The Competition Commission has received hundreds of complaints from parents over the high price of school uniforms.
Many parents have complained about the exorbitant prices they are forced to pay due to schools entering into evergreen contracts with certain suppliers or else the prices of uniforms sold exclusively at schools.
The National Association of School Governing Bodies has also called for schools to buy their children's school uniforms wherever they can afford them.
The NASGB's Matakanye Matakanye told SABC News that uniforms must not be exclusively bought from one shop. Matakanye said the association is against evergreen contracts between schools and particular suppliers but for parents to buy according to their budget.
In 2021, the Competition Commission agreed that schools abandon exclusivity with uniform suppliers.
In an interview with eNCA, the commission's Karabo Motaung said they were clear that they would not prosecute schools, but schools should not think that if they continue with this behaviour, they won't face prosecution.
Motaung added that parents who are still finding themselves forced to buy from schools or specific suppliers are welcome to lodge complaints with the commission.
The commission has previously called for guidelines promoting healthy competition among school suppliers, such as generic school uniforms that are available from many suppliers, schools to appoint more than one supplier to give parents options, exclusivity to be limited to items that the school regards as necessary to get from preselected suppliers, and exclusive agreements to last between three and five years.
According to the commission, competition between suppliers of school uniforms is important because it benefits both parents and other businesses. Competition allows new businesses to enter the market; it encourages firms to offer lower prices and better-quality products. This contributes to economic growth by creating, among other things, jobs and increasing consumer choice.
Parents wanting to lodge complaints may do so by emailing [email protected], via WhatsApp at 084 743 0000, or via the Competition Commission website.