The Competition Commission is one of three independent statutory bodies established in terms of the Competition Act, No 89 of 1998 by the Government of South Africa. It is empowered to investigate, control and evaluate restrictive business practices, abuse of dominant positions and mergers, in order to achieve equity and efficiency in the South African economy.
Recently the Commission of South Africa won an international award for its paper focusing on Buyer Power Guidelines. The paper focused on providing guidelines that will serve as an essential point of reference, for firms to assess risk, guide compliance and assist small businesses to enforce their rights in contract negotiations. The awards, decided on by an international competition law community, comprises of professionals from all over the world had over 50 countries entering.
The Buyer Power Guidelines are aimed at bringing more fairness for emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses after a draft version was released for public comment late last year. The main objective is to enhance the participation of small to medium businesses and historically disadvantaged persons’ firms in the economy by protecting them from unfair exploitation by dominant buyers of their products.
The Competition Commission of South Africa has been intentional about making their mark beyond the borders of the country throughout the years, and has since moulded itself into an effective world-class organisation. This award not only cements their relevance in the international law community but it also serves as a tribute to the dedication and hard work of its efforts in the competition regime.
Some of the most notable achievements of the Commission include:
- Serving as the Chair of the African Competition Forum,
- Member of the International Competition Network
- Actively participates in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, as well as the African Continental Free Trade Area.
The Commission has grown into a well-organised and proficient establishment, developing and growing a first-rate track record in competition law and policy regulation that commands the industry and the world’s respect. The awards and praises received by the Competition Commission over the last 22 years have also allowed them to earn the trust of South African citizens with more people looking to it for protection, especially small and medium businesses.