2 companies overcharged SAPS by R14m for sanitiser - Competition Commission

The Competition Commission said that the massive overcharge was not even comparable to the Dis-Chem price gouging matter which was heard last year.

Children getting drunk on hand sanitiser. Picture: Screen grab/CNN

Editor's note: A previous version of this story stated that the companies overcharged the SAPS by R40 million. This is in fact R14 million. We regret the error.

JOHANNESBURG - The Competition Commission said that two companies partnered to overcharge the police by over R14 million when supplying it with 10,000 units of 25-litre hand sanitisers.

In its opening remarks at the competition tribunal hearing underway virtually, the entity’s Maya Swart further claimed that the companies - Bluecollar Occupational Health and Ateltico Investments - gained excessive profits by adding a gross profit margin of 54%.

This was one of several cases which were before the commission over COVID-19 excessive pricing.

Swart said that Bluecollar’s massive overcharge was not even comparable to the Dis-Chem price gouging matter which was heard last year.

READ: Dis-Chem found guilty of contravening Competition Act over face mask prices

The company – described by its lawyers as a small business which had no prior experience in dealing with hand sanitisers – is accused of charging the police excessive prices for bulk sanitisers between March and April of last year.

The commission claims that Ateltico funded Bluecollar for the procurement of the sanitisers with a view of splitting the profits 60/40.

Swart explains: “That’s an overcharge of R1,433.69 per unit. That’s a massive overcharge when you compare it to other price gouging cases.”

The companies have disputed the commission’s version of events, saying that the prices included transportation among other costs.

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