Competition Commission warns schools not to ignore uniform guidelines

Competition Commission warns schools not to ignore uniform guidelines

The Competition Commission has vowed to prosecute schools that fail to follow the uniform guidelines.

Competition Commission warn schools, parents of selling expensive uniform

The warning comes amid preparations for the new school year, which starts on 17 January.

In 2021, the commission reached an agreement which would see schools abandon exclusivity deals with suppliers.

The agreement came after parents approached the Competition Commission to complain about the high prices of uniforms.

They claimed the prices stemmed from the schools’ use of specific suppliers.

However, it has now emerged that some schools have not been complying with the guidelines.

The commission’s spokesperson, Siyabulela Makunga, has urged parents to speak up.

 "The responsibility now lies with school governing bodies as well as parents in holding schools accountable, ensuring that there is a competitive bidding, there are no longer exclusive agreements in terms of appointments of school uniform suppliers but also that the items are as generic as possible."

In a report by the South African Human Rights Commission, dated October 2023, on baseline assessment and cap on uniform costs stated that the Department of Basic Education must conduct a baseline assessment to determine a cap on the costs of any basic school uniform, taking into consideration the country's socio-economic circumstances.

"The NDBE should consider issuing binding directives to provide for this minimum framework.

"The assessment should also consider whether the prescribed regulation uniforms are conducive to the South African demographic and the best interests of the child. Factors to include in this assessment should involve an evaluation of whether school uniform materials and items are contributing to accessing basic education or if a compulsory standard uniform that caters to the physical and socio-economic needs of learners and their families is recommended based on current research.

"The NDBE should make it clear that expensive clothing, such as blazers, is not compulsory. The NDBE must amend the Uniform Guidelines to include the findings of this report and should consider binding directives instead of guidelines to prevent non-compliance."


Sahrc School Uniform Report, Edited by Mmangaliso Khumalo on Scribd

Listen to more local news below Jacaranda
Jacaranda FM

Show's Stories