Commission warns school uniform monopolies - report

2016-12-18 14:43

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The Competition Commission has focused its attention on alleged monopolies in the R10-billion school uniform industry, the Sunday Times has reported. 

"This is the consequence of the absence of a fair and competitive bidding process," commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele was quoted as saying in an article that appeared on Sunday.

He said that the commission was concerned about deals made by schools whereby only a single supplier of their uniforms is appointed and that his organisation had received nearly a dozen complaints in this regard.

'Shameful' mark-ups

"In many instances these agreements are indefinite and some companies have had exclusive rights for decades," said Bonakele.

Often these suppliers had "free reign and mark-ups are shameful".

The practice is apparently evident in both private schools and government Model-C schools. 

For example, according to the Sunday Times, the commission had already met with executives from private schools run by Curro Holdings.

A parent, whose children attend Curro, was interviewed by the newspaper and told of how he was forced to buy a uniform set for winter and summer that cost R1 500 while at a Gauteng retailer without the school branding, the same items cost R515.

"Curro owns a school clothing company… they determine their own prices," he told the newspaper. 

Curro CEO Chris Van Der Merwe was unavailable to comment to the Sunday Times.

Basic Education department spokesman Elijah Mhlanga said that they were working together with the commission on the matter. 

"We have both spoken out against it and even went further to place newspaper advertisements in which the commission warned against anti-competitive practices."

In a separate opinion piece published in the Sunday Times, Bonakele said that investigations conducted in May last year showed the practice remained widespread.

"In the face of continued defiance, the commission will have no option but to apply its enforcement powers. When this eventually happens, penalties will be severe."

Bonakele said the commission had recourse to impose an administrative penalty of up to 10% of a firm's turnover for the previous year.

Read more on:    johannesburg ­  |  education

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


Men.24 Model of the Week: Wendy from Cape Town

Find out more about our featured model, Wendy from Cape Town


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.