Eleven furniture removal companies and the movers’ association to which they belong face prosecution by the Competition Tribunal for alleged price fixing, involving the e-tolls levy they charge customers who transport belongings on Gauteng highways.
The accused are Northern Provinces Professional Movers Association of South Africa (NPPMA), Stuttaford Van Lines Gauteng Hub, Pickfords Removals, A & B Movers, Brytons Removals, Amazing Transport, Key Moves, Bayley Worldwide, Selection Cartage, Elliot Mobility, Crown Relocations, and Magna Thomson.
The Competition Commission on Tuesday said its investigation, launched in February, found that the companies agreed, under the auspices of the NPPMA, to add a levy of R350 to the amount they charge their customers for transporting furniture on Gauteng highways that have e-tolls.
The purpose of the agreement, which has been in existence since January 22, 2014, and ongoing, was to pass on to consumers the added costs incurred when transporting furniture using highways in Gauteng because of e-tolls.
“This agreement constitutes price fixing, which contravenes section 4(1)(b)(i) of the Competition Act,” the commission said.
In referring the matter to the tribunal, the commission seeks an order that the companies and association all be held liable to pay an administrative penalty equivalent to 10% of their respective annual turnover.