crush shops zero-rated VAT car guard shopping cart groceries
Photo Cred: Pexels

In the same vein, a breach in the regulations may see the concerned party heavily penalised. These ranged from R1 million fines, 10 percent of a company’s turnover and jail sentences of a year.

 

Johannesburg, South Africa (19 March 2020) – Government has imposed regulations that will limit unjustified price hikes and product stockpiling, to protect consumers, as the number of COVID-19 pandemic cases rise to 150.

The regulations, announced by Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel during a press briefing on Thursday, deal with pricing matters during the national disaster.

“We are doing this to ensure that we don’t have unjustified price hikes or stockpiling of goods. We are doing this to protect consumers and ensure fairness and social solidarity during this period,” said Patel.

On Thursday, government-issued directives under the Disaster Management Act and Regulations under both the Competition Act and Consumer Protection Act. According to the regulations, prices may not exceed the increase in the cost of the raw material. The profit levels, he added, should not be hiked higher than in the period just before the period of the COVID-19.

“The regulations will cover the full supply chain and will limit price increases of suppliers,” Patel said.

Regarding stockpiling, all retailers will be required to take steps to curb this while ensuring stock availability, including on weekends and month-end.

Should companies fail to comply, the government may have to set limit prices on certain products.

In the same vein, a breach in the regulations may see the concerned party heavily penalised.

These ranged from R1 million fines, 10 percent of a company’s turnover and jail sentences of a year.

Patel said these interventions come after the government became cognisant of the effect the virus may have on the economy and the Gross Domestic Product.

Government is working with retailers and large food producers to ensure that the food chain – from farm, to manufacturers, to the shops – remains strong and basic foods are available to the public.

“Factories have reported that their production is stable and farms have promised a bumper maize crop this year,” he said.

The government had noted a spike in stockpiling over the past weekend, but this has tapered off in recent days.

“At the same time, there is anecdotal evidence in price hikes in areas such as facemasks and hand sanitisers. We are appreciative of the fact that the majority of South Africans have not rushed to shops and have remained calm.”

All major retailers, the Minister said, have since put limits on the most basic products, saying this has helped reduce panic buying.

“There’s also been excellent cooperation from the private retailers with the government. They have committed to help us ensure that there are no unjustified price increases in this period.”

The retail groups include Shoprite, Checkers, Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Spar, Game, Dion, Makro, Clicks and Dischem.


Source: SA Government 
Don’t ever miss the Good Things. Download the Good Things Guy App now on Apple or Google
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens or share your good news with us by clicking here
Click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast, with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:
Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll hopefully leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

Facebook Comments

About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *