Information about Covid-19 coronavirus

There have been 300%-500% price hikes, companies to be penalised - commission

The Competition Commission has received 21 complaints of companies that have inflated their prices amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Some of the items that have seen an increase in prices include sanitisers, toilet papers and masks.

The Commission's head of communication Sipho Ngwema says some people are taking advantage of the situation.

Speaking to Clement Manyathela, he says people can contact the commission on 0800 014 880 if they suspect inflation of prices.

According to reports and the complaints we received there are situations where we have 300%-500% increases and we are still looking to see if there is any sensible reason why prices would have shot up this much.

Sipho Ngwema, Head of communications - Competition Commission

RELATED: COVID-19 cases in SA now at 709

We need to understand why certain prices went up after the president made the announcement and why they went up so much.

Sipho Ngwema, Head of communications - Competition Commission

The Competition Act allows us to ask for a penalty of 10% of their turnover. There are provisions in the act where people can be criminally charged and be sentenced up to 10 years in prison.

Sipho Ngwema, Head of communications - Competition Commission

In terms of the Consumer Protection Act, one can be fined R1million for each breach of the Consumer Act.

Sipho Ngwema, Head of communications - 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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