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When Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel introduced changes to competition legislation late last year to tackle the high levels of concentration in SA’s economy, it was in part a response to the calls for "radical economic transformation". Patel sought to offer an alternative means to drive economic growth and transformation by opening up the economy to new — ideally black-owned — entrants and making it more dynamic and more inclusive. He had the explicit backing of then deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa. The "RET" agenda and its backers may have been marginalised subsequently but Patel’s proposed amendments to the competition legislation are very much still on the agenda as one of the signature policy measures of the new Ramaphosa administration. The amendments are wending their way through Nedlac, where there’s been an unusually extensive consultation process between business, the government and labour — most recently on Monday. The next step is for the parties to draft a ...

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