South African competition tsar to step down

Tembinkosi Bonakele

Just a day after the resignation of the chairman of communications regulator Icasa, another top regulator has resigned – this time at the Competition Commission.

Trade, industry & competition minister Ebrahim Patel announced late on Thursday that Tembinkosi Bonakele has resigned and will be replaced in the role by Doris Tshepe, who has been “active in the competition field for many years”.

The commission has led several probes into the ICT sector in recent years, most recently into competition in online marketplaces through its “online intermediation platforms market inquiry”. The probe comes after the commission, on Bonakele’s watch, reached settlement agreements with South Africa’s big mobile operators over data pricing.

Bonakele has been commissioner for the past nine years and has worked with the regulator for 18 years in total. Patel said he 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,” the minister said.

Tshepe, his successor, has “wide experience on matter relating to the mandate of the commission … [and] brings deep insights from her work in advising government on reforms to competition law and as a practitioner representing clients on competition cases”, Patel said.

Tshepe, who will take over as commissioner in September, has a BProc degree, an LLB and an LLM in tax law. She is a practising attorney specialising in constitutional and administrative law, legislative drafting, media law, commercial law, competition law and employment law. Bonakele will stay on as commissioner until Tshepe takes office.  – © 2022 NewsCentral Media

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