THE Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC) is investigating Harare City Council on allegations of monopoly through imposition of service delivery not commensurate with the charges, it has emerged.
CTC is a statutory body established after the merger of the former Industry and Trade Competition Commission and the Tariff Commission.
In a notice published in the Government Gazette last Friday, CTC chairperson Dumisani Sibanda said all information gathered during the investigation would be treated in confidence. Interested stakeholders have been given seven days to make written submissions to the commission.
“It is hereby notified in terms of Section 28 (2) of the Competition Act that the Competition and Tariff Commission is embarking on an investigation, in terms of Section 28 of the Act, into allegations of monopoly situation by Harare City Council in the provision of municipal economic services through excessive pricing, price discrimination and delivery of poor services not commensurate with the charges,” reads part of the notice.
Under Section 28 of the Act, the CTC has the power to investigate any restrictive practice which it has reason to believe exists or may come into existence or to ascertain — whether any merger has been, is being or is proposed to be made.
It can also investigate any business agreement, arrangement, understanding or method of trading which, in the opinion of the Commission, is being or may be adopted for the purpose of, or in connection with the creation or maintenance of a restrictive practice and into any monopoly situation which the Commission has reason to believe exists or may come into existence.
Last month, at least 200 residents under the Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) demonstrated against poor service delivery. HRT was demanding the scrapping of all rate arrears accrued between 2009 and 2010.
“Water should be made available to every citizen, not the current situation where most suburbs do not have any running water,” said HRT in a statement.