SAPS supplier fined R3.55m for price-gouging on hand sanitisers
The fine is a sharp rap on the knuckles after the companies were found guilty of overcharging the SAPS by a whopping R9.8m for the bulk supply of 10,000 25-litre containers of hand sanitisers in 2020.
A South African Police Service (SAPS) supplier, BlueCollar Occupational Health, acting in partnership with Ateltico Investments, has been fined R3.55-million by the Competition Tribunal for excessive pricing of hand sanitiser during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Read Competition Tribunal statement here.
The fine, which is jointly and severally payable by the Gauteng-based BlueCollar and KZN-based Ateltico, is a sharp rap on the knuckles after the companies were found guilty of overcharging SAPS by a whopping R9.8-million for the bulk supply of 10,000 25-litre containers of hand sanitisers in 2020.
The tribunal found that during the hard lockdown, SAPS was in desperate need of hand sanitiser for frontline staff. The tribunal described BlueCollar’s conduct as “shocking considering the social consequences in that it exploited the pandemic by charging excessively for hand sanitiser which was crucial for combating the pandemic”.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Competition Tribunal finds SAPS mask supplier guilty of price gouging
This is the second excessive pricing case successfully prosecuted by the Competition Commission in relation to public procurement processes during the pandemic. The first prosecution of price gouging, in April last year, found SAPS supplier Tsutsumani Business Enterprises guilty when it supplied the police service with face masks. Tsutsumani was fined R3.4-million, but the case is under review before the Competition Appeal Court. DM/BM