Transnet Probed by South African Regulator for Overpricing

Transnet SOC Ltd. is to be investigated by South Africa’s Competition Commission over allegations the state-owned ports and rail operator overcharges and gives preferential treatment to certain customers for port access.

“The commission will conduct a full investigation to assess whether or not Transnet has contravened the Competition Act as alleged,” the antitrust regulator said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday. The probe “emanates from information indicating that the South African port charges are much higher than the global average.”

“We will cooperate fully with the inquiry,” Transnet spokesman Molatwane Likhethe said in e-mailed comments. “Transnet is comfortable and confident that its processes are fair, just and in line with relevant legal requirements.”

The company is investing as much as 380 billion rand ($25.9 billion) over 10 years to boost capacity and efficiency on railways and ports used to transport and export resources from the country. South Africa is the world’s biggest manganese producer and the continent’s largest source of iron ore and coal.

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