[Covid-19] COVID-19 Block Exemption for the Retail Property Sector by Adams & Adams

COVID-19 Block Exemption for the Retail Property Sector | Article by Adams & Adams

The Government has already taken swift action against the Coronavirus pandemic through regulations gazetted by the Minister of the Department of Trade and Industry (“the DTI”). On 24 March 2020, the Minister published further regulations in terms of section 10(10)[1] of the Competition Act, 89 of 1998 (“the Competition Act”).

These regulations extend an exemption to the retail property sector and aim to enable the retail property sector to minimise the negative impact on the ability of designated retail tenants, including small, independent retailers, to manage their finances during the national disaster and be in a position to continue normal operations beyond the national disaster.

The regulations further exempt agreements or practices between retail tenants  and/or retail property landlords  from scrutiny under sections 4 (agreements between competitors)  and 5 (agreements between suppliers, firms and customers) of the Competition Act for the sole purpose of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic national disaster and which exclude communication and agreements in respect of prices.

The exemption extends to all South African retail tenants in the designated retail lines, including small, independent retailers, unless otherwise authorised by the Minister or the Competition Commission. The designated trading lines for the purpose of the identification of designated retail tenants are to be found in the regulations which can be accessed through the link below.

The respective gazetted regulations can be accessed here: http://www.gpwonline.co.za/Gazettes/Gazettes/43134_24-3_DTI.pdf

We invite you to contact our Competition Law Team (jac.marais(@)adams.africa) if you have any questions in relation to the COVID-19 regulations under the Competition Act, or any related matter.

Article By:

Jac Marais | Partner
Misha van Niekerk | Senior Associate
Kameel Pancham | Candidate Attorney

 

About Adams & Adams

Adams & Adams is an internationally recognised and leading African law firm that specialises in providing intellectual property and commercial services.

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