Alleged South Africa cement cartel hearing faces tribunal

Alleged South Africa cement cartel hearing faces tribunal
Published: 16 November 2011

South Africa’s competition Tribunal will consider a settlement agreement reached between AfriSam — a member of an alleged cement cartel – and the Competition Commission.

According to the commission, the settlement is a reflection of AfriSam’s material co-operation with it in uncovering and providing further information on the conduct between cartel members.

AfriSam and Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) will not be subject to public scrutiny as PPC was granted corporate leniency by the commission and AfriSam decided to settle and pay a fine of close to ZAR125m into the Treasury.

The commission said the investigation into the cement cartel was continuing and would be referred for a hearing before the Competition Tribunal soon. The case against Lafarge and Natal Portland Cement would be referred to the tribunal. “We are not in any further settlement talks at the moment,” a commission official said yesterday.

The tribunal will decide today whether to confirm or reject the settlement agreement between AfriSam and the commission.

The fine represents 3% of AfriSam’s 2010 cement turnover in the Southern African Customs Union (SA, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia).

The commission started its investigation after it noticed routine price increases without any variations in demand or input costs. The increases were far above the production price index.