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Is OHS Self-regulation back in the game?

Sheqafrica.co.za’s sister publication, Sheqafrica.com, previously reported on the Council for the Built Environment’s (CBE) application for exemption of the Identification of Work from the requirements of the Competition Act. In September 2018 the CBE invited stakeholders to provide input following the Competition Commission’s decision to reject the application.

To recap, the Commission determined that the IDoW rules (Scope of Services of each category of registered persons under 5 of the six professional councils (ECSA, SACAP(application withdrawn), SACPCMP, SACQSP, SACLAP and SACPVP), in its current form, is likely to harm competition in the following ways:

  1. Restriction of competition between registered and unregistered professionals.
  2. Restriction of competition between professionals registered with the different councils for the built environment (BE) professions.
  3. Restriction of competition between professionals registered with a professional council within the built environment and professionals registered outside the built environment.
  4. Restriction of competition between professionals registered with the same professional council, but in different categories.

The Commission also found that granting such an exemption would result in harm in the following ways:

  1. Reduction in the number of service providers in the market,
  2. Likelihood of higher prices, and
  3. Limited choice to consumers.

As a result, the CBE requested stakeholders to submit suggestions on how to move forward to comply with the Commission’s findings and at the same time comply with their own legal mandate, which is to Identify the Work each professional category is competent to perform.

Stuck between a rock and a hard place, the CBE still have not moved forward and probably because they never placed a deadline on the submissions of suggestions.

However, they did, without limitation, request input on three specific aspects:

  1. Proposed different regulatory approaches that can ensure persons undertaking built environment work are competent and accountable without unfairly restricting competition.
  2. With regard to above,
    1. the possibility of self-regulation of the professions, or
    2. a combination of self-regulation and government regulation through an agency.
  3. The protection of titles, as the only regulatory method or in combination with other measures.

Sheqafrica removed the rest of this article after SAIOSH canceled its corporate membership. We therefore do not wish to promote them any further.

Jessica van Zyl
Jessica is the Editor in Chief of Sheqafrica Corporate Services (Pty)Ltd's Media Office and has 17 years experience in Technical Publishing. She worked for a number of small online magazines until 2018 when she became a Legal Researcher at Le Roux Maritz & Partners. Shortly afterwards, she was seconded to SACS as editor of Sheqafrica.co.za as part of her portfolio.