There has been speculation in South African law in recent years regarding the nature and scope of the powers and duties conferred on the local competition authorities. This is due in part to divergent opinions in case law surrounding the nature and scope of the powers of the competition authorities, as well as the nature of the fines imposed by them (one of the most common remedies in competition law enforcement both locally and abroad). This article provides a historical analysis of the development of competition law enforcement in South Africa as well as a discussion of case law relating to competition law enforcement in order to determine what the nature thereof is. A comparative analysis is also conducted to establish the extent to which the local position deviates from foreign jurisprudence. In conclusion, the various arguments as to whether competition law enforcement should be seen as criminal or sui generis in nature are set out.

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