Dedicated team to fast-track investigation and prosecution of price hikes
The South African Department of Trade and Industry has released stringent price regulations in response to public outcry that retailers and manufacturers have hiked the prices of essential goods such as hand sanitiser and face masks during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Price rises may not exceed the increase in the costs of the raw materials or inputs and profit levels should not be hiked higher than the period prior to the outbreak of Covid-19.
Chief economist at Competition Commission James Hodge speaks to Clement Manyathela.
Is there any recourse for consumers who have been charged exorbitant prices already?
We will be collaborating with the National Consumer Council and there will be a toll-free number for consumers to complain.James Hodge , Chief economist - Competition Commission
At the Commission, we have already set up a dedicated team to fast-track investigation and prosecution...at both a retail and manufacturer level.James Hodge , Chief economist - Competition Commission
If found guilty they can be fined 10% of their turnover for a first offence, and then 25% for a second offence.James Hodge , Chief economist - Competition Commission
He acknowledges there may be small retailers that have hiked prices on these necessary goods and those may be better dealt with under the National Consumer Protection Act.
Those fines are up to R1 million for each offence.James Hodge , Chief economist - Competition Commission
There are serious consequences, says Hodge.
Listen to the interview below:
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