Dis-Chem to appeal R1.2m fine for hiking mask prices
The company said the verdict by the Competition Tribunal contained errors of fact and law and it would now approach the Competition Appeals Court.
JOHANNESBURG - Dis-Chem Pharmacies says it will appeal the Competition Tribunal’s decision which found it guilty of the excessive pricing of surgical masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, the retail company said the verdict contained errors of fact and law – and it would now approach the Competition Appeals Court.
The Competition Tribunal slapped Dis-Chem with a R1.2 million fine for inflating prices in contravention of the Competition Act. The company was found to have increased prices by between 43% and 261%.
Dis-Chem has maintained its innocence since the allegations emerged during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa.
The company said the Competition Tribunal failed to take into consideration the challenge it faced to find supply because of the unprecedented global scale of the disaster and the rapid rise in demand for masks.
Dis-Chem said its local suppliers had no stock and it had to pay higher prices to import millions of masks to meet customer demands.
The company also said it was unable to replenish its stocks of masks in the volumes required locally and had to find new suppliers.