The Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) in the Faculty of Economic and Financial Sciences was established in 2011 at the University of Johannesburg. CCRED was initially known as CCE, and was the first of its kind in South Africa. Initially it aimed to meet the needs for improved research and teaching in the rapidly growing area of competition economics. However, the Centre’s scope has broadened to include not only competition economics, but also analysis of economic regulation and economic development. The Centre is currently running a Regulatory Entities Capacity Building Project. CCRED is headed by Professor Simon Roberts and includes a number of lecturers and associates who are experienced competition economists working in academia, for the competition authorities, and for leading consultancies.
Since the South African Competition Act came into force in 1999 the field of competition economics has expanded rapidly to be a major area of applied economic analysis and competition cases often turn on the testimony of expert economists. Competition economics is a fundamental issue in understanding and analysing regulation and economic development in an economy; hence the expansion in the study and research of these areas. However, the development of competition economics along with regulatory expertise in South African universities has lagged the needs in terms of both teaching and research.
In the area of teaching, associates of CCRED offer a dedicated competition economics Masters elective, teach components of postgraduate microeconomics courses, and supervise dissertations in the area of competition economics. Short courses are also offered, facilitated by both local and international practitioners and academics.
In research, CCRED provides a base for various research activities including running a working paper series, designed to be a central location for research output in the field in South Africa. Associates of the Centre have published more than 10 articles in the past two years. The Centre has co-hosted the Annual Competition Law, Economics and Policy Conferences from 2011 to 2013 and undertaken major projects.
CCRED is guided by a governing board chaired by Professor Lumengo Bonga-Bonga, Head of the Department of Economics and Econometrics at the University of Johannesburg.
Over the past two decades the global industrial landscape has been reshaped by profound structural and technological transformations. The rise of new industrial powers, China in particular, has led to the restructuring of global production systems and the reorganisation of production cycles, as well as changes in global trade patterns.
The Competition amendment Bill has sparked debate on the role of competition in delivering increased participation and economic transformation. This is not surprising given that the nature of competitive rivalry and the identity of market participants are central to the quality of growth that can be achieved.
The accompanying motivation for the Competition Amendment Bill sets out the important rationale for the legislation in terms of the role for competition policy in addressing concentration and exclusion.
Agreeing upon and sustaining cartel outcomes requires some form of communication between competitors. The role of information exchange in dampening competition or facilitating cartel conduct is a contentious topic and one that the Competition Commission continues to face as firms find more creative and sophisticated ways to collude.
The Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) invites you to a Public Platform on 'Ownership, control and investment in South Africa – 23 years on'.
The Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) invites you to the Africa Day Public Platform on 'Industrialisation and competition in Southern Africa'
The public lecture will be presented by Prof. Massimo Motta (Barcelona GSE). The lecture would be on the Standards for Merger Review focusing on Key Insights from European Cases.
The Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) invites you to a public platform on 'Insurance as a means of managing climate variability and volatility.'
The Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED), in partnership with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has the pleasure of inviting you to a seminar on 'Investing in food production and agro-processing - the role of regional value chains'.
You are invited to attend a workshop on Transforming Agricultural Markets that is co-hosted by National Treasury, the Department of Trade and Industry and the University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED).
In the developing world, disease and poverty are interdependent making access to essential medicines at affordable prices even more critical. 80% of the two billion people worldwide without access to essential medicines live in low income countries. As such, competitive rivalry in the pharmaceutical industry can improve access to medicines by reducing prices and through motivating brand companies to challenge existing patent drugs and create new and improved medicines. Furthermore, upon expiration of patent drugs, competition encourages generic companies to provide less expensive alternatives of medicines.
On 29 August 2017, the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) approved with conditions the proposed acquisition of Associated Vehicle Assemblers Limited (AVA) by Simba Corporation Limited (Simba Corp). The approved merger sees the acquisition of an additional 50% of the shares in AVA which were previously controlled by Marshalls East Africa Limited (Marshalls).
One of the world’s largest brewing houses, Heineken, has taken a step towards a larger share of the South African beer market with the acquisition of the local black owned craft brewer, Soweto Gold, in October 2017. This development comes just months after Heineken bought out the Stellenbosch-based brewery, Stellenbrau. The mergers mean that the brands can now be marketed to a global customer base. While this may be good for the respective owners of the acquired firms, the transactions reflect the challenges faced by Soweto Gold and other small brewers in accessing routes to market on their own.
Most countries in Southern Africa are net importers of products from South Africa and are therefore likely to be subject to South African cartels. Imports from South Africa cut across sectors including food, capital equipment, construction materials, energy, plastics and chemical products. Moreover regional markets are closely linked through the presence of South African companies in the rest of the region. This article expands on an earlier article in this Review on the possible impacts of some of the South African cartels on the region, as part of CCRED’s monitoring of competition case developments and the evolution of enforcement in the region.
The local rooibos market in South Africa comprises 8 large processing firms which account for approximately 90% of the market, with Rooibos Limited controlling 60% of the market. Similar to other processing firms, Rooibos Limited purchases large quantities of tea from commercial farmers and processes it into bulk tea which is subsequently sold to packaging firms to pack into finished products. A case against Rooibos Limited has recently been referred to the Competition Tribunal alleging exclusionary abuse of dominance in contravention of section 8(d)(i) of the Competition Act.
A summary of some of the major mergers, acquisitions and enforcement cases in the region.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are key drivers of inclusive growth in the South African economy, contributing about 55% to the gross domestic product, while their contribution towards employment is as high as 60%. In addition, small firms and new entrants enhance competition within different economic sectors, resulting in lower prices and greater variety for consumers, as well as dynamic and productive efficiencies.
The South African Competition Commission has been very successful in uncovering cartels, with a large number of settlements over the past 10 years. It should be noted that settlements typically involve an admission on the part of the companies involved. Given the regional scope of many companies’ activities across southern Africa this begs the question as to whether these cartels affected neighbouring countries and should also be prosecuted in these countries.
The Competition Commission of South Africa’s land-based public passenger transport market inquiry, which commenced in June 2017, addresses a range of questions including issues with intermodal transport links. The inquiry relates to excessive short distance passenger transport fares charged by buses, peak season long distance bus fares, operational subsidies disadvantaging operators that are not subsidised, and restricting particular providers to operate in specific areas and routes. The issues to be considered cut across several public transport modes. The inquiry coincides with the Gauteng provincial government’s plan to expand its high speed train, Gautrain, into two of Gauteng’s largest townships.
Firm competitiveness can be understood as the ability to provide products and services at least as efficiently and effectively as competitors. At the industry level, international competitiveness is the ability of domestic firms to achieve sustained success against foreign competitors such as in terms of unit labour costs and relative productivity. Competitiveness is critical if a country’s firms are to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the regional and international economy. Furthermore, it can stimulate industrialisation and economic growth which subsequently promotes job creation, higher productivity and innovation.
WATCH: CCRED Senior Researcher Thando Vilakazi discusses the patterns of investment of top JSE-listed firms.
CCRED Senior Economist/Researcher is interviewed on The Midday Report on 702 by Stephen Grootes. The interview is on the investment trends of large and lead firms listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
COSATU issues a statement following CCRED's recent research on the assessment of large and lead firms listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange's (JSE) investment patterns.
Huffington Post writes a 'spin-off' article of Business Day's article on CCRED's research of large and lead firms' growth, strategies and investment patterns.
independent Online (Business Report) writes an article on CCRED's recent research assessment of Remgo Ltd as a large, lead and dominant firm.