DA walkout delays adoption of amendments to competition laws

Parliament was forced to postpone the adoption of changes to competition legislation brought by Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel.

FILE: Parliament of South Africa in Cape Town. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - A Democratic Alliance (DA) walkout has delayed the adoption of amendments to the country’s competition laws.

Parliament was forced to postpone the adoption of changes to competition legislation brought by Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel.

The DA MPs walked out of a meeting on Tuesday, affecting the committee’s quorum.

Parliamentarian Michael Cardo was unhappy about committee chairperson Elsie Mmathulare Coleman’s handling of the meeting.

“This process is an absolute sham and I won’t legitimise it. Thanks very much. I am very glad to engage with the minister. He gives excellent answers to my questions, but if he won’t allow me to ask the questions that I need to then I won’t legitimise this sham process.”

Mmathulare Coleman said the walkout left the committee no option but to delay proceedings.

The proposed amendments are aimed at addressing concerns about the high barriers to entry into South African markets, which are believed to impede the ability of small and medium businesses and those owned by historically disadvantaged persons to compete effectively.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)