Posted: June 10, 2022
The Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition today announced his decision to appoint Ms Doris Tshepe as the new Commissioner for one of the country’s most significant economic regulators, the Competition Commission. Cabinet was briefed on the decision yesterday and gave its support to the decision. Ms Tshepe will commence duties as Competition Commissioner by September 2022.
“Ms Doris Tshepe has wide experience on matters relating to the mandate of the Competition Commission and has been active in the competition field for many years. She brings deep insights from her work in advising Government on reforms to competition law and as a practitioner representing clients on competition cases,” Minister Patel said today.
Ms Doris Tshepe holds a B Proc degree, a LLB degree and an LLM degree in Tax Law. She has been a practicing attorney for more than 20 years specialising in constitutional and administrative law, legislative drafting, media and communication law, commercial law, competition law and employment law with a wide range of public and private sector clients.
She served on an Advisory Panel on the major amendments to the Competition Act, which was signed into law by President Ramaphosa in 2019. She has further served as the attorney in a number of significant competition cases. She served as the Managing Director at a prominent law firm, Cheadle Thompson and Haysom Inc (CTH) until 30 June 2018 and is a member of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC).
Minister Patel thanked outgoing Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele for his contribution to the work of the Commission, stretching over 18 years, nine years as Commissioner.
“Commissioner Bonakele has played an important role in developing the Competition Commission as an internationally-recognised economic regulator. His work to strengthen the Commission’s capacity in cartel and merger investigations has resulted in more competitive markets, substantial numbers of jobs retained, development programmes for small and medium business, and greater levels of investment. He has ably led efforts to establish South Africa as a leader in competition policy and enforcement internationally, particularly on the African continent,” Minister Patel said.
“The Competition Act is one of the most important pieces of economic legislation we have in South Africa; and the Competition Commission one of its most important institutions. Its mandate to ensure competitive markets which keep prices low for consumers, while providing space for small business and historically-disadvantaged South Africans to participate. Transformation and economic inclusion are vital to growth in our economy. Commissioner Bonakele had led the Commission to new ground in this period and he leaves behind an institution primed to take on its enhanced mandate under the amendment act,” he said.
During his tenure, the Competition Commission was awarded numerous international awards for excellence.
Commissioner Bonakele will continue in his position until Ms Tshepe takes office. The Ministry is in discussion with him on an appropriate set of responsibilities that can utilise his skills and experience in the competition and public policy area after completion of his period as Commissioner.
Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
Tel: (012) 394 1643
Mobile: 079 5083 457
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
BACKGROUND INFORMATION FOR EDITORS:
Mr Bonakele joined the Commission in 2004, and has been Commissioner since 2013. During his time as Commissioner, the Competition Commission has cemented its position as one of the most effective economic regulators in South Africa, and as a respected competition authority internationally. Mr Bonakele is an admitted attorney and previously practised in the areas of labour law, regulation, and health and safety.
Investigative work by the Commission during Mr Bonakele’s time as Commissioner into cartels has led to settlements and penalties imposed in among others the steel, foreign exchange, auto components, construction and media sectors. Under his agile leadership, the Commission played a critical role in prosecuting price gauging during the early part of the Covid pandemic and in bringing down the price of testing for ordinary South Africans.
Merger investigations have also grown in recent years. During Mr Bonakele’s tenure, the Commission investigated the competition and public interest impact of a number of mergers, contributing to settlements reached with the Coca-Cola Company, ABInbev, Glencore, Old Mutual, Mondi and others to protect jobs, increase investment, support small business and promote competitive market structures and conduct. This has resulted in multi-billion rand commitments from companies to invest in their facilities, in small and medium businesses and in small-scale farmers in their value chains.
The Commission also began exercising its powers in respect of Market Inquiries more actively during Mr Bonakele’s time as Commissioner. High profile investigations into the state of competition in a number of markets have been completed, including an investigation into the private healthcare, grocery retail, public transport, liquefied petroleum gas and data services markets. These investigations have highlighted structural problems in markets, and have been used to support policy measures to address consumer prices, transformation and inclusion.