Uniform Guidelines

Schoolchildren sing 'Happy Birthday' to former South African President Nelson Mandela at Phefeni High School, opposite Mandela's former home in Soweto Township on Thursday in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Most schools surveyed by the Competition Commission are unaware of the guidelines for school uniforms issued by the Department of Basic Education in 2015.

This is according to an update issued by the commission last week. The competition authority is investigating a number of schools, school uniform manufacturers and suppliers for possible anti-competitive behaviour.

Competition spokesperson Sipho Ngwema confirmed to Fin24 by email that an announcement following the investigation, which is in an advanced stage, will be made public in the coming weeks. The investigation was launched in January 2017, in response to complaints from parents and school uniform suppliers.

“The parents complained that they could only purchase school uniform items for their children from a particular, specifically identified school uniform supplier without any other options being available to them. They consequently pay high prices for school uniform items,” the statement read.

“School uniform suppliers complained that some schools have entered into contracts with certain school uniform suppliers, giving these suppliers the exclusive right to sell the school uniform items of that particular school.”

In an effort to ensure the pricing of school uniforms is “reasonable and affordable”, the commission has engaged with the education department, schools, school uniform suppliers and other stakeholders to change practices.

 Photo Credits – Bosveld Review

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