Information about Covid-19 coronavirus

Government implements regulations to curb stockpiling, price hikes

Government has announced strict new regulations to prevent price surging during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the new regulations as part of the Disaster Management Act signed by the Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel on Thursday, companies are not allowed to hike prices for a list of goods by more than the increase in the cost of production of these products.

Some of the products include toilet paper, hand sanitizers, facial masks and baby formula.

Competition Commission's chief economist James Hodge says there will be a toll free line for consumers to complain and that a dedicated team has been set up fast-track investigations and prosecution.

If someone is guilty of this offence under the Competition Act, they can be fined 10 percent of their turnover for the first offence and 25 percent for the second.

James Hodge, Chief economist - Competition Commission

There are serious consequences and I think businesses both for the suppliers and retailers need to be aware of that.

James Hodge, Chief economist - Competition Commission

We will have dedicated teams there to respond and ensure this doesn't happen.

James Hodge, Chief economist - Competition Commission

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus both in South Africa and abroad, click on this live status report from Strategix.

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