Competition commission receives more complaints over uniform price fixing

The Competition Commission has received nine complaints since launching an investigation into South African school uniform monopolies who allegedly overcharge and force parents to buy from certain suppliers.

The commission’s probe into the R10 billion industry was further prompted by allegations that senior school executives get paid for exclusive supplier contracts.

READ: School uniform monopoly under scrutiny

Spokesperson Sipho Ngwema says they have extended the probe.

Since the beginning of this year the commissioner launched a formal investigation on all schools, on all uniform suppliers.

Sipho Ngwema, spokesperson

One of the recommendations we had made to schools was to make uniforms as generic as possible, but you must remember when someone wants to lock you into a particular supplier they add one feature that other people can't have so that you are locked into buying from that one person, and therefore the prices in many instances will go up, so those are some of things we are looking at.

Sipho Ngwema, spokesperson

We have interrogated a number of schools and suppliers and there is credibility in some of the complaints we have had. There is a problem, there are exclusive contracts and there is a foreclosure in this kind of business where other small businesses are not allowed to trade in this sector.

Sipho Ngwema, spokesperson

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