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We spent R4m on case but it was worth it - Bernard Swanepoel, CEO Harmony


Publication: An interview on ClassicFM

HARMONY Gold and DRDGOLD spent R4m fighting their four-year anti-competitive case against industrial giant, Mittal Steel SA, said Bernard Swanepoel, Harmony Gold CEO.

Even though the case was expensive it was worth it, said Swanepoel who was speaking on Classic Business, a week nightly radio programme. “Excessive steel pricing has cost the economy billions of rands,” he said.

South Africa's Competition Tribunal judged on March 27 that Mittal Steel SA was guilty of excessive pricing of its domestic steel product.

The judgement brought to an end a sometimes bitter case in which the question of whether Mittal Steel was 'super dominant' in the South African market. This means whether the company was uncontested in an uncontestable market.

However, Swanepoel said Mittal Steel would not accept the judgement and that steel prices would not be reduced immediately. “I think they will defend their position. This could drag for a long time,” he said.

South African gold counters have enjoyed higher revenues from the record rand gold price. But they have simultaneously been faced with vaulting cost increases on fuel and steel in particular.

“This could not have happened at a better time while the country was rebuilding its infrastructure,” said Swanepoel.

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