/ MEDIA STATEMENT / This content is not written by Creamer Media, but is a supplied media statement.
The Competition Tribunal is reviewing a consent agreement referred to it by the Competition Commission against a distributor of face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) that it said had implemented excessive price inflation.
In terms of the consent agreement, Matus agreed to pay an administrative penalty of R5.9-million after it admitted to inflation of its gross profit margins with regard to essential hygiene products.
The company also agreed to contribute R5-million to the Solidarity Fund, which serves as South Africa’s consolidated platform for contributions towards fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
Matus further confirmed that it would reduce its gross profit margin on dust masks to acceptable levels for the duration of the state of national disaster and that other products’ profit margins would not be increased above what was applicable in mid-February.
The commission has concluded numerous consent settlements with small, independent retailers and pharmacies related to price increase complaints since Covid-19 hit South Africa.
Matus supplies and distributes PPE such as dust masks (including FFP1 and FFP2 masks), overalls, hand sanitisers, fire protective gear and first aid kits, besides others.
These are procured from local and overseas manufacturers. The company has offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, as well as satellite branches in Port Elizabeth and Mbombela.