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TRIBUNAL: Commercial bus company, seeking urgent interdict against PRASA, agrees with PRASA to postpone proceedings

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TRIBUNAL: Commercial bus company, seeking urgent interdict against PRASA, agrees with PRASA to postpone proceedings

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15th March 2019

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Africa People Mover (APM), a commercial bus company, and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) have agreed to postpone proceedings in the Competition Tribunal, where APM would have applied for an urgent interdict against PRASA this morning.
 
Legal representatives for the parties informed the Tribunal of their agreement to postpone proceedings, following “overnight developments” and discussions between the parties. The matter has therefore been postponed.
 
Urgent relief application
 
In documents filed with the Tribunal, APM alleged that PRASA was attempting to deny it access to, and use of, its bus terminal stations. These include Park Station (Johannesburg), Bosman Station (Pretoria) as well as Durban and Cape Town bus stations. APM earlier indicated that they would seek “urgent interdictory relief” today, requesting access to these stations.
 
PRASA had intended to object to the application on the basis that APM allegedly failed to pay its “pay as you use fees” and was in arrears to the tune of some R6.4 million in relation to Park Station and almost R2 million in arrears in respect of other bus stations. PRASA alleged that it sought to exclude APM from Park station because APM failed, despite demand, to pay any of its arrears.
 
Interim relief application
 
At the same time, APM had intended to bring an “interim relief application” against PRASA and Autopax. APM indicated it wanted to interdict and restrain PRASA from:
Charging it an excessive fee to use its bus terminals at Johannesburg Park Station, Pretoria Bosman station, Durban and Cape Town; and
Price discriminating against it, as PRASA allegedly does not charge the alleged excessive price to Autopax.
Both PRASA and Autopax had refuted these claims and indicated that the interim relief application should be dismissed.
 
Background
 
APM lodged a complaint with the Commission that PRASA is contravening the Competition Act by favouring its own subsidiary, Autopax, to the disadvantage of competitors such as APM (by charging it excessive prices and giving Autopax favourable prices and terms of payment). The interim relief application, which has now been postponed, had been brought while the Commission is still conducting its investigation.
 
APM is a commercial bus company that operates various routes around the country. It uses bus terminals to load and off-load passengers at various points.
 
PRASA is a state-owned entity (SOE) that owns and operates bus terminal infrastructure.
 
Autopax is a wholly owned subsidiary of PRASA. It engages in the same business operations as APM and is therefore a competitor of APM.

 

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