The Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry has announced that it will write to the Minister of Trade and Industry and the National Consumer Commissioner (NCC) to ask them to rein in unscrupulous traders who have increased the price of bottled water to benefit from the ongoing water crisis in Cape Town.
This follows reports that bottled water prices are going up as Ca[pe town approached #Day Zero, the day when the city’s watyer taps are set to run dry.
“In principle we are asking for intervention so that something can be done to make sure the regular price of bottled water is not increased without any regard to the pockets of consumers especially the most vulnerable,” said Mr Adrian Williams of the African National Congress. “All members agreed that something must be done while Mr Ghalieb Cachalia from the Democratic Alliance agreed that “measures should be developed to prevent the poor bearing the brunt of such unfair trading”.
The Chairperson of the Committee, Ms Joanmariae Fubbs having noted the consensus of all Committee members present said that given the water situation in Cape Town, “the current increase in the price of bottled water being charged by some unscrupulous entrepreneurs amounts to exploitation of the poor and vulnerable and does not reflect the spirit of the Constitution”.
She said the Minister and the NCC must apply their minds “expeditiously to make sure unfair business practices do not prevail” in Cape Town.