NGOs WERE delighted last night that the Supreme Court of Appeal had granted them leave to appeal a ruling that denied them permission for a class-action lawsuit against the country's major bread prOducers. "This is a significant victory in our battle for compensation against Pioneer Foods, Tiger Consumer Brands and Premier Foods, who were found guilty by the Competition Commission of taking part in a cartel that fixed the price of bread," read a joint statement by the Black Sash, Cosatu, the Ngonal Consumer Forum and the Children's Resources Centre.
The statement was issued after their lawyer told them of yesterday's Supreme Court of Appeal's decision. In November last year, Western Cape High Court Acting Judge Francois van Zyl dismissed their bid to certify them as the representatives of bread consumers in the province. In May this year they appealed, but were unsuccessful. "We then petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal in September," Black Sash advocacy programme manager Nkosikhulule Nyembezi said last night. In 2007 the Competition Commission found that the bread companies had colluded on fixing the price of bread and had done so for 12 years.