The Namibia Competition Commission has confirmed that it received a complaint from the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) concerning the possible violation of the Competition Act by Meatco since its establishment.

In a letter addressed to the CEO of Namibia Competition Commission Mr Vitalis Ndalikokule, leader of the AR Dr Job Amupanda stated that Meatco has with impunity contravened Section 26 of the Competition Act in its refusal to “serve the entire meat industry of Namibia and not some select part of the meat industry on the basis of geography”.

“Instead of serving all, [Meatco] discriminatorily served some. It used a colonial instrument called the Redline, erected in 1896, in discriminating livestock producers north of this Redline. In fact, its purchase price for the same product differs on the basis of this 1896 Redline,” Amupanda said in the letter.

Amupanda also stated that: “As you are aware, section 26 of the Competition Act (Act No 2 of 2003) prohibits conducts amounting to the abuse of a dominant position in a market in Namibia, or part of Namibia. (…) It is my considered view that Meatco is, and has been, in violation of section 26 of the Competition Act as explained above.”

While confirming receipt of the AR’s complaint, Mr Paulus Hangula, the Competition Commission’s Senior Economist for Enforcement, Exemptions and Cartels, told Omutumwa that: “Please note that a complaint is lodged in a prescribed manner and form as per rule 15 of the Rule made under the Act. The Commission has assessed the complaint and responded to the AR to provide clarity on a few issues raised in the complaint.

“Once the AR responds, the Commission will thereafter decide to start a formal investigation or not.”

Hangula further said that if the complaint goes to the investigation stage the matter “will be referred to court once the investigation is completed and a contravention has been found.

“The litigation process does take some time as well. It is challenging to put an exact time because each matter is different, but usually, if sufficient evidence is provided, the matter can be expedited and resolved as soon as possible.”

In the photo: Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) is the premier beef marketer of Namibia.