As part of the DFID-funded South Africa Trade and Poverty Programme and its objective to promote informed dialogue on South Africa's trade policy amongst key stakeholders, TIPS in 2005 implemented a seminar series under the auspices of Nedlac. These seminars provided a platform for government and civil society representatives (business, labour and broader social interest groups) to discuss critical issues concerning the role of trade policy in fostering poverty reduction and human development in South Africa.
The practice of import-parity pricing has received much attention in the media in 2005. Import-parity pricing is being challenged at the Competition Tribunal, and the dti has been negotiating with various firms to limit its use. At the seminar, Professor Simon Roberts of the Corporate Strategy and Industrial Development Research Programme at the University of the Witwatersrand who has for a number of years researched this issue and its implications in different sectors of the economy explained how import parity pricing works, where its effects are felt and different ways in which the practice could be limited.