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‘It’s still exorbitant’: Shivambu weighs in on PCR test price cut

14 December 2021 - 09:05
EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu.
EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu.
Image: MASI LOSI

EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu has weighed in on the price reduction for Covid-19 PCR tests to R500, saying the current price is still too high.

The Competition Commission recently confirmed it has concluded a settlement agreement with laboratory PathCare to reduce its Covid-19 PCR test prices with immediate effect.

The PathCare settlement agreement comes on the back of an official announcement by the commission that two other major laboratories, Ampath and Lancet , have agreed to substantially reduce the price of Covid-19 PCR tests with immediate effect.

The PCR test costs have been reduced from R850 to R500. The settlement agreement is subject to the approval of the Competition Tribunal.

Weighing in on the reduction, Shivambu said the PCR tests were still exorbitant.

“The state-owned national health laboratory services (NHLS) conduct qualitatively superior and faster tests than Ampath, Lancet and PathCare at far cheaper rates of less than R300. The NHLS must expand its testing capacity. Simple,” Shivambu said.

In a statement, competition commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele said the reduction in costs was a major victory for South Africans, particularly vulnerable groups.

He said the price reduction would remain in effect for a period of two years from the date of confirmation of the consent agreements.

“This substantial reduction of PCR test prices will surely alleviate the plight of consumers and enhance greater access to Covid-19 PCR testing, which is a critical part of the initiatives to avoid the escalation of the pandemic.

On social media, many users agreed with Shivambu and questioned why PCR tests were so expensive and vaccines free.

Here is a snapshot of what many had to say:


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