NEW GUIDELINES: Can parents now choose where to buy school uniform?
Competition commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with school governing bodies to strengthen regulations on the procurement of school uniforms and other learning-related goods and services.
This comes after years of investigations and advocacy following complaints received from parents who were forced to buy school uniforms from exclusively selected suppliers.
Competition Commission spokesperson Siyabulela Makinga has more on this.
Working with various stakeholders including school governing bodies (SGBs), effective from today, we have signed a memorandum of understanding with various associations of school governing body association ready to establish and strengthen our cooperation on the work that we been doing in that space.Siyabulela Makinga, Spokesperson - Competition Commission
Parents found it difficult to deal with what seems to have been a conduct that is anti-competitive in terms of procurement of school uniforms and we don't want to prescribe on the issues of design for school uniform but what we are advocating for is for us to establish a principle inclusivity, affordability and accessibility for school uniform and other related learning material.Siyabulela Makinga, Spokesperson - Competition Commission
We have published, together with the Department of Basic Education, a set of guidelines that are available on our website for access to school principals, SGBs and parents. We are making a call that parents should these guidelines because there is an element of exploitation by these schools.Siyabulela Makinga, Spokesperson - Competition Commission
We have through our investigations and prosecutions found that there have been schools that have gotten into protracted agreements that are up to 99 years with certain suppliers.Siyabulela Makinga, Spokesperson - Competition Commission
We don't want to get into a space where we tell schools what to procure but what we want is to remove exclusivity in terms of the agreements they sign with the suppliers. and introduce a more transparent and accessive way of procuring school uniformSiyabulela Makinga, Spokesperson - Competition Commission
Can a parent make a decision on where to buy a school uniform for his/her kids? are they now free to do that?
The decision and implementation is with the school governing body because they are the accounting authorities who have influenced policy. What we are saying is that, working with the SGBs and parents that would be more vigilant, having studied these guidelines, we will be able to pick up a contravention.Siyabulela Makinga, Spokesperson - Competition Commission
Listen below for the full interview...
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