The Competition Commission said that two companies partnered to overcharge the police by over R40 million when supplying it with 10,000 units of 25-litre hand sanitizers.
In its opening remarks at the competition tribunal hearing underway virtually, the entity’s Maya Swart further claimed that the companies – Bluecollar Occupational Health and Atletico Investments – gained excessive profits by adding a gross profit margin of 54%.
This was one of several cases which were before the commission over COVID-19 excessive pricing.
Swart said that Bluecollar’s massive overcharge was not even comparable to the Dis-Chem price gouging matter which was heard last year.
The company – described by its lawyers as a small business which had no prior experience in dealing with hand sanitizers – is accused of charging the police excessive prices for bulk sanitisers between March and April of last year.
The commission claims that Atletico funded Blue-collar for the procurement of the sanitizers with a view of splitting the profits 60/40.
Swart explains: “That’s an overcharge of R1,433.69 per unit. That’s a massive overcharge when you compare it to other price gouging cases.”
The companies have disputed the commission’s version of events, saying that the prices included transportation among other costs.
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