Government is one step closer to establishing new laws to protect small businesses against abuse in the market.
The Department of Trade and Industry has published its draft amendments to the Competition Act and they are now open for public comment.
The proposed regulations aim to protect small businesses against price discrimination by dominant firms.
They also address unfair pricing and buying practices by big businesses.
James Hodge, chief economist at the Competition Commission, describes the changes as a bid to make South Africa more "entrepreneur-friendly".
He says the amendments disrupt the dominance of certain business networks, particularly in the supply chain.
In essence, explains Hodge, the changes will address fair trading principles and access to markets for the small business sector.
We [South Africa] do stand out in terms of international comparisons as not being entrepreneur-friendly.— James Hodge, Chief economist - Competition Commission
It's really about fair trading and parity.— James Hodge, Chief economist - Competition Commission
The National Employers’ Association of South Africa (Neasa) says the draft regulations are a step in the right direction, but must be implemented effectively.
Neasa boss Gerhard Papenfus adds that the department must also address its protection of the monopoly enjoyed by steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (Amsa).
The association is conducting its own survey of SMMEs to formulate relevant input on the draft regulations.
We see the battle of smaller and medium-sized business. The smaller, the harder it gets.— Gerhard Papenfus, Chief Executive - National Employers' Association of South Africa
There's a place for big business, but when big business becomes a monopoly, that's overreach.— Gerhard Papenfus, Chief Executive - National Employers' Association of South Africa
Public comment closes on 7 November 2019. Click here to have your say on the amendments.
Listen to the discussion on Today with Kieno Kammies:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Govt publishes draft laws to make South Africa more 'entrepreneur-friendly'