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Competition Law and Policy in South Africa


  • Michael Wise


One of the elements of South Africa’s peaceful revolution over the last decade was reform of its competition policy institutions. The previous system had supported the previous economic system, characterised by autarky, protection, government direction, and high concentration. The new system promised to use competition policy to correct the faults of the old system and to promote policy goals of employment and empowerment. South Africa aspires to a modern competition policy regime, to deal with the well-resourced sophistication of much of the South African economy. Its new institutions, whose novelty responds in large part to the post-1994 imperative for fundamental restructuring of government institutions, have shown a capacity to deal confidently with complex structural issues in deciding dozens of merger cases. A legalistic business and government culture has challenged these new bodies to prove their competence and tested their jurisdiction. Now that the merger review process has been established, more attention should be paid to non-merger matters and probably to advocacy as well. Resources are stretched, and there is a critical need to improve the depth and strengthen the capacity of the professional staff. Maintaining consistent competition policy in regulated sectors will requiring reinforcing the relationships with sectoral regulators ...

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Wise, 2004. "Competition Law and Policy in South Africa," OECD Journal: Competition Law and Policy, OECD Publishing, vol. 5(4), pages 7-69.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:dafkaa:5lmqcr2jcxkf

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