The price of school uniforms is likely to drop, after the Competition Commission of South Africa has warned schools to comply with the set guidelines to avoid exorbitant prices costing parents an arm and a leg.
As schools around the country opened their doors for the new academic year last week, many parents were left cash-strapped after having to dig deep into their pockets for uniforms and stationery.
One parent told the Zululand Observer they had to take advances on their salaries to meet the costs.
Namisa Nxulu said she had to pay more than R1,000 for basic school uniforms for her two boys in Grade 4 and 6 this year, and “they were still owing”.
Parents whose children go to private schools apparently fork out more than R4,000 for uniforms and stationery.
After a recent ruling, the Competition Commission of South Africa urged schools to adhere to uniform guidelines.
An investigation last year found that many schools had exclusive contracts with one supplier.
The commission’s guidelines are:
- Uniforms should be as generic as possible so that it is obtainable from as many suppliers as possible.
- Schools should follow a competitive bidding process when appointing suppliers.
- Schools should appoint more than one supplier to give parents options.
The commission also signed agreements with the federation of school governing bodies, aimed at educating and encouraging public schools to adhere to guidelines.