Competition Commission wants harsh punishment for face masks price inflators

The body has referred Sicuro Safety and Hennox Supplies to the Competition Tribunal for excessive pricing since the outbreak of COVID-19.

FILE: The Competition Commission said it wanted to stop companies from exploiting consumers for profit during this time. Picture: 123rf.

JOHANNESBURG - The Competition Commission on Tuesday said it wanted the maximum punishment imposed on companies that inflate the prices of face masks during the pandemic.

The body has referred Sicuro Safety and Hennox Supplies to the Competition Tribunal for excessive pricing since the outbreak of COVID-19.

The companies are accused of contravening the Competition Act.

As the country battles the coronavirus, some companies are facing accusations of using the pandemic for financial gain.

The Competition Commission said it wanted to stop companies from exploiting consumers for profit during this time.

The commission wants the tribunal to issue an interdict prohibiting the firms from continuing their excessive pricing.

The commission’s Sipho Ngwema said: “This follows the investigation of the commission. We found out that the two companies increased their prices astronomically by about 1,000% each and they could not provide any sensible explanation for their increases.”

Ngwema said punishing these companies would deter others from doing the same.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.