COVID-19: PRESSURE POINTS: NAVIGATING THE COVID-19 REGULATIONS AND THE ROLE OF COMPETITION LAW IN COMBATTING THE IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC (SOUTH AFRICA)

Authors: Stewart Payne and Natasha Rachwal, with supervision by Nick Altini and Leana Engelbrecht

Following the declaration of a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act No. 57 of 2002 (as amended), the concerning escalation in the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in South Africa prompted the National Coronavirus Command Council to enforce a nationwide lockdown for 21 days which came into effect from midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020.

These developments have been accompanied by the expedited publication of numerous regulations aimed at combatting the outbreak of COVID-19 and mitigating its anticipated impact on the already strained economy. In particular, emphasis has been placed on enabling both the public and private sectors to act swiftly in responding to the healthcare crisis.

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SOUTH AFRICA USES COMPETITION LAWS TO FACILITATE ITS RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Authors: Jean Meijer and Stewart Payne

Following our recent post on COVID-19 and its impact on competition law in Europe, South Africa has added its name to the list of countries using competition laws as a tool both to facilitate the healthcare response to the pandemic and protect consumers from exploitation.

On 15 March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was declared to be a national disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act No. 57 of 2002 (as amended), from which followed on 18 March 2020 an extensive set of regulations made in terms of that Act. Shortly thereafter, and as part of the broader response to the pandemic, the Minister of Trade and Industry on 19 March 2020 issued regulations under two separate provisions the South African Competition Act No. 89 of 1998 (as amended):

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