Schools, uniform suppliers ‘not playing fair’

2014-11-03 12:45

Agreements between schools and uniform suppliers possibly contravene the Competition Act.

“The Competition Commission has noted with great concern the emerging trend of exclusive agreements to supply school wear entered into between clothing manufacturers and schools,” commission spokesperson Mava Scott said.

“It has emerged that schools enter into long-term exclusive agreements with stockists or manufacturers of school clothing, rendering the arrangements susceptible to contravention of certain provisions of the Competition Act.”

Scott said an initial assessment indicated this could be a nationwide practice among private and public schools.

In the most recent case, a Cape Town parent lodged a complaint with the commission against a school and retailer that stocks uniforms for more than 60 Western Cape schools.

The parent alleged that the school appointed the service provider as the sole stockist of the uniforms, and that the prices were too high. The parent submitted that the exclusive agreement left consumers without an alternative.

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