Fraud during the pandemic – Have organisations dropped the ball?

As the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, organisations, governments, law enforcement, regulators monitoring and or overseeing fraud controls in organisations, are all preoccupied with efforts to manage the effects of the pandemic as well as the spread of the virus, to temporarily worry about fraud. That creates a perfect storm where it is a great time for the fraudsters …

COMPANY FINED R76 000 FOR EXCESSIVE PRICING DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

In South Africa’s first contested excessive pricing case in the context of COVID-19, the Competition Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) found Babelegi Workwear and Industrial Supplies CC (“Babelegi”), a Pretoria-based company, guilty of excessive pricing of dust masks between 31 January 2020 to 5 March 2020 (“the complaint period”). The Tribunal, in its Order and Reasons, found that Babelegi contravened section 8(1)(a) of the Competition Act …

COMPETITION COMMISSION RELEASES BUYER POWER AND PRICE DISCRIMINATION GUIDELINES

On 18 May 2020, the Competition Commission (“the Commission”) issued Buyer Power and Price Discrimination Guidelines which aim to bring fairness to emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses. The objective of the buyer power provisions is to strengthen the participation of small and medium enterprises (“SMEs”) and historically disadvantaged persons (“HDPs”) in the economy.  The new buyer power and price discrimination …

TWO LARGE FACE MASK SUPPLIERS REFERRED TO THE COMPETITION TRIBUNAL OVER EXCESSIVE PRICING

The Competition Commission (“the Commission”) has referred two major face mask suppliers to the Competition Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) for allegedly charging “astronomically” high prices on face masks. The Commission said that the two companies had failed to provide a reasonable explanation as to why they had charged such excessive prices.  The investigations conducted by the Commission found that the two …

THE COMPETITION TRIBUNAL CONFIRMS FIRST CONSENT ORDER IN EXCESSIVE PRICING COMPLAINT REFERRAL

On 20 April 2020 the Competition Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) heard an application in respect of a complaint referral brought against a Boksburg pharmacy for alleged excessive pricing of face masks.  Following the application being heard in chambers, the Tribunal confirmed the Consent Agreement between the Competition Commission (“the Commission”) and the Boksburg pharmacy on the same day. On 20 March 2020, the Competition Commission …

SUMMARY OF APPLICABLE BLOCK EXEMPTIONS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s proclamation of the National State of Disaster, the Minister of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (“the DTIC”), Mr Ebrahim Patel (“the Minister”), published numerous block exemptions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are summaries of the block exemptions that have been published by the DTIC: Healthcare Sector The purpose of the exemptions is …

REGULATIONS ENFORCING THE NATIONAL LOCKDOWN ARE PROMULGATED BY THE MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS

The Lockdown Regulations, aimed at enforcing the 21-day national lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, were published on 25 March 2020 by Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (“the Minister”). These Regulations provide extensive clarity on the scope of the national lockdown that was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 23 March 2020.  The 21-day lockdown will …

An upsurge in cyber-attacks – The wave of the pandemic

South Africa has third-highest number of cybercrime victims in the world with about R2.2bn lost each year through fraudulent activities carried via the internet, according to recent headlines. The research suggests that threat actors perceive organisations and businesses in South Africa as potentially having lower defensive barriers compared to those in more developed economies, and that they may enjoy a …