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Malls, retailers 'cannibalising' township business

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Durban - Major shopping malls and national retailers are allegedly engaging in “loose cartel” behaviour that is “cannibalising” small township businesses, the Competition Commission’s Grocery Retail Market Inquiry panel heard at its public hearings in Durban this week.

The SA Traders’ Association, which represents 60 small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) retailers in KwaZulu-Natal, together with the Chatsworth Centre Tenants’ Association, presented its grievances regarding the effect of national supermarket chains in townships, peri-urban and rural areas, alleging that “loose cartels” had been formed in the retail property sector, damaging SME livelihoods.

Laven Pillay, a lawyer representing the two associations, said more than 80% of the country’s prime shopping malls were owned by five listed JSE companies – Old Mutual Properties, Sanlam Properties, Liberty Properties, Vukile Property Fund and Redefine Properties.

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