Price gouging: ‘Be considerate’, urges Consumer Goods council_1

The Consumer Goods Council of South Africa is (CGCSA) has called on members of the public to report to the Consumer Commission any businesses that are taking advantage of panic buying caused by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus by charging exorbitant prices. “We have noticed that third party sellers are buying in bulk for the purposes of on-selling at a higher price or for selling off-shore. Bulk buying has been prevalent in affluent areas/communities and less so in the lower income communities,” said CGCSA CEO Gwarega Mangozhe. He said if not urgently managed, bulk buying would disrupt the supply...
The Consumer Goods Council of South Africa is (CGCSA) has called on members of the public to report to the Consumer Commission any businesses that are taking advantage of panic buying caused by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus by charging exorbitant prices.

“We have noticed that third party sellers are buying in bulk for the purposes of on-selling at a higher price or for selling off-shore. Bulk buying has been prevalent in affluent areas/communities and less so in the lower income communities,” said CGCSA CEO Gwarega Mangozhe.

He said if not urgently managed, bulk buying would disrupt the supply chain, which would have an adverse effect on everyone.

“We also do not advocate or support any form of price hogging by some companies taking advantage of the current coronavirus pandemic, which has been declared a national disaster by government to overcharge consumers,” he said.

Mangozhe said even though CGCSA was not a regulatory, nor policing body, they encouraged their members to trade fairly and competitively in accordance with the country’s laws.

“We do not encourage nor advocate for unfair trading practices which prejudice the consumer,” he noted.

One consumer, Danie van der Bank, told The Citizen that two weeks ago he went to a hardware store in Boskruin to buy some face masks, and paid R120 for a box of 20.

On Monday, he said he went to the same store only to find that the same masks were now selling for R599.

“This is unacceptable … I am honestly disappointed and concerned. If more companies raise prices by a factor of five like they did, how will the general public afford basic daily goods?” asked Van der Bank.

He said he understood that business wanted to make money due to the shortage, but there should be a balance.

“Honestly I think people must follow government’s guidelines and help one another during this pandemic rather than trying to capitalise on it … this is a time to come together,” he said.

When The Citizen called the business yesterday we were told that the owner was not available.

On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a “national state of disaster” to enable government to introduce measures to combat the spread of Covid-19.

He imposed a travel ban on foreign nationals from high-risk countries such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and China as from 18 March.

“We have cancelled visas to visitors from those countries from today and previously granted visas are hereby revoked. South African citizens are advised to refrain from all forms of travel to or through the European Union, United States, United Kingdom and other identified high-risk countries such as China, Iran and South Korea,” said Ramaphosa.

He said mass celebrations of upcoming national days such as Human Rights Day and other large government events would be cancelled and schools would be closed from today until after the Easter Weekend.

The president said Cabinet was in the process of finalising a comprehensive package of interventions to mitigate the expected impact of Covid-19 on our economy.

This package will consist of various fiscal and other measures, and will be concluded following consultation with business, labour and other relevant institutions.

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