Patel said the consumer and competition authorities were alerted to the price increases by consumers. The national consumer commission has established a toll-free hotline: 0800 014 880.
Unpacking some of the measures put in place to stimulate the economy during the 21-day lockdown, Patel said the R3bn from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) was industrial funding that would be available to South African-owned businesses.
The IDC has made available the R3bn in the next quarter to support businesses during the crisis.
Elements of the facility include R500m allocated for trade finance to import essential medical products, and R700m for working capital, equipment and machinery. It will also address surges in demand to ensure food security is prioritised and support for supply chains that are interrupted by large companies that are closing down.
Patel said the funding will also provide working capital to ensure energy security and working capital for component manufacturers.
Essential services that fall outside the normal IDC sectors will also be considered, Patel announced.
“We have relaxed the arrangements in the IDC and for existing IDC clients. There are large numbers of South African businesses the IDC is already in contact with to consider repayment deferments on a case-by-case basis,” he said.