11 December 2018
. . . forced to buy from Enbee
‘. . . it’s a rip off!’
Talent Gore and Charmaine Chasweka
There has been outrage over the pricing of school uniforms in Enbee outlets ahead of the new school term in 2019.
Parents have raised concern over Enbee outlets which are only selling full sets of uniforms for as much as $3000 for specific schools.
On the other hand, some schools insist that the uniforms be bought at Enbee.
A full set of uniforms for a child starting Form One at Sandringham High School for example costs $3095 or US$773.
Monte Cassino High School uniform costs $1 692 or US$423 while those of St Faith’s Boys High School cost $1 060.
School shoes now cost $160, school hats $50, skirt and blouse $90 and $105 respectively, school satchel $205, tracksuit $330, t-shirt $120, socks $10, jersey $155 and school blazer costs $295.
Boys uniforms cost nearly $900 with blazers going for $225, shirts costing $150, shoes $160, ties $30, shorts $75, jerseys $175 and socks $20.
Some parents said they are now forced to resort to individual tailors who sell school uniforms at reasonable prices.
“Retailers are just being greedy. There is nothing that can justify the price increases.
“The prices being charged by retailers are forcing us to resort to individual tailors, who, however, make low quality uniforms. We have few options,” said Natasha Tapfumanei who was looking for uniforms in Enbee shop.
“As parents we are very worried about these prices. My child is going for Form One and I have already spent close to $1500 on uniforms alone and now I have to borrow money from someone to buy stationery and pay school fees.
“I think these retailers are very inconsiderate, they want to make profits by cheating people like this. This is very frustrating, I spent the whole day trying to compare prices but they are just the same,” said Tapfumanei.
Michael Sibiza said retailers were taking advantage of the increased demand for uniforms to make a quick profit.
He appealed to the Government to come to the parents’ rescue.
“It’s just a week after schools have closed and they are already charging exorbitant prices, when we get to January we won’t be able to even check the prices out.
“I feel the Government needs to step in and engage these retailers to normalise the situation. It’s not only applying to school uniforms but across all products,” said Sibiza.
“We are being ripped off by retailers. All these uniforms are locally made, none are imported. So what justification do these retailers have to increase prices?”
Ray Chiota said the increase in prices was unreasonable considering most people were unemployed while those who were employed earned peanuts.
“It is not a secret that most people in the city are unemployed, so for companies and schools to increase their charges is unfair because we do not have the money, but they are taking advantage of the fact that our children have to go to school,” he said.
An Enbee manager, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they were charging in US dollars because they import their fabric.
“We do not have foreign currency and we import fabric, our supplier does not take our bond notes and neither does he accept swipe.
“The other issue is that market rates are not the same so we are forced to rate our US dollars to the rate on the market.”
Commenting on allegations that they were selling complete uniforms.
“That is misleading. Schools are the ones which are recommending people to buy complete uniforms in one store because they don’t want their color shades to differ hence parents then buy complete uniforms,” he said.