Surface mining industry association, ASPASA, has set out a comprehensive set of guidelines to prevent its members and their clients from intentionally or unintentionally fixing the prices of the products that they produce.

The line between collusion and prudent pricing can be blurry at times and the association has set out to debunk and demystify the process of pricing and bidding with a set of guidelines for all its members.

“We need our members and customers to be alert to price fixing and be able to recognise what constitutes uncompetitive behaviour and take action to prevent it. Ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law and it is our aim to arm our members with information that will prevent them from accidently falling foul of the law and alert them to circumstances that may be perceived to be contrary to fair competition,” said Nico Pienaar, director of ASPASA.

Guidelines and important information

Pienaar added that the guidelines are available to members and include information on the following:

  • What is bid rigging, rotation and suppression
  • Surface mines, construction managers and suppliers’ obligations
  • Consequences of breaking the law
  • Fines and disqualification of directors
  • Criminal prosecution and imprisonment
  • Reputational impact
  • Ensuring compliance with competition laws and what practices break the rules
  • Whistleblowing

The guidelines also include templates of non-collusion agreements and other important notes to ensure compliance with competition legislation. It also covers bribery and the implications of being involved in illegal practices. It also outlines the consequences of breaking the law.

There is also advice for mine managers and construction projects directors to identify the signs of corruption and how to make it clear that this type of behaviour will not be accepted on their sites. The same applies to sub-contractors and suppliers to these industries.

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