SOUTH AFRICA – Shoprite group, South Africa’s largest consumer goods retailer has rallied up support to help communities affected by unrest recover from the violent uprisings.

The supermarket chain owner has made an initial donation of R1 million (US$68,800) to the cause via its Act For Change Fund.

To boost the kitty, Shoprite has urged its customers to participate in the drive by making donation to the fund at any of its outlets under the Shoprite, Checkers or Usave banners.

According to the retailer, the funds will be used by vetted organisations involved in relief efforts to help affected community members and their businesses rebuild.

“The Group manages the fund on behalf of its customers and makes sure the funds collected go to organisations working directly on relief efforts in the areas that need it most.

“Customers can add a contribution to their purchases at Shoprite, Checkers and Usave till points nationwide,” stated the group.

Shoprite has also made it easy to help individuals either in South Africa or outside, by availing a means of sending virtual vouchers to family and friends directly to their phone.

“The virtual vouchers, that can be safely bought in just a few easy steps, are sent via SMS to a recipient’s mobile phone within an hour of placing the order,” Indicated Shoprite.

They can be redeemed immediately once received on groceries at Shoprite, Checkers and Usave stores nationwide.

In addition to virtual vouchers, customers can also send money to recipients without bank accounts at Money Market counters in selected Shoprite, Checkers and Usave stores.

“The Group manages the fund on behalf of its customers and makes sure the funds collected go to organisations working directly on relief efforts in the areas that need it most.”

Shoprite Group

The Shoprite Group has always been committed to supporting communities in need and has been directing funds collected by the Act For Change Fund to communities affected by challenges such as drought, floods and COVID-19 since 2016.

Competition watchdog finds grocer made excess profits on ginger during lockdown

In other related news, the Competition Commission of South Africa has reached a consent agreement with Fruit Stop’s Wonderboom branch in Pretoria, following its finding that the store had inflated the price of its raw ginger during the Covid-19 lockdown period in 2020.

The agreement follows an investigation by the commission which found that between April and June 2020, Fruit Stop had overcharged consumers for the ginger and made “excess profits” of R23 110 (US$1,500).

As part of the agreement, over three months, Fruit Stop will donate essential goods like vegetables, fruit and groceries, valued at R23 110 (US$1,500), to Amadea Safe House, a Pretoria-based community organisation.

The grocer will place an agreed-to profit limit on raw ginger prices, for the period of South Africa’s Covid-19 national state of disaster. It will also create and monitor a competition compliance programme.

Despite the agreement, Fruit Stop is disputing the commission’s finding that it charged excessive prices for raw ginger.

Fruit Stop is not the only company that has been in the crosshairs of competition authorities for product price inflation, since South Africa went into lockdown in 2020.

In March this year Pick n Pay became the first retailer which agreed to put a cap on its gross profit margin for garlic and ginger amid a probe into surging prices at several retailers.

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