The South African Competition Commission raided 13 premises belonging to seven meat suppliers on Wednesday amid an investigation into the alleged fixing of prices and trading conditions.
The commission raided the meat suppliers in the country’s three provinces to investigate their involvement in uncompetitive behaviors.
The meat suppliers who were raided are also known as feedlots and buy weaner calves from farmers to bulk feed them in preparation for slaughtering in the production of beef.
“The meat suppliers are alleged to have entered into an agreement and engaged in concerted practices to fix the prices and trading conditions when purchasing weaner calves from farmers. They are also alleged to have an agreement to fix the prices at which they sell meat to wholesale and retail customers,” said Sipho Ngwema, Head of Communications at the Competition Commission.
Ngwema said they are acting on behalf of the affected people mostly the vulnerable ones.
“The meat industry forms an important part of the food sector which is one of the Commission’s priority sectors. The Commission remains committed in its quest to fight collusion in the food sector as a whole, as higher prices of food affect the most vulnerable and poor households who spend a disproportionately high percentage of their income on food,” he said.
South Africa has seen an increase in the collusion cases which include banks, retail, construction and automotives among others. If the companies are found guilty they would be asked to pay about 10 percent of their annual turnover. Enditem