Cabinet warns against 2010 price hikes

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pretoria - Government has called on South African businesses to resist the temptation to unduly inflate their prices.

This follows allegations that some businesses, especially accommodation providers, are hiking prices excessively for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Briefing the media following a Cabinet meeting, government spokesperson Themba Maseko said the meeting expressed concern about the "ill-advised" move by some business establishments to increase their prices in anticipation of making mega profits.

Maseko said Cabinet believes high hotel fees could damage the reputation of the South African tourism industry.

"These moves must be discouraged at all costs as they have the potential of discouraging many soccer lovers from attending the tournament and this could have a negative impact on future tourism for the country."

To address this, the Department of Tourism has commissioned a survey to look at the pricing structure in the tourism sector ahead of the World Cup.

The results of the study conducted by the auditing and management consulting firm, Grant Thornton, are expected to be released soon.

Maseko said the study will identify the extent of the problem and make recommendations about possible steps that could be taken in this regard.