Danie van Niekerk, a small business owner in Pretoria who sells industrial overalls to mines and tanneries, had never heard of the Competition Act. Then his company, Babelegi Industrial Workwear & Supplies, upped the prices of 76 boxes of dust masks by as much as 888% for three weeks in February.

In March, the Competition Commission came calling. In the interests of protecting vulnerable customers during the pandemic, it charged Babelegi with excessive pricing under the Competition Act...

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