Furniture removers to face music for charging customers for e-tolls
A total of 11 furniture removal companies and the association to which they belong face prosecution by the Competition Tribunal for price-fixing‚ involving an e-toll levy they charge customers.
These companies being investigated charged an e-toll fee to customers whose belongings were moved on Gauteng highways.
The accused in the case are: Northern Provinces Professional Movers Association of South Africa (NPPMA); Stuttaford Van Lines Gauteng Hub (Pty) Ltd; Pickfords Removals SA (Pty) Ltd; A & B Movers (Pty) Ltd; Brytons Removals (Pty) Ltd; Amazing Transport (Pty) Ltd; Key Moves CC; Bayley Worldwide CC; Selection Cartage (Pty) Ltd; Elliot Mobility (Pty) Ltd; Crown Relocations (Pty) Ltd; and Magna Thomson (Pty) Ltd.
The Competition Commission’s investigation‚ launched in February this year‚ revealed the following:
- The companies agreed under the auspices of the NPPMA to add a levy of R350 to the amount they charged their customers for transporting furniture on Gauteng highways that have e-tolls;
- The purpose of the agreement was to pass on to consumers the added costs incurred when transporting furniture using highways in Gauteng because of e-tolls; and
- The agreement has been in existence since 22 January 2014 and is ongoing.
“This agreement constitutes price fixing which contravenes section 4(1)(b)(i) of the Competition Act‚ No 89 of 1998‚ as amended. In referring the matter to the Tribunal‚ the Commission is seeking an order that that companies and the NPPMA contravened the Competition Act. In addition‚ the Commission seeks an order that they all be held liable to pay an administrative penalty equivalent to 10% of their respective annual turnover‚” the Commission said.