South Africa Publishes Guidelines For School Uniform Competition

The Competition Commission of South Africa has released guidelines to school governing bodies (SGBs), administrators, and schools to improve the competitiveness of the procurement of school uniforms after receiving continuous complaints about the prices of uniforms.

The Commission stated that since 2010 it has received complaints from parents and guardians regarding the high price of school uniforms and that some schools compel parents to buy uniforms and learning-related materials from only one supplier.

This often left parents out of pocket at the start of each school year, as they could not source cheaper suppliers.

To address these issues, the Commission on Monday, January 10, released guidelines on the procurement of school uniforms and learning materials.

Chris Charter, the national head of commercial law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr’s competition law, said the Commission’s guidelines were “pretty well calibrated” in that they sought at the one hand to facilitate new entrants in the school uniform manufacturing sector, and on the other to address the pricing of school uniforms for struggling consumers.

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