Newly appointed Competition Commissioner Doris Tshepe today commended the work of the Commission and the contribution the economic regulator has made to advancing competition regulations that promote positive economic changes.
Speaking during a Q&A session with retired Competition Appeal Court Judge Dennis Davis, on the final day of the 16th Annual Competition Law, Economics and Policy Conference held in Sandton, Johannesburg, Commissioner Tshepe said she was excited to take up the new position and would implore the Commission to push boundaries and be innovative.
“What the Commission did, together with the Competition Tribunal and the CAC [Competition Appeal Court], during the COVID crisis, was to show that there is capacity to find and deal with matters as efficiently as possible. We could learn and use those lessons to try and implement the amendments [to the Competition Act],”
said Commissioner Tshepe.
Well-versed in competition and constitutional law, Commissioner Tshepe has been instrumental in the reforms of the country’s competition laws. She was part of an expert panel that advised the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) on the amendments to the Competition Act, which was signed into law in 2019.
“We don't have 10 years to set precedents on the new amendments. There is an urgency, we are in a crisis, our economy is in crisis, and in order to achieve desirable outcomes we are going to have to work a bit faster,”
said Commissioner Tshepe.
Commissioner's legal expertise span more than 20 years, with wide experience in matters relating to the mandate of the Commission having been active in the competition field for many years – at times representing clients on competition-related cases.
Over the past two conference days a high level of delegates, including DTIC Minister Ebrahim Patel discussed and deliberated on how effective competition law enforcement and policy developments could aid sustainable, growing, and inclusive markets. Delegates also delved into how there was a need for government, business, and labor to work together to alter the country’s trajectory. Central to discussions over the two days was how amendments to the Competition Act should address abuse of dominance in markets and how healthy competition in global food markets can contribute to food security. The role of competition authorities to tackle food security was also highlighted, as was the role of competition regulations in promoting inclusivity for employees and firms. More than 300 local and international delegates attended the two-day conference, the first in-person conference post the COVID-19 pandemic.