Corona Virus: new emergency regulations to control excessive price hikes of most-needed food and medical supplies!


Last week fin24 wrote that the Government has announced emergency regulations to control excessive price increases of medical, food, and beverage items most needed during the Corona Virus COVID-19 pandemic. Punitive fines could be levied against companies violating these regulations. The report states: ‘According to new regulations as part of the Disaster Management Act, signed by minister of trade and industry Ebrahim Patel on Thursday, companies are not allowed to hike prices for a list of goods by more than the increases in the cost to produce these products. They are also not allowed to hike their profit margins on these products to above the average mark-ups during the three months to 1 March 2020’.


The list of products which are affected by the excessive price control measures includes:

  • Toilet paper
  • hand sanitiser
  • facial masks
  • disinfectants and cleaners
  • surgical gloves
  • surgical masks
  • disinfectant wipes
  • antiseptic liquids
  • all-purpose cleaners
  • baby formula
  • disposable nappies
  • bleach
  • cooking oils
  • wheat flour
  • rice
  • maize meal
  • pasta
  • sugar
  • long-life milk
  • canned and frozen vegetables
  • canned, frozen and fresh meat, chicken or fish
  • bottled water

The article continues: ‘Prices for private medical services relating to the testing, prevention and treatment of the coronavirus will also be covered by the new regulations. Culprits could face fines of up to R1 million or 10% of a firm’s turnover, and imprisonment for up to 12 months. Suppliers must also ensure the “equitable distribution” of goods to consumers and customers, including small businesses, and must also maintain adequate stocks of goods. The new regulations also mention that maximum prices could be set on private medical goods and services relating to the testing, prevention and treatment of Covid-19.’


Many supermarkets and other retailers, including Pick n Pay and Clicks, are trying to control the number of items consumers may buy  in their outlets. 


Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein


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