David Lewis chaired the Competition Tribunal for a decade, from its founding in 1999. He received his training in economics from the universities of the Witwatersrand and Cape Town. Between 1975 and 1990, he worked in the trade union movement, serving as general secretary of the General Workers Union and national organiser of the
Transport and General Workers Union.
From 1990, Lewis directed UCT’s Development Policy Research Unit, which specialises in trade and industrial policy. Between 1994 and 1996, he was special adviser to the Minister of Labour and co-chaired the Presidential Commission on Labour Market Policy. Later, he was a member of the task team who advised the Minister of Trade and Industry on the development of competition policy.
Lewis participated in the drafting of the Competition Act, and was a member of the Competition Board from January 1998, chairing the board from January to August 1999. With the promulgation of the Competition Act in September 1999, he was appointed chairperson of the Competition Tribunal.
Lewis was a founding member of the International Competition Network, a member of its Steering Group from 2001 until 2009, and chairman of the Steering Group between 2008 and 2009. He was deputy chairman of the Industrial Development Corporation’s board from 2002 to 2008, and chairman of its human resources committee.
In 2009, Lewis was appointed an extraordinary professor at the Gordon Institute of Business Science. A year later, UCT awarded him an honorary doctorate in economic sciences.
Lewis is also an author and his book Thieves at the Dinner Table: Enforcing the Competition Act – a Personal Account was published in 2012