Picture: David Ritchie
The Competition Commission of South Africa has launched a market inquiry into the public passenger transport sector following a number of complaints relating to public transport in the country.

Yesterday, the commission said an inquiry was published in a Government Gazette and the commission is now calling for submissions.

“The scope of the inquiry as reflected in the terms of reference include price setting mechanisms, price regulation, transport planning, allocation of subsidies, route allocation, licensing requirements, among other things. In essence, the commission seeks to understand the market dynamics across the entire value chain,” said Competition Commission spokesperson Sipho Ngwema.

He said the inquiry seeks to address concerns that there may be features that prevent, distort or restrict competition in a sector that caters for the transport needs of between 70%-80% of the population.

“The commission has identified road and rail public passenger transport as relevant for this inquiry including minibus, localised and metered- taxis, app-based taxi services, Metrorail, and the Gautrain,” said Ngwema.

The commission has published guidelines that contain the rules of participation that will apply to all stakeholders who wish to participate in the proceedings of the inquiry.

“The guidelines seek to provide for a fair opportunity and a transparent process for all stakeholders to effectively participate in the inquiry. The guidelines outline who may participate in the inquiry and how they may submit information; the treatment of confidential information; the administrative activities of the inquiry; and the powers available to the commission, among other issues,” added Ngwema.

The commission has published a call for submissions for stakeholders and the public to provide evidence and information that will assist in formulating “sound recommendations”.

Submissions should be detailed. Information on the inquiry can be accessed at www.compcom.co.za under the Public Passenger Transport Inquiry tab. The closing date for submissions is August 24.