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Competition Commission raids SA market under suspicion of price fixing

Staff Writer | March 25, 2017
In Johannesburg, South Africa, nine fresh produce market agents were raided by the Competition Commission after suspicions of alleged price-fixing.
Market South Africa
Africa   Raid by the Competition Commission
The raid was conducted at the Tshwane Market in Pretoria and the Joburg Market in Johannesburg.

According to a statement by the Commission, middle men between farmers and buyers of freshly produced fruits and vegetables in South Africa, are suspected of being involved in a cartel.

The Commision believes the agents were involved in undercutting prices and charged way below market price for certain agreed periods of a trading day.

They are alleged to have colluded by dropping prices incredibly low until smaller agents ran out of stock then sending prices skyrocketing, taking advantage of increased demand.

“The Commission is concerned with the prevalence of collusion in the food sector, as higher prices of these commodities affect the most vulnerable households,” said Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele.

“The poor spend a disproportionally high percentage of their income on food. Also, cartel activities in this sector serve to keep out emerging black farmers and agents out of the market.”