Gauteng carers benefit as company agrees to donation over 'excessive pricing' of masks

15 April 2021 - 14:04 By TimesLIVE
The Empilweni New Life Community Project will receive essential goods valued at more than R100,000 from a company accused of excessive pricing of FFP1 and FFP2 (also known as KN95) masks. Stock photo.
The Empilweni New Life Community Project will receive essential goods valued at more than R100,000 from a company accused of excessive pricing of FFP1 and FFP2 (also known as KN95) masks. Stock photo.
Image: 123rf/boumenjapet

A Tembisa-based charity caring for orphans and the poor will receive donations of essential goods worth more than R100,000 from a Gauteng PPE supplier, accused of excessive pricing of face masks.

In a settlement agreement with the Competition Commission, the company will also make an equivalent donation of R116,672.02 to the Solidarity Fund.

Mine Africa Safety Solutions (Pty) Ltd does not admit that its conduct constitutes excessive pricing, despite the consent agreement. However, it agreed to the donations. It has also agreed to reduce its gross profit margin on face masks to an agreed maximum percentage with immediate effect and for the duration of the state of national disaster.

The charity that will benefit from the deal is the Empilweni New Life Community Project, which was registered with the social development department in 2000.

The organisation states on its Facebook page it provides home-based care, palliative care, support to TB clients, co-ordinates distribution of food parcels, supplies cooked nutritious food daily to orphans and financially disadvantaged children, alongside tuition by qualified ECD practitioners.

The case arose in March last year when the Competition Commission received information relating to alleged inflated prices being charged by Mine Africa Safety Solutions for FFP1 and FFP2 face masks.

The commission said: “Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the firm significantly increased prices of the face masks in respect of sales to end users and retailers. The commission concluded that Mine Africa Safety Solutions’ gross profit margins did not appear to correspond with the increase in cost; was unreasonably high; and was significantly higher than the industry benchmark previously relied on by the commission.”

The Competition Tribunal has confirmed the consent agreement as an order.

TimesLIVE


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