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Retailers guilty of price hiking could face hefty fines

people in grocery store

On Thursday the 19th of March 2020, the government put regulations in place to limit unreasonable price hikes in stores nationwide. Some major retailers have been found guilty of not respecting these regulations as the 21-day lockdown period is set to begin.

Some consumers have reported cases of major retailers making unjustified price hikes. These price hikes go against the Competition Act and Consumer Protection Act.

These acts keep the food supply chain functioning nationwide. There is no shortage of food to justify the price hikes, as factories have stated that they are producing enough food to supply stores across the nation.

The government has stated that retailers are not allowed to make the cost of basic food higher than it was before covid-19. In the event that retail stores do increase the price of food, they may not make it higher than the cost of the raw material. 

The measures that the government has put in place are there to protect consumers through the financial strain that covid-19 and the lockdown will have on South Africa. 

Companies who breach this regulation could be fined R1 million, 10% of the company's turnover, or receive a year-long jail sentence.

Major retail stores like Spar, Shoprite, Checkers, PicknPay, Woolworths, Clicks, Game, Dischem, Makro, and Dion joined forces with the government and agreed to not increase their prices during the lockdown period.

If you wish to report any retailer for price hiking, you can call 0800 014880.

 

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