The Competition Commission (Commission) on Friday (15 August 2014) retracted the terms of reference it published in June 2014, announcing that it intended undertaking a market inquiry into the LPG market. This is according to Albert Aukema, Senior Associate in the Competition practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr. He said that the Commission had simultaneously published corrected terms of reference for the inquiry, on the basis that "The Commission noted a few errors in the background sections which provided an overview of the LPG sector" (according to a media release issued by the Commission).

“Importantly,” says Aukema, “the terms of reference now follow the prescripts of the Competition Act by giving the required 20 business days' notice before the commencement of the inquiry (This was not done in the previous terms of reference). The inquiry will now commence on 15 September 2014 and the Commission anticipates that it will be concluded by March 2016.”

“Although the ultimate scope of the inquiry remains largely the same as before, the new document also now refers to autogas (where LPG is used in motor vehicles as an alternative to conventional fuel) and gas reticulation to residential developments, as industries which form part of the LPG sector under consideration,” he adds.