minister had said the Committee may wish to consider whether, for the avoidance of doubt, it is necessary to explicitly provide for this matter to be addressed through regulation. Should this be the approach of Committee, a change would need to be effected to subsection 8(4) (d) as follows:

(d) The Minister must, in terms of section 78, make regulations—

(i) Designating the sectors, and in respect of firms owned or controlled by historically disadvantaged persons, the benchmarks for determining the firms, to which this subsection will apply; and

(ii) Setting out the relevant factors and benchmarks in those sectors for determining whether prices and other trading conditions contemplated in paragraph (a) are unfair.

Clause 6 (Section 9 - Price discrimination by dominant firm prohibited)

The Minister had said the Committee may wish to consider whether, for the avoidance of doubt, it is necessary to explicitly provide for this matter to be addressed through regulation. Should this be the approach of the Committee, a change would need to be effected to subsection 9(4) (a) as follows:

(4) The Minister must make regulations in terms of section 78—

(a) To give effect to this section, including the benchmarks for determining the application of this section to firms owned or controlled by historically disadvantaged persons;

The Minister had further recommended technical amendments on clause 23.

Members were agreeable to the Minister’s responses to Committee’s proposed amendments as well as the recommendations for additional amendments.

The Chairperson said the legal advisors would work on the Bill to ensure everything was in order in terms of the law.

Consideration of A-List

Mr Mbulelo Ruda, Parliamentary Legal Advisor, took the Committee through the Competition Bill A-List, clause-by-clause.

Members agreed to the amendments on all clauses as per the A-List.

The Chairperson put the A-List up for adoption.

Ms A Mfulo (ANC) moved for the adoption of the A-List.

Mr S Tleane (ANC) seconded.

The Competition Bill A-List was adopted.

The Chairperson indicated legal advisors would finalise the Bill for adoption the following week. She thanked everyone for their input and efforts thus far.

The meeting was adjourned.

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