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Business often talks about structural reforms to ignite growth, but a simple review of our economic regulators reveals a growth handbrake too often ignored. Take the Competition Commission for example. Fresh from having to concede it overreached embarrassingly in the name of public interest in the Burger King deal, we have another reminder that the commissions’ public-interest powers have blinded it to its core function in a deal involving Mediclinic that has onlookers asking serious questions about the country’s apex court too.

The vitals of this story are that Mediclinic sought to expand its geographic presence in Klerksdorp in about 2015. It already owns a multidisciplinary hospital in Potchefstroom. It found a willing seller in Matlosana Medical Health Services, which owns two multidisciplinary hospitals in Klerksdorp, the 185-bed Wilmed Park Hospital and the 62-bed Sunningdale Hospital...

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