UPDATE – Competition Commission Market Inquiry into the Grocery Retail Sector

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Received 7 April 2017

As you may know, the Competition Commission (“Commission”) is currently conducting a market inquiry into the South African grocery retail sector (“Inquiry”).

The Commission has published two Notices in December 2016, to inform the public of its intent to hold public hearings. Whilst these hearings were intended to occur earlier this year, they had to be postponed due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the Inquiry’s control.

We are pleased to announce that the Inquiry will be holding its public hearings in May, June and July 2017. Kindly see the table below, which itemises the dates upon which these hearings will occur:

 

Province Date of Public Hearing Date of pre-hearing
Western Cape 08 – 12 May 2017 10 April 2017
Gauteng 05 – 09 June 2017 22 May 2017
KwaZulu-Natal 03 – 07 July 2017 14 June 2017

 

As you will note, a day has been scheduled for pre-hearings before each respective public hearing will occur. The purpose of the pre-hearing is to allow the Inquiry’s Panel and technical team to engage with stakeholders that have registered to make submissions prior to each respective public hearing.

 

Please note that the topics to be discussed at our public hearings include:

  1. The impact (negative and positive effects) of the entry of national supermarket chains into townships, peri-urban areas, rural areas and the informal economy;
  2. The impact of long term exclusive lease agreements and the role of financiers on competition in the grocery retail sector;
  3. The impact of regulations and by-laws on competition in the grocery retail sector; and
  4. The impact of buyer groups and buyer power of purchasers of fast moving consumer goods on competition in the grocery retail sector.

 

Should you have already registered to participate in the Inquiry’s public hearings, we will engage with you directly to confirm you still intend to make your representations.

 

For stakeholders who have not yet registered to participate in the Inquiry’s public hearings, kindly note the following deadlines are applicable:

  • Deadline for registrations for the public hearings is 31 March 2017. Kindly complete the attached registration form and send it back to the Inquiry before this deadline; and
  • Deadline for the submission of documents to the Inquiry is 7 April 2017.

 

We welcome all consumers, retailers of all sizes (especially small and independent retailers), and any other interested parties to submit their views and experiences to the Inquiry. We attach copies of our notices for your ease of reference, which together with other important information relating to the Inquiry are able to be viewed on the Commission’s webpage at http://www.compcom.co.za/retail-market-inquiry/

All submissions must be hand-written or typed (preferably in English).  Should you require any assistance in making your submission please do not hesitate to contact the Inquiry’s technical team on 012 394 3200 or 012 394 3320.

All submissions must be marked for the attention of Ms. Louise du Plessis, Technical Team Head: Market Inquiry into the Grocery Retail Sector and delivered to:

EmailRetail@compcom.co.za

 

Hand Delivery: Uuzaji Building, Block E, Second Floor,

The DTI Campus, 77 Meintjies Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria, 0002

 

Post: Private Bag X23, Lynwood Ridge Pretoria

 

 

We thank you for your continued participation in the Inquiry. We look forward to seeing you at the public hearings and to listening to your representations.

NOTICE: REGISTRATION FORMS AND PROGRAMME FOR PUBLIC HEARINGS FOR THE GROCERY RETAIL MARKET INQUIRY

  1. The Panel herewith gives notice to all stakeholders of the scheduled programme for the public hearings.
  2. The Appendix to this notice sets out the programme for the public hearings.
  3. ThePanelinvitesallthosewhowishtoparticipateinthepublichearingstoregisterbycompleting the attached GRI 1 (written submissions) or GRI 2 (oral submissions) Forms. The closing date for registration to participate in the public hearings is 31 March 2017.
  4. Stakeholders wishing to make written representations during the public hearings must submit a copy of the written representation on or before 07 April 2017.
  5. Should you require further clarity regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact the Inquiry Director at Retail@compcom.co.za.

| DEADLINE 15 August 2016

The Competition Commission (“Commission”) has on Friday, 15 July 2016, published the final versions of its Guidelines-for-participation, Guidelines for the submission of data and technical analysis, as well as its Administrative Timelines.

These documents as well as other important information relating to the Grocery Retail Market Inquiry (“Inquiry”) are able to be viewed on the Commission’s webpage at http://www.compcom.co.za/retail-market-inquiry/

 

The Inquiry is now calling on the public to make submissions on the substantive points contained within its Terms of Reference and its Statement of Issues. All consumers, retailers of all sizes (especially small and independent retailers), and any other interested parties can submit their views and experiences to the Inquiry.

Note: the deadline for receipt of submissions is 15 August 2016.

All submissions must be hand-written or typed (preferably in English).  Should you require any assistance in making your submission please do not hesitate to contact the Inquiry’s technical team on 012 394 3200 or 012 394 3320.

All submissions must be marked for the attention of Ms. Louise du Plessis, Technical Team Head: Market Inquiry into the Grocery Retail Sector and delivered to:

EmailRetail@compcom.co.za

Hand Delivery: Uuzaji Building, Block E, Second Floor,

The DTI Campus, 77 Meintjies Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria, 0002

Post: Private Bag X23, Lynwood Ridge Pretoria

Sonia Mountford

Sonia Mountford lived as an expat in the Middle East for a number of years and enjoyed travelling and exposure to third and first world cultures. Her interest in food security began while visiting in Sri Lanka after floods and discovering the politics around Food Aid. As a co-founder of Grass Consumer Action and the only full time member, she spent four years researching the dysfunctional food system in South Africa, investigating, questioning and exposing misleading claims. Although her interests range from food politics to toxins in our food, including harmful ingredients in processed foods and Big Food influence; she soon came to realize that the most important part of the food journey begins on farms. For that reason she spends much of her time visiting farms, learning and talking about constraints and concerns in production methods with farmers. Passionate about nutritional food security she believes higher animal welfare farming practices are not only necessary for ethical reasons but also for human health. She is an ambassador for SOIL, BEES and healthy WATER. Mountford started EATegrity (eategrity.co.za) “Helping You Find Integrity in the Food Chain” in 2015. Her aim is create greater consumer awareness about the food chain and to encourage transparency in the South African food industry.

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