In an effort to champion the economic inclusion of small and medium businesses owned by the indigenous people of South Africa, South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has signed the Competition Amendment Bill into law.
The Competition Amendment Bill, which was earlier approved by the National Assembly in October 2018 and endorsed by the National Council of Provinces in December 2018, according to South Africa’s Economic Development Minister, Ebrahim Patel, is “transformative in character” and is aimed to dismantle cartels, close loopholes in the nation’s Competition Act and define the contraventions and uncompetitive conduct by companies more explicitly.
The Presidency, in a statement, said that “the bill provides greater clarity to firms and investors on prohibited practices and what constitutes as the abuse of dominance. It also provides a clear mandate to the competition authorities to address economic concentration in a balanced manner and to promote economic transformation.”
Although under the leadership of a black government, black-owned small and medium businesses were disadvantaged, as they continue to struggle to compete with their larger counterparts dominated by the white minority who overshadows the most productive parts of the economy, a case which reveals the effects of apartheid.
However, the new Competition Amendment Act is set to redress the unfavourable market condition posed on small indigenous enterprises, by effecting fair practices and leveling the playground in South Africa’s business activities.
The Act, will ensure that big businesses engage with small, medium-sized and black-owned businesses on fair terms. In the case when big businesses trade with the smaller counterparts, they are required to show that they did so under fair terms and prices.
The Competition Amendment Act, which has many advantages for South African small and medium-sized enterprises, passed through a committee hearing with 20 organisations and small businesses for adjustments, necessitating the changes made to the 14 sections and 28 subsections.