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Commission, schools reach settlement on uniform anti-competitive behaviour

The Competition Commission says several schools are operating like cartels when it comes to selling school uniforms.

FILE: Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Competition Commission has announced its reached a settlement with several schools found guilty of anti-competitive behaviour.

The commission launched an investigation in 2018 after parents complained about the price of school uniforms that they’ve been forced to buy from certain suppliers.

The Competition Commission says several schools are operating like cartels when it comes to selling school uniforms.

Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele says they’ve reached an agreement with some school groups involved in anti-competitive behaviour.

“Schools such as Reddam House, Curro and ADvTECH have reached a settlement with the schools. We don’t want to criminalise schools because their job is to teach.”

Bonakele says the investigation is still ongoing as some schools are refusing to cooperate.

“We are still looking into them because there are still complaints about how they got captured by certain suppliers.”

Bonakele says they’re calling on school groups to come forward and settle with the competition before it’s too late.

LISTEN: How school uniform suppliers should be charging you

SUPPLIERS WARNED NOT TO OVERCHARGE

The Competition Commission has warned school uniform suppliers not to overcharge.

The commission says it’s urging school governing bodies and parents to monitor how suppliers charge for school uniforms.

Bonakele says they’re concerned about the conduct of some suppliers.

“The parents as well as all those involved [need] to join hands in tackling this problem. It is easier for this problem to be addressed at a school level.”

He says they don’t want the matter to escalate any further.

The commission says suppliers that refuse to comply will face a fine.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)