In the Media

Tebogo Malatji appointed to an independent panel to review the governance arrangements in the Competition Commission and the Competition Tribuna.

Competition authorities put to the test

Economic development minister Ebrahim Patel says independent panel to review governance arrangements at Competition Commission and Competition Tribunal

An independent panel will review the governance arrangements in the Competition Commission and the Competition Tribunal, and whether changes are required to improve performance and accountability at the two institutions, economic development minister Ebrahim Patel says.

The commission, which is administratively accountable to the department of economic development, has allegedly been involved in dubious procurement practices that threaten its integrity and stability. It is a key statutory body mandated to investigate and evaluate restrictive business practices, abuse of dominant positions and mergers. The tribunal adjudicates competition matters.

In a written reply to a question from the DA in parliament which was published this week, Patel provided more details of a forensic probe, particularly into the commission including the terms of reference. Patel said the panel would be led by law firm Malatji Kanyane Attorneys.

“The terms of reference includes a review of the contents of the [auditor-general’s] report on the Competition Commission, which includes the legal costs incurred by the commission to date and policy on the use of firms of attorneys. The panel is also expected to review the governance arrangements in the Competition Commission and Competition Tribunal and whether changes are required to improve performance and accountability,” said Patel.

“Malatji & Co leads the panel. Work began in early November 2018, and has since taken in representation and comment from both local and international experts. Mr Tebogo Malatji has considerable experience in competition matters, the PFMA [Public Finance Management Act] and procurement law as well as with forensic investigations.”

Patel said should any wrongdoing be uncovered, action will be taken against any implicated person or company. The review includes the use of forensic processes and ascertaining appropriate international benchmarks in the performance of the competition regulators, as well as taking account of current capacity in the institutions.

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1 July 2019