Transport Sector Pricing not a Cartel
2022-02-04The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) wishes to clarify that it has detected no price cartels in the transport sector as alleged by some sections of society.
The Commission takes cognizance of the fact that the alleged price cartels in the transport sector in fact refers to conduct prescribed in the Road Traffic Act No. 11 of 2002. Therefore, the conduct by Government to determine transport fares is not illegal.
In view of the above, the Commission wishes to inform the general public that free market policies are not necessarily absolute, as public interest considerations take the fore; so as to prevent market failure. For this reason, Governments intervene in the markets as is the case with the Zambian transport sector, so as to protect citizens from the detrimental effects of market failure.
Other practical examples of such interventions by Government can be seen in the fuel and electricity sectors where Government intervenes in pricing so as to ensure that both the businesses and consumers in the sectors concerned benefit equitably. This is also common practice even at international level where the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a “legal cartel.”
This is why under Section 3 of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) No. 24 of 2010, any conduct undertaken for or designed to achieve a non-commercial socio-economic objective or similar purpose is exempted of the Act.