The Competition Commission has referred two face mask suppliers to the Competition Tribunal for allegedly charging “astronomically” high prices on face masks.

The suppliers, Sicuro Safety and Hennox Supplies, allegedly charged more than 969.07% and 956% respectively, for face masks, an investigation by the Commission found. “The firms have not furnished the Commission with any reasonable explanation for such excessive price increases,” the Commission said in a statement on Monday.

“The Commission contends that Sicuro’s and Hennox’s pricing was a direct reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic and its unprecedented impact on the world in general and South Africa in particular.”

The Commission has referred the matter to the Tribunal to impose penalties and to prohibit thee suppliers from charging excessive prices.

It previously investigated Babelegi Workwear and Industrial Suppliers as well as Dis-Chem Pharmacies for excessive pricing of price masks.

Dis-Chem’s matter has been heard before the Tribunal. Dis-Chem told the Tribunal that it was forced to increase the price of the masks because of the disruption in supply, as well as because some suppliers raised prices nearly 40 times higher in February, Fin24 previously reported.

The Tribunal is yet to announce a decision on the Dis-Chem matter.

Compiled by Lameez Omarjee


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