Covid-19: KZN MEC takes aim at 'greedy' shop owner over price hikes

01 April 2020 - 09:50 By LWANDILE BHENGU
KZN economic development MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube visited a store in Chatsworth that was accused of hiking prices during the national lockdown.
KZN economic development MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube visited a store in Chatsworth that was accused of hiking prices during the national lockdown.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

KwaZulu-Natal economic development MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube has threatened legal action against a "greedy" shop owner accused of hiking prices.

This after she visited Take n Pay, in Chatsworth south of Durban, on Monday after her department received an anonymous tip-off alleging that the price of meat and other essentials had been increased during the national shutdown.

"We have received a number of complaints from communities that there has been a huge price hike in a number of products. When we got to this one shop, Take n Pay, we discovered that it is true," she said.

During her inspection of the store, Dube-Ncube had a number of items removed from the shelves, as they were allegedly not fit to be sold, such as frozen goods, hand sanitisers and baking chocolate.

"What is going to happen is that from here we want to open criminal cases. And these people will have to be criminally charged and they will have to be prosecuted in terms of the Disaster Management Act, but also in terms of the Consumer Protection Act," said Dube-Ncube.

Take n Pay management refused to answer queries from TimesLIVE.

Pensioner Michael Marian showed the MEC his grocery slip from last month, where, for example, the price of sausages had increased by R20 per kg when compared to the previous month.

"I come all the way from Isipingo every month to shop here. I am a pensioner now. The prices have gone up," he said.

Dube-Ncube said this showed "terrible greed and unethical business conduct".


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