Black Sash Media Statements

Media Alert - Judge to rule on class action against bread cartel - BLACK SASH, 26 August 2011

Friday, 26 August 2011

Issued by Black Sash, The Children’s Resources Centre, COSATU (Western Cape) and the National Consumer Forum 

Judgement is due to be handed down in the Western Cape High Court on Monday, 29 August 2011, in our appeal against the decision to deny us a ‘class certification order’ in our lawsuit against the three major bread companies found guilty of price-fixing. 

Acting Judge Francois Van Zyl will let us know at 10am whether or not he will grant us leave to appeal his earlier decision to refuse us the class certificate we requested to represent bread consumers in the Western Cape against Pioneer Foods, Tiger Consumer Brands and Premier Foods. 

Black Sash, the Children’s Resources Centre, COSATU (Western Cape), the National Consumer Forum and five individual bread consumers filed their original application to represent consumers in November last year after the bread producers were found guilty by the Competition Commission of taking part in a cartel that fixed the price of bread.

Regardless of the outcome, we remain committed and determined to pursue and secure compensation on behalf of the millions of consumers who’ve suffered as a result of their corrupt and corrosive business practices.  

We firmly believe that the fines handed down by the Competition authorities do not act as a sufficient deterrent to big companies making massive profits. Importantly, these administrative penalties do not directly compensate those who’ve actually suffered as a result of their corruption. By acting as a group or class, we have the opportunity as consumers to hold these companies to account and collectively make them pay for the damage and loss they have caused.

It is morally abhorrent that these bread producers profited illegally from the sale of a staple food, especially in a country battling such high levels of poverty. Their ongoing collusive activities robbed millions of poor and vulnerable families on a daily basis for many, many years and undermine our society's attempts to realise our Constitutional right to food and to ensure adequate nourishment, especially for children.

We will hold a media briefing on the steps of the Western Cape High Court at 11h30 on Monday, 29 August 2011.

ENDS.


 

For interview requests, please contact:


Nkosikhulule Nyembezi

Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager

Cell: 082-429 4719

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Marcus Solomon

Co-ordinator of Children’s Resources Centre

Cell: 072 468 2156

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Thami Bolani

Chairperson of the National Consumer Forum

Cell: 083-679 9489

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Mike Louw

Cosatu Western Cape Regional Organiser

Cell: 082-339 5443

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