Call to halt bottled water price hikes

Bottled water. 123RF Stock Image/ Mark Agnor
Bottled water. 123RF Stock Image/ Mark Agnor

Government and the National Consumer Commission are being urged to rein in unscrupulous traders who are hiking the price of bottled water to cash in on the drought crisis in Cape Town.

Parliament’s portfolio committee on trade and industry said it would write to the minister of trade and industry and the commission to seek intervention because consumers‚ especially the poor‚ were being exploited.

“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 Adrian Williams of the African National Congress.

Members of the committee agreed‚ saying something had to be done.

Ghaleb Cachalia from the Democratic Alliance said: “Measures should be developed to prevent the poor bearing the brunt of such unfair trading.”

Committee chair Joanmariae Fubbs said in a statement on Tuesday: “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.”

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