With the new academic year beginning next week for learners in coastal provinces, many parents will be rushing to purchase school clothing before the first day of school.
Parents can no longer be forced to purchase school clothing from a specific retailer. It is expected that the latest ruling will result in parents having to pay less for school clothing.
Previously for some schools, uniforms had to be purchased from a specific retailer. This essentially gave the retailer the power push up prices as there would be no competition.
The Competition Commissioner, Thembinkosi Bonakele, says the introduction of the new law has seen schools start to provide parents with more than one retailer where they can purchase school fees.
Bonakele says that many schools are also starting to prescribe generic socks and shirts which is making a difference. He however believes this is not enough.
The Competition Commission has therefore called on all stakeholders to play their part in ensuring compliance with the new rules. CLICK HERE TO READ THE PRESS RELEASE
Bonakele said, “I should emphasise because we do say in the statement that those suppliers in schools that fail to add to these guidelines are risking contravening the competition act and we are now at a stage where we are prepared to prosecute schools as well as suppliers”.
He explained that parents should compare prices of the suppliers provided by schools to those at retailers in shopping centres. This is especially true if you are prevented from buying at regular retailers and it could create a problem if there is only one supplier of an item.
The competition commission's guidelines hope to lower the price of school clothing.
“For example they [The school] want to have a particular blazer with t an emblem, we can't stop them from doing that but when these decisions are made at a school level hopefully the parents will be there and they will take into account the impact of all of these prescriptions on pricing” concluded Bonakele.