The Competition Commission is poised to get tough on South Africa’s school uniform monopolies‚ which force parents to cough up thousands of rand for new school kit even though similar items can usually be bought elsewhere at a fraction of the cost‚ the Sunday Times reported on Sunday. At the heart of the commission’s proposed investigation into the R10bn school uniform industry are long-standing "exclusive supplier" arrangements entered into between school governing bodies‚ principals and retailers and manufacturers. The commission’s warning comes as parents start shelling out thousands of rand for new uniforms for the 2017 school year — and amid allegations that senior school executives get paid for exclusive supplier contracts. The school uniform industry caters for about 15-million pupils from private and government schools. The commission has received nearly a dozen complaints from parents forced by schools to buy uniforms from selected suppliers‚ a practice prevalent in both go...

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