The Right2Know Campaign welcomes the Competition Commission findings on the price fixing collusion case that has now been referred to the Tribunal for prosecution.
We are dismayed to learn that this criminal activity has been going on for such a long period without being detected by the banking regulatory bodies like the Reserve bank. To fight the phenomenon of corporate price fixing, we as R2K demand better transparency measures in the private sector. These must include better protection for whistleblowers, stronger and more independent regulators, and a requirement for corporations to be transparent to the public by disclosing what business agreements they are party to, and how those agreements were struck.
We believe that the recommended administrative penalty against the bank cartels is a minor slap on the wrist. CEOs of the said banks must be held accountable for contravening the Competition Act and promoting unethical business practises based on greed and self-enrichment.
Market manipulation and fraud driven by Financial Institutions on a larger scale worldwide may be seen as a non-violent crime, but this criminal behaviour has dire consequences for the economy and the biggest victims of this are the poor. We have seen this before in South Africa, with bread-price fixing and collusion on construction projects. Hence we are calling for hefty fines and recommend criminal charges for any executives found to have been involved.
While we are constantly outraged by corruption committed by politicians, corporate executives across the world seem to be operating with impunity and it is our duty and responsibility as citizens to challenge these cartels.
As R2K, we continue to reiterate our position that the private sector also has a case to answer when it comes to corruption and the rising poverty rate in our society.
We commend the Competition Commission’s decision to publicly release all case documents, it shows just how committed they are in promoting transparency. We call on other regulatory authorities to be this committed to their mandate. We demand a corrupt free nation.