In a joint meeting with parliamentary committees on Tuesday, the Competition Commission said it has received approximately 1354 claims of excessive pricing since the beginning of the national lockdown.
The Commission says that the majority of the complaints are surrounding masks, sanitisers, personal protective equipment, other essential goods and food items. They reported that the price increases are largely due to an increase in demand for certain products, panic buying.
Many cases have resulted in companies having to reduce their prices by up to 20%, through penalties or donations to charity organisations or the Solidarity Fund.
Some of the settlements with companies include:
- Babelegi Workwear Overall Manufacturers & Industrial Supplies: Increases for facial masks from R41 per box to R500
- Dis-Chem Group: Markup increases on surgical face masks from 43% to 261%
- Hennox: Price increases of Filtering Face Piece 1 (FFP1) masks by up to 969.07%;
- Sicuro Safety: Price increases of FFP1 masks by up to 956.07%.
The Commission says there are 35 firms currently undergoing settlements and that the value of all settlements thus far totals to R12,854,694.