The CRC Series on Competition, Regulation and Development
Edited by Paul Cook, Colin Kirkpatrick, Martin Minogue and David Parker
Chapter 12: The institutional and policy framework for regulation and competition in South Africa
Kobus Müller1 INTRODUCTION South Africa is a country characterised by inequity, inequality and poverty. The public and private sectors have shown a commitment to the need for change and have also implemented policies and services to address these burning issues in the country. There is a need to balance the desire to ensure centralised control, to ensure an even-handed approach to policy implementation and service delivery to all sectors of the population, focusing on the areas of greatest need. At the same time, this centralised approach must be balanced with the need for growth in the economy through a focus on competition and competitiveness. This chapter attempts to map the institutional and policy framework and the context from which it has emerged since the demise of the apartheid state. THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR COMPETITION AND REGULATION IN SOUTH AFRICA The transition to democracy in South Africa in 1994 brought fundamental changes to the form and function of the state and the accompanying institutional and policy framework. Before the introduction of the new dispensation, parliament was considered to be sovereign. This changed in 1994 when South Africa became a constitutional democracy after incisive debate among a wideranging group of role-players in the socio-political-economic discourse and concluded in the constitutional negotiation process. The new Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996) ‘is the supreme law of the Republic. Law or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid, and the obligations imposed by it must be fulfilled’ (The Constitution,...
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