10 August 2020



The Tribunal has confirmed a settlement agreement between the Competition Commission and GWK Farm Foods (Pty) Ltd, in which the company admits to its involvement in a maize milling cartel and agrees to pay an administrative penalty (a fine) of R1 000 000 (one million Rand).


This is the 14th settlement agreement to be confirmed by the Tribunal in this maize milling cartel.


In the latest settlement, GWK Farm Foods (formerly known as Westra Industries) admits to price fixing around February 2004, in contravention of section 4(1)(b)(i) of the Competition Act.


The company admits that it agreed with its competitors in the white maize milling market to directly and indirectly fix the selling price of milled white maize products. It also admits that it agreed on dates to implement the prices and that it exchanged information about pricing structures. This occurred during a meeting in February 2004.


Terms of the settlement agreement


In addition to paying an administrative penalty, GWK Farm Foods agrees to fully cooperate with the Commission in the prosecution of any remaining respondents (accused companies) implicated in the matter.


It will also develop, implement and monitor a competition law compliance programme to ensure that its employees, managers, directors and agents do not contravene the Act in future.




In March 2007, the Commission launched an investigation into Tiger Brands, Pioneer Foods, Foodcorp, Pride Milling and Progress Milling. Other maize milling companies were later also investigated. These included Bothaville Milling, Godrich Milling, TWK Milling, Keystone Milling, Westra Milling, Carolina Mills, Brenner Mills, Paramount Mills, NTK Milling, Kalel Mills and Blinkwater Mills.


The investigation was launched after the Commission received a corporate leniency application from Premier Foods in 2007, which was corroborated by another corporate leniency application by Tiger Brands in the same year. In terms of the Commission’s Corporate Leniency Policy, a cartel member can disclose information on a cartel in return for immunity from prosecution and fines.


The Commission’s investigation revealed that between 1999 and 2007, representatives and employees of the implicated companies discussed pricing, agreed on price increases and the timing of such increases during meetings and telephone calls. The Commission concluded that this conduct amounted to price fixing and fixing of trading conditions in contravention of the Competition Act.


The table below lists previous settlements in the maize cartel case and the dates on which the respective settlements were made orders of the Tribunal:



Settlement Agreement

Date of Tribunal Order

Administrative Penalty


Keystone Milling (Pty) Ltd

7 April 2010

R 6 730 349.00


Pioneer Foods (Pty Ltd

30 November 2010

      R 500 000 000.00


Carolina Rollermeule (Pty) Ltd

13 April 2011

R 4 417 546.00


Foodcorp (Pty) Ltd

13 December 2012

R 88 500 000.00


Blinkwater Mills (Pty) Ltd

16 March 2017

R 10 112 504.20


Bothaville Milling (Pty) Ltd

28 June 2017

R 4 211 385.90


Brenner Mills (Pty) Ltd

2 August 2017

R 12 000 872.00


Pride Milling (Pty) Ltd

27 September 2017 

R 10 624 959.60


Godrich Flour Mills (Pty) Ltd

1 November 2017

R 4 354 476.00


Progress Milling (Pty) Ltd

29 June 2018

R 2 120 000.00


TWK Milling (Pty) Ltd

14 November 2018

R 1 845 863.75


NTK Limpopo Agri (Pty) Ltd

6 February 2019

R 1 364 360.00


Paramount Mills (Pty) Ltd

13 March 2019

R 1 320 819.00


Westra Milling (Pty) Ltd

6 August 2020

R 1 000 000.00



Issued by:

Gillian de Gouveia, Communications Officer

On behalf of the Competition Tribunal of South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 12 394 1383

Cell: +27 (0) 82 410 1195


Twitter: @comptrib



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