The Competition Commission has applied to the Competition Tribunal for confirmation as an order a settlement agreement with Cape Town-based company Caprichem, which has agreed to pay a settlement amount, comprising an administrative penalty and contribution to the Solidarity Fund totalling R600 000 for allegedly charging excessive prices.
On May 28, the Commission referred a complaint against Caprichem for the alleged excessive pricing of 5 ℓ hand sanitisers to the detriment of customers and consumers.
In terms of the settlement, Caprichem will pay an administrative penalty of R500 000 and will make a R100 000 contribution to the Solidarity Fund.
Caprichem has also agreed to reduce its gross profit margin on 5 ℓ hand sanitisers for the duration of the state of the national disaster.
The settlement follows the commission’s investigation which found that Caprichem had allegedly increased its prices of 5 ℓ hand sanitiser from R262 to R527 during the period from March 16 to date.
Since the advent of Covid-19, the commission has received over 1 556 complaints or tip-offs related to excessive pricing of basic food products, masks and sanitisers. Of the complaints received, 791 are Covid-19 related cases, while 325 were referred for further investigations or prosecution. Most of these complaints have been in Gauteng.