Competition appeal court upholds decision to fine mask supplier R76K for hiking prices by 888%

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Protective face masks
Protective face masks
PHOTO: iStock
  • Babelegi Workwear was fined R76 000 earlier this year for hiking up mask prices.
  • The price of a box of face masks skyrocketed from R41 to R500 per box. 
  • The commission found that the price had increased by 888%.

The Competition Appeal Court (CAC) dismissed an application by a face mask supplier to appeal a decision by the Competition Tribunal which found it guilty of hiking up mask prices.

In June, Babelegi Workwear and Industrial Supplies CC, based in Gauteng, was fined R76 000 after the tribunal found that it had increased the price of masks from R41 per box to R500 per box. 

READ | Department of Defence distances itself from 'fraudulent' face mask tender document

The tribunal also found that Babelegi's March 2020 prices for face masks had increased by at least 888% when compared to prices charged in December 2019.

In its judgment, the CAC said:

The evidence on record revealed that throughout the complaint period the appellant acted as if it was a monopolist, extracting the maximum price that it possibly was able to obtain from those who purchased a product which was necessary to assist in slowing the spread of the virus.

Competition commissioner Thembinkosi Bonakele said they felt vindicated by the CAC judgment. 

"The judgment by the CAC vindicates the commission's proactive stance on investigating and prosecuting excessive prices during the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic," said Bonakele.

Do you want to know more about this topic? Sign up for one of News24's 33 newsletters to receive the information you want in your inbox. Special newsletters are available to subscribers.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When assisting your child with remote learning this year, did you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Follow the school's comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curriculum?
14% - 62 votes
Adjust the CSE curriculum to suit the family's morals?
26% - 121 votes
Ignore the schools CSE programme and do your own teaching?
60% - 276 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.28
(-0.48)
ZAR/GBP
20.38
(-0.37)
ZAR/EUR
18.23
(-0.64)
ZAR/AUD
11.28
(-0.83)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(-0.52)
Gold
1779.17
(-1.65)
Silver
22.50
(-2.91)
Platinum
946.00
(-1.22)
Brent Crude
47.75
(-1.52)
Palladium
2364.99
(-0.16)
All Share
57735.62
(-0.32)
Top 40
52928.28
(-0.29)
Financial 15
11635.46
(-0.08)
Industrial 25
79760.59
(-0.29)
Resource 10
52549.30
(-0.46)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo