Spar chairperson Mike Bosman yesterday said there may be a ‘shortcut process’ to end the long-running dispute with a group of black retailers, reports Fin24.

'With a bit of luck, we might be able to come to some resolution quite soon,’ he said at the group's AGM.

Spar has been in talks with a group of unhappy black retailers for well over a year. While specific details of the talks have not been shared, they stem from complaints lodged in early 2021 regarding unfair business practices and discrimination.

The report of an independent inquiry by law firm Harris Nupen Molebatsi set up to probe the complaints found no evidence of race-based discrimination.

However, it did find that the feasibility studies Spar shared with prospective buyers were often overly ‘optimistic’.

The probe also concluded that the grocery chain often shared only ‘limited’ financial data with buyers, which was ‘insufficient’ to accurately reflect the stores' historical performance.

Following the report's release in July 2021, some complainants threatened to take the retailer to the Equality Court.

The two sides later agreed to a mediation process.

Full Fin24 report