The minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Peggy Serame, has through the Extraordinary Government Gazette of 2nd December 2019 published the Competition Act and the Consumer Protection Act (Date of Commencement) Orders, thereby commencing the Competition and Consumer Authority, CCA.
The ministry announced in a press release that the Competition Act and Consumer Protection Act were reviewed in 2018 and approved the transfer of the function of the Consumer Protection Office to the new Authority, CCA, which replaces the Competition Authority. The new Authority combines the mandates of the old Competition Authority and the Consumer Protection Unit, which used to function under the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry.
“The general public and the business community are informed that the commencement of the new Competition and Consumer Authority and the Competition and Consumer Tribunal commenced operation on 2nd December 2019. The transfer of the mandate provides for the speedy resolution of consumer complaints and enables the public to escalate unresolved complaints to the Competition and Consumer Tribunal,” the press release said.
Furthermore, the release stated that services would continue at the current Consumer Protection offices countrywide, whereas the Tribunal is housed at the Botswana Bureau of Standards.
Through the Government Gazette notice, the minister also announced the appointment of members of the Competition and Consumer Board and members of the Competition and Consumer Tribunal. The board will be a governance structure while the tribunal will be a specialised competition and consumer court unlike in the previous arrangement, where the board had dual functions of governance and adjudication.
Members of the board appointed for a five-year term commencing 1st October 2019 are Koonyatse Tamasiga, Kemmonye Keitsile, Phodiso Valashia, Dr. Malebogo Bakwena and Dr. Selinah Peters. Members of the Tribunal have also been appointed for four or five-year terms commencing 1st October 2019. They are Sanji Monageng who is President, and Tendekani Malebeswa as Vice President. Other members are Kedibone Sekakela, Tshiano Mosojane, Leruo Moremong, Malebogo Lekgoa and Ruth Basele.