The South African Competition Commission (SACC) launched a dawn raid, in terms of Section 48 of the Competition Act, 89 of 1998, on the offices of six companies in Gauteng, who supply fire control and protection systems on 20 March 2015. The companies subjected to the dawn raid include:
- Belfa Fire (Pty) Ltd;
- Cross Fire Management (Pty) Ltd;
- Fire Control Systems (Pty) Ltd;
- QD Air (Pty) Ltd;
- Technological Fire Innovations (Pty) Ltd; and
- Fireco (Pty) Ltd
According to the SACC’s spokesperson, the SACC has reasonable grounds to believe that these companies have been involved in collusion when bidding for tenders in respect to the provision of fire control and protection systems. The dawn raid forms part of an on-going investigation into this alleged anti-competitive conduct. This is the first dawn raid conducted in 2015. The SACC conducted 3 dawn raids in 2014, after a substantial period of no activity signalling that the trend in 2014 may well continue in 2015. Some of the dawn raids conducted in 2014 include:
- Investchem Pty Ltd (Investchem) and Akulu Marchon Pty Ltd (Akulu Marchon), in Kempton Park, Gauteng (December 2014);
- Unilever in Durban and Sime Darby Hudson & Knight in Boksburg (April 2014);
- Precision and Sons, Eldan Auto Body in Pretoria West and the Vehicle Accident Assessment Centre in Centurion (July 2014).
The SACC appears content to increasingly uitilise dawn raids as an investigative tool during its investigations into anti-competitive conduct. The increase in the use of dawn raids coincides with a change of senior management at the SACC.