- 83 percent of reported consumer complaints resolved
- Motor dealers, funeral parlous and hardware stores inspected for compliance
During the 2021/2022 reporting period, the Competition and Consumer Authority (CCA) handled a total of 1,251 consumer complaints, which was an increase of 7.4 percent in comparison with the previous financial year, The Botswana Gazette has established.
“Out of these cases, 83 percent were resolved while the rest were still under investigation as at the end of the financial year under review,” says the CEO of CCA, Tebelelo Pule, in the organisation’s 2021/2022 annual report.
“One of the key initiatives the CCA employs in protecting consumers against unfair business practices are compliance inspections; done independently, or in collaboration with other sector regulators.”
Pule says in the period under review, the CCA independently carried out 1,156 business compliance inspections across the country, including motor dealers, funeral parlous and hardware stores.
“The level of compliance stood at 86.3 percent, an improvement on the 74.1 percent achieved in the last financial year,” she states.
“The Authority further carried out joint inspections with other regulatory institutions. Through these joint exercises, a total of 584 businesses were inspected, and the level of compliance stood at 72.5 percent.”
According to Pule, CCA jointly carried out inspections with BOCRA to determine if businesses in the telecommunications sector complied with sale of type-approved products as per the BOCRA Act.
“The Authority also carried out compliance inspections with the Botswana Police Service and the Public Health Department
focusing on, among others, cleanliness of business premises, counterfeit food and
beverages, display and sale of tainted goods, non-issuance of receipts, failure to display prices, shelf prices that do not tally with till prices, display and validity of trade licences, product labelling, standards and packaging, and unfair disclaimers,” she notes.
Pule says the Authority also investigated a total of 26 anti- competitive cases in the review period, which included cartel conduct, abuse of dominance (through predatory pricing, price discrimination refusal of access to an essential facility and margin squeeze) and horizontal agreement through price fixing.
“Cartel cases investigated related to the construction, waste management, financial, government supplies and animal feed sectors,” she says.
The Competition and Consumer Authority is responsible for the prevention of, and redress for anti-competitive practices in the economy, and the removal of constraints on the free play of competition in the market. It further protects consumers against unfair business practices by investigating consumer complaints, promoting awareness of consumer rights, and conducting consumer education.
The governing body of the Authority is the Competition and Consumer Board, which is responsible for the direction of the affairs of the Authority.