Competition is not something that can be artificially created. It is an inherent facet of human, or living, nature and thrives most when it is left alone. The notion that the government can introduce swathes of laws, regulations and red tape, such as the new Competition Amendment Bill, and not cause a deleterious effect on competition and economic growth is naïve. The government should stick to ensuring no violence or fraud is used by firms and let the rest of the chips fall where they may, in the interest of all consumers. SA’s competition policy regime, as constructed around legislation such as the Competition Act, is permeated by a fundamental misunderstanding of the economics of competition and of the rule of law. The Competition Amendment Bill, for instance, is of a racialist character; assigns excessive discretionary powers; has ambiguous and unclear provisions; and seeks to avoid the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Appeal. Each of these falls foul of the commitment to th...

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