Ebrahim Patel. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Ebrahim Patel. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

The total cost of the Competition Commission’s inquiry into the private health-care sector amounted to R197m, economic development minister Ebrahim Patel has disclosed.

The commission was established in 2013 to investigate the state of competition in the private health-care market and delivered its final report in 2018.

The commission, chaired by former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo, engaged the services of panellists and specialists to assist with its work.

In a written reply to a question in parliament by DA spokesperson on economic development Michael Cardo, Patel itemised the costs as follows: human resources and operational costs R78.6m; economic experts R39m; panel members R36.8m; data warehousing and actuarial services R13.5m; legal expertise and litigation R12.5m; data de-identification and security R9.6m; health-care sector experts R5.6m; and media and communications R1.4m.

Ngcobo was paid R5.9m, while the panellists were paid as follows: Ntuthuko Bhengu R9.7m; Cees van Gent from the Netherlands R11.7m, Sharon Fonn R3.3m and Lungiswa Nkonki R6m.

Responding to Cardo’s questions, Patel specified that Ndzabandzaba Attorneys — which has received a large amount of work from the Competition Commission in the past — was not appointed to represent the commission in the market inquiry and so no monies were paid to it.

In reply to a question in parliament in September Patel divulged that the firm of attorneys had been paid R72m by the commission in the period from January 2015 to August 2018, including R11.8m paid to advocates.