“Nee man, this is not right,” complained a dismayed Charmaine Adriaanse, 67.
Hand sanitisers have become a part of daily life as people try to keep the dreaded Coronavirus at bay.
Charmaine went to Westgate Pharmacy in Westgate Mall, where she bought the Amnicron brand sanitiser last Friday.
“I went to the pharmacy to get my prescribed medication and then I remembered that I need a hand sanitiser. I bought one without checking the price,” she explains.
The ouma swiped her card to pay and on her way home decided to check her receipts.
“I was shocked to see the price and I went back immediately to say there is something wrong with the price.”
She complained to the owner of the pharmacy: “I told him the president made it clear that no prices should go up and he told me the supplier charged him R250 for one bottle, hence his price is high.
“I said I will not argue with him and left disappointed.”
As she left, that is when she bumped into Zain Knowles who also sells hand sanitiser, but in bigger containers.
Zain shared a picture of the bottle on Facebook.
“She showed me the receipt for R403. That is ridiculous,” he said.
“I said if she cannot take it further, I will take it further because that is extortion.
“Sunday evening I got an SMS from the pharmacy, threatening me with a lawsuit.”
Owner of the pharmacy, Merwede van der Berg, said the price was justified: “Unfortunately it is a high price, R250 is the cost price excluding VAT.
“Plus my normal mark-up of 40% plus VAT, it gets you to the R403.
“It is extremely expensive, but at that time that was the only hand sanitiser I obtained.”
He showed the Daily Voice invoices from his suppliers.
He also said that he would sue Zain for posting incorrect information.
“I did not inflate the price and my reputation which I built for 30 years is now damaged,” says Van der Berg.
Charmaine said she did not want Van der Berg to lower the price, but for him to be sincere and respectful.