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Gordhan: Govt working to stop price collusion

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says price collusion should and will be stamped out in any South African market, whether it’s banking or bread.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan at the 2017 Budget media briefing in Cape Town on 22 February 2017. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says price collusion should and will be stamped out in any South African market, whether it’s banking or bread.

Gordhan delivered his 2017 Budget Speech in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon, as government looks to crack down on anti-competitive behaviour with a raft of new regulations.

Last week, the Competition Commission announced it had found that 17 local and international banks colluded to fix the rand-dollar exchange rate.

The minister says Treasury notes those findings, adding a mechanism has been put in place to stop the practice.

“As we’ve seen recently with the Competition Commission investigation, there’s evidence of collusive and greedy culture at trading desks and banks. It’s precisely to deal with such abuses that we’ve proposed a dedicated market conduct regulator.”

_WATCH: The 2017 Budget in 60 seconds _

He says there also needs to be transformation at financial institutions.

“I’m pleased to announce that we’ll work with partners at Nedlac. We’ve requested that a financial summit takes place in 2017 to consider further transformation in the sector. ”

In his speech, the minister also announced a new tax bracket for super-earners of 45% as well as a fuel levy hike of 30 cents per litre and excise duty increases for tobacco and alcohol.

The bulk of the budget goes to debt servicing, with education getting the next biggest slice of the budget pie.

Gordhan told the House that this was a strong budget.

“Our financial situation is constrained but we’ve still produced a credible budget and there’s a lot of money in the system that we could use better.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)