Citizen Reporter
Reporter
1 minute read
19 Mar 2020
4:51 pm

Strict new govt regulations prevent price hikes on essentials during virus pandemic

Citizen Reporter

Those found to be in contravention of this law could either face fines of up to R1 million or 10% of their overall turnover, or imprisonment of up to 12 months.

Picture: iStock.

As of Thursday, the new regulations as part of the Disaster Management Act, which were signed into law by Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel will prevent companies from hiking prices for a pre-determined list of goods by more than the increases in the cost to produce these products.

This has been done to prevent unfair increases in the prices of goods, services and commodities needed during the coronavirus crisis.

As such, prices for private medical services relating to the testing, prevention and treatment of the coronavirus will also be covered by these regulations.

Fin24 reports that they are also not allowed to hike their profit margins on these products to above the average mark-ups during the three months to 1 March 2020.

The following products are on the list:

  • toilet paper
  • hand sanitiser
  • facial masks
  • disinfectants and cleaners
  • surgical gloves
  • surgical masks
  • disinfectant wipes
  • antiseptic liquids
  • all-purpose cleaners
  • baby formula
  • disposable nappies
  • bleach
  • cooking oils
  • wheat flour
  • rice
  • maize meal
  • pasta
  • sugar
  • long-life milk
  • canned and frozen vegetables
  • canned, frozen and fresh meat, chicken or fish
  • bottled water

Those found to be in contravention of this law could either face fines of up to R1 million or 10% of their overall turnover, or imprisonment of up to 12 months.

According to the publication, the regulations also require suppliers to ensure the “equitable distribution” of goods to consumers and customers, including small businesses, and to maintain adequate stocks of goods.

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