Commission warns against evergreen school uniform contracts

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The Competition Commission has threatened to prosecute schools that enter into evergreen agreements with suppliers and manufacturers of school uniforms.

They say evergreen agreements which are contracts that automatically renew after their initial term expires, have been around for decades and are troublesome as parents are compelled to pay high prices.

In 2021, the commission had reached an agreement that schools would do away with entering exclusive deals with school uniform suppliers.

“We have, in terms of our investigations, found that schools have concluded that deals that are evergreen, from as far as 1970s and 1980s with manufacturers and suppliers on an exclusive basis for the supply of school uniform, parents have, due to these evergreen agreements, paid high prices for school essential items. And these exclusive agreements between schools and manufacturers are particularly problematic when they are in place for long durations,” says Competition Commission spokesperson Siyabulela Makunga.

Non-compliant schools for procurement of school uniforms face prosecution