Competition Commission probes R10bn school uniform industry

The Competition Commission is investigating South African school uniform monopolies that take advantage of parents buying uniforms for their children.

Deputy Commissioner of the investigative body, Hardin Ratshisusu, said the investigation comes after previous attempts to get schools to operate within pro-competitive parameters.

For example, if they want to use a certain supplier then they should open this up for tender on a regular basis.

Hardin Ratshisusu, Competition Competition

702/Cape Talk's Eusebius McKaiser spoke to Ratshisusu about how they intend to get to the bottom of the issues regarding possibly unethical business relations between suppliers and schools.

He said that a nationwide survey would be conducted to decipher where the challenges lie before opting for a strategy to alleviate the practice.

If we find that this conduct is persisting, we will be able to identify the schools suppliers. If those suppliers are involved in this anti-competitive conduct, we will pursue them.

Hardin Ratshisusu, Competition Competition
School Uniform Infographic

However, CEO of Governing Body Foundation Tim Gordon cautioned against "over-reacting to something which is really at best still to be investigated rather than taken as a given."

In response to the report, he said the fact that less than 10 people complained could be indicative that this is not a an issue of concern.

10 people complained out of the 15 million who are buying uniform in the country. We need a little bit of care around painting it in a negative light.

Tim Gordon, Governing Body Foundation

Listen to the full interview below for details:

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