Competition Commission unmasks companies hiking prices by over 900%

12 May 2020 - 19:29 By Naledi Shange
Sicuro Safety CC and Hennox Supplies have been referred to the Competition Tribunal for inflating the prices of their face masks.
Sicuro Safety CC and Hennox Supplies have been referred to the Competition Tribunal for inflating the prices of their face masks.
Image: 123RF / David Cabrera Navarro

The Competition Commission has found that two more companies allegedly capitalised on the coronavirus outbreak to exorbitantly inflate their prices of face masks.

The commission on Tuesday named and shamed Sicuro Safety CC and Hennox Supplies.

“This follows the commission’s investigation which found that the two firms’ prices for the Filtering Face Piece 1 (FFP1) mask increased astronomically by more than 969.07% and 956%, as charged by Sicuro and Hennox, respectively,” said commission spokesperson Sipho Ngwema.

“The firms have not furnished the commission with any reasonable explanation for such excessive price increases.”

The commission referred the two cases to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution and has requested the “maximum penalty” for the companies, which the commission believe are guilty of contravening the Competition Act, read with consumer protection regulations.

These two companies join a list of others that have been found doing the same. Earlier investigations found large retailer Dis-Chem pharmacies and Babelegi Workwear to have done the same.

Babelegi reportedly increased its prices by as much as 1,241%, while Dis-Chem increased their prices for face masks by 317%.

The commission said it wanted the tribunal to issue an interdict prohibiting the companies from continuing with any excessive pricing conduct, together with a pricing order to remedy this conduct.


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